The Dodgers currently hold the longest active MLB Division championship streak at five. From 2013 up until last year, Los Angeles has reached the postseason every single time.
Although the Dodgers do currently have the longest active Division Championship streak, no team in baseball may ever again come close to the number of titles won consecutively during Atlanta’s astonishing run. The Braves won the National League’s East division a record-setting 14 seasons in a row.
Since MLB’s realignment in 1994 to a six-division League, Atlanta still boasts the overall record with 11 consecutive division crowns from 1995 until 2005. In the American League, Yankees are king. Of New York’s 14 division titles in this era, 9 were won consecutively to set the modern AL benchmark. As unfortunate as it is for their fans though, the Yankees haven’t won the AL East in six years.
Cleveland and Philadelphia have each completed five-year strings of division dominance since 1994. The Dodgers, of course, are still active in their streak. But, they can ill afford to slip off the consecutive title list now that five other teams are trying to get into the conversation. Washington and Chicago are current winners of two straight division titles in the NL, while, over in the AL, Cleveland and Boston have also just finished winning their respective divisions back-to-back.
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The Dodgers, as previously mentioned, have run their active NL West win streak to five, which is pretty good. The consecutive division title streak they are on is even more incredible when you realize that the trend extends back further than that. In 2008 and 2009, the Dodgers also won the West. In total, Los Angeles has won seven of the past ten NL West division titles. During that time, however, the team has lost in the National League Championship series four sorrowful times.
We all know the theory by now: In order to win a World Series, a team needs to get there first. The best chance of getting there is by getting into the playoffs with home field advantage. To begin the playoffs with home field advantage, a team needs to win their division. The best way for a team to win its division is by winning more games than the other teams in that division. The more games a team wins its division by, the better chance of having a superior record to the other division winners, therefore guaranteeing home field advantage throughout the playoffs, therefore giving your team the best chance to win.
I understand the hypothesis and respect it, but the Dodgers followed this formula to a tee last year and still have not won a World Championship trophy since 1988. The playoffs, it has been said, are a crapshoot. However, we can’t be disappointed that the Dodgers lost in the World Series. There’s too much to be hopeful about. The Dodgers will no doubt field a competitive team again this year as they look to nail down a sixth straight division title in 2018. Making the playoffs is the only way to give the team a chance at the ultimate prize. The Dodgers goal this season, as it was last year and the one before that, is to win more games than the other teams in our division. In theory, the rest will take care of itself.
A sixth NL West championship this year would but put the Dodgers in elite company as one of three teams with the most consecutive divisional crowns in recent history. But Dodgers fans are getting spoiled on winning the Division and are now demanding that a World Series streak be started.