In sports, there is nothing better than a playoff series that comes and goes game after game and could end up winning either team. In the MLB playoffs, every pitch can potentially change a series, and in a truly great series, every pitch matters.
Needless to say, the best MLB postseason series of all time have been the series that have the momentum in a single pitch. It also helps that the best playoff games generally include some of the best playoff moments and the best playoff performances of all time. But it takes a lot for a series to be considered one of the best MLB postseason series we’ve seen.
Best MLB Playoff Series of All Time
It seems like every year there are at least one or two series during the postseason that stand out. That makes it difficult to pick the best MLB playoff series of all time, given the incredible series we’ve seen in more than 100 years of history.
However, we’ve done the fieldwork and put together a list of the best MLB playoff series of all time.
10. World Series 2011
This is certainly a modern classic because of the way the Cardinals came back in Game 6 and then won Game 7.
Things started off promisingly with the first two games in the series decided on a run. The next two games weren’t as exciting, but Game 5 featured a lot of tense moments and many running backs stayed on base. Of course, Game 6 was one of the best World Series games of all time with the Rangers so close to winning it all, only for the Cardinals to come back late and walk away with a win on a David Freese home run before dominate in Game 7.
9. 2016 World Series
Even if this series didn’t involve the Cubs winning their first championship in over a century, this series had a lot to like, although some of the games weren’t quite as compelling. Game 3 was an epic pitching duel that saw Cleveland win 1-0 to take the lead in the series.
The Cubs then had to survive a narrow 3-2 victory in Game 5 just to stay alive. Then came Game 7, which featured a late comeback from Cleveland and a 17-minute rain delay with the game tied after nine innings. It could be argued that both teams deserve to win this series, which is not something that can be said about every World Series.
8. 1986 World Series
There’s no denying that this is one of the best MLB playoff series of all time because the Mets made an incredible comeback.
Some have calculated that New York’s probability is as low as 0.8%, while his last out was in the bottom of the 10th in Game 6.
We all know what happened next.
Of course, outside of a 1-0 Boston win in Game 1, the series that led up to that wasn’t overly convincing. But the ending in Game 6 more than made up for it. In addition, Game 7 was suspended due to rain, which increased the anticipation. Plus, people forget that the Mets also had to overcome a 3-0 deficit in Game 7, making another impressive comeback to win it all.
7. 1986 NLCS
This is just one of two MLB playoff series in which at least six games were decided by two runs or less.
In fact, four of the six games were decided with a single run. There is nothing more dramatic than that, especially when you think about the incredible throwing of both sides.
Note that Game 5 was 12 innings and Game 6 was that epic 16-inning marathon. Of course, Game 6 was also one of the best playoff games of all time because both teams considered it an elimination game, which helped make this one of the best MLB playoff series of all time. .
6. 1995 ALDS
It takes a lot for a divisional series to be considered among the greatest playoff series of all time, but that’s because this series had it all despite only having five games.
The series between the Yankees and Mariners set an all-time record in the MLB playoffs with the tail team coming back to tie or take the lead 13 times. Again, that happened in just five games.
There was an average of 13.6 runs scored per game, so the excitement level was above the charts. When you factor in Game 2 that lasts 15 innings and the Mariners win a decisive Game 5 in 11 innings, it is almost impossible to imagine a more compelling five-game series in any sport.
5. 1975 World Series
This series is best known for Carlton Fisk’s famous home run to win Game 6 for the Red Sox and force a Game 7 that Cincinnati eventually won. But this series was much more than that.
Five of the seven games in this series were decided with a single run, so almost every game was tight and made it to the finish. That includes Game 7 when the Reds scored the lead run with a home run in the top of the ninth, beating Fisk’s heroics in Game 6 and ending one of the best MLB postseason series in history. of baseball.
4. 2001 World Series
In the immediate aftermath of a national tragedy that forced the World Series into November, the Yankees and Diamondbacks gave us a great series.
The D’Backs took a 2-0 lead, only for the Yankees to win three in a row at home with all three wins from a single run. In fact, Game 4 was 10 innings and Game 5 was 12 innings with the Yankees winning each.
But the Diamondbacks turned the tables on Arizona with a 15-2 victory in Game 6 before doing the unthinkable in Game 7.
The D’Backs scored two runs against Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth, giving the best closer of all time a failed save in Game 7 of the World Series, allowing a franchise of just four. years win a championship.
3. 1991 World Series
This was an epic series between two worthy teams in which five of the seven games between the Braves and the Twins were decided on a single run.
Naturally, four of those five games ended with a hit. Kirby Puckett’s home run in Game 6 to force a Game 7 is one of the greatest playoff moments of all time. That set up Game 7, which lasted 10 innings with Minnesota starter Jack Morris pitching 10 scoreless innings. Game 7 ended up being the third game in the series to go into extra innings with Gene Larkin providing the tee shot in the bottom of the 10th.
2. 1999 NLCS
This game lasted six games and after Atlanta’s 4-2 win in Game 1, the next five games were decided with a single run.
Needless to say, there were a lot of tense moments at the end of the games, especially as one team came from behind to tie the game for eighth three times.
There were also three times a team came from behind to take the lead in the eighth inning. Few playoff games can get past Game 5 when the Braves took advantage in the top of the 15, only for the Mets to get a win in the bottom of the 15.
The funny thing about this series is that despite all the close games, the Braves took a 3-0 lead and the Mets came painfully close to forcing a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0, only to lose in the 11th inning. of the game. 6.
1. 2004 ALCS
Sorry Yankees fans, but you had to know this was going to happen.
One of the best playoff performances of all time was Boston’s epic comeback after falling behind 3-0.
It all started with a stolen base by Dave Roberts that was instrumental in keeping the Red Sox alive with a 12th inning win in Game 4.
The Red Sox returned the following night and won in 14 innings. In those two games, the Red Sox managed to shift all the pressure to the Yankees.
When it reached Game 7, the Yankees completely retired, losing 10-3 and becoming the first team in MLB history to lose a series after leading 3-0. In the process, this became the best MLB postseason series ever played.