Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Teams That Won Games One and Two on the Road

After taking the first two games of the ALCS in Baltimore, the Kansas City Royals look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Orioles tonight.

The Royals are the 26th MLB team to go on the road and win the opening games of a best-of-7 playoff series. Let's take a look at how the first 25 series went:

  • 13 sweeps
  • Six were 4-1
  • Two had the leader drop two of three before winning in six (1993 ALCS Blue Jays/White Sox, 1998 NLCS Padres/Braves)
  • One went all the way to Game Seven before the leader finally held on (1972 World Series Athletics/Reds)
  • Three comebacks

The Orioles will aim to follow the example of the three teams that have crawled out of the hole they now find themselves in. The Royals lost the first two games of the 1985 World Series in KC before coming back from a 3-1 deficit to shock the Cardinals. A year later, the Mets roared back against Boston with come-from-behind wins in Games Six and Seven. The 1996 Yankees did these two one better. After dropping the first two World Series games in New York, they went to Atlanta and won three straight, then returned home and clinched a 4-2 series win.

Below is a list of all MLB/NBA/NHL playoff series in which the visiting team won the first two games. The NBA has had four comebacks out of 28 series and the NHL has had 17 comebacks out of 97 series. Comebacks are in bold.

Brad Brach Zach Britton Wei-Yin Chen Nelson Cruz Alejandro De Aza Ryan Flaherty Miguel Gonzalez Kevin Gausman J.J. Hardy Nick Hundley Tommy Hunter Kelly Johnson Adam Jones Caleb Joseph David Lough Nick Markakis Brian Matusz Andrew Miller Bud Norris Darren O'Day Jimmy Paredes Steve Pearce Jonathan Schoop Chris Tillman Delmon Young Nori Aoki Billy Butler Lorenzo Cain Tim Collins Christian Colon Wade Davis Danny Duffy Jarrod Dyson Alcides Escobar Brandon Finnegan Jason Frasor Alex Gordon Terrance Gore Jeremy Guthrie Kelvin Herrera Greg Holland Eric Hosmer Omar Infante Erik Kratz Mike Moustakas Salvador Perez James Shields Jason Vargas Josh Willingham Yordano Ventura

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