The Dodgers as we know have their work cut out for them in the National League Championship Series, down 3-2 to the Cubs and needing to win two games on the road at Wrigley Field to advance to the World Series.
Simple math tells us the odds are stacked in Chicago’s favor in the series. If the two teams are evenly matched, the Dodgers have a 50% chance of winning each remaining game. That means their chances of winning both Game 6 and Game 7 are just 25%. Even if you believe Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Rich Hill tilt the Dodgers’ favor to 70% in each game — extraordinary in baseball — LA’s chance of winning both games is just 49%.
But despite the warnings of interplanetary grifter Han Solo — “Never tell me the odds” — here is a look at what the Dodgers are up against heading into Game 6.
Dodgers need to win Games 6/7 on the road. Of 47 teams in that situation in best of 7 series, 20 have forced 7th game, & 10 have won series— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) October 22, 2016
The Dodgers in their history have never won a best-of-7 series in which they trailed 3-2. In two of the seven chances — 1947 World Series and 1956 World Series — the Dodgers forced a Game 7, only to lose. In the other five times, they dropped Game 6 — 1953 World Series, 1977 World Series, 1978 World Series, 1985 NLCS and 2013 NLCS.
In 1947, 1953, 1977 and 2013, Games 6 and 7 were scheduled road games for the Dodgers.
In 1947, a four-run sixth inning gave the Dodgers the lead in Game 6 and they held on to win 8-6 at Yankee Stadium, but the next day fell 5-2 in The Bronx.
In 1956, Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 put the Yankees up 3-2 in the series, but Brooklyn fought back with a 1-0 win in 10 innings at home in Ebbets Field to win Game 6. Jackie Robinson drove home Jim Gilliam with a single to make a winner out of Clem Labine, who pitched all 10 innings.
But the Yankees jumped on Don Newcombe early for three home runs in the first four innings en route to a 9-0 rout in Game 7.
Then again, there is this:
Cubs host Dodgers in Game 6 of NLCS tonight (8 ET).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2016
Cubs: 0-6 in games where they can clinch a World Series berth since LCS began in 1969.
Chicago led the best-of-five 1984 NLCS 2-0 before the Padres stormed back to win the final three games, then led the 2003 NLCS 3-1 before the Marlins came back, including winning the final two games at Wrigley Field.