Houston Astros Playoffs: A Look at Past Wild-Card Teams’ Success in Playoffs


The Houston Astros had the chance to move into the Wild-Card 1 slot on the final day of the 2015 regular season, but they were unable to close out the Arizona Diamondbacks. The New York Yankees appeared willing to concede the home field advantage as they lost their last three games of the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles. The Astros finish the season with the 5th best record in the American League, as they clinched the AL Wild-Card 2 slot with the shot to play in the playoffs. Have any wild-card teams had success going deep into the playoffs in the past?

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The wild-card as we know it started in the 2012 season, with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles playing the first wild-card series. This was a big difference for baseball as there was always one wild-card team, just to justify the three division format they had in both leagues. But before the 2012 season, MLB decided to have two wild-card teams, to keep more teams in the playoff race.

Let’s take a look at the teams involved each season, to see what this could mean for the Houston Astros playoffs hopes in 2015.

AL Wild-Card teams of the past (Baseball-Reference)

Notes from the AL Wild-Card teams of the past.

Two out of the three years, the wild-card two team moved on to the next round, which could be good for the Astros in 2015. The 2012 Orioles and the 2013 Rays were not able to get past the ALDS series, so the Astros would be looking to have different results. The 2014 Royals were the wild-card one team, and they advance to the World Series, losing to the Giants.

NL Wild-Card teams of the past (Baseball-Reference)

Notes from the AL Wild-Card teams of the past.

The National League wild-card teams have had more success that the American League wild-card teams. The 2012 Cardinals went to the NLCS but were beat by the World Series winning San Fransisco Giants.  The 2013 Pirates didn’t get too far past the Cardinals. The best case for the Astros is that the 2014 Wild-Card 2 team went to the World Series in 2014.

The Astros will get the 2015 MLB playoffs started on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm in New York to face the Yankees. The Astros have been a terrible road team in 2015, winning 33 road games and losing 47 games away from Minute Maid Park. However, the Astros will be pitching their ace Dallas Keuchel in the wild-card game, who has dominated the Yankees in two starts this year. Overall, the Astros have a 4-3 record over the New York in the season series. The hitters in Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer should lead the offense in the victory over the Yanks. I can’t wait for Tuesday to come, so I can watch playoff baseball for the first time in ten years.

Next: The Houston Astros have sights on the Rangers and Yankees in the playoff chase.