ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

The trends of Wild Card teams pulling off the upset in the division series

Oct 6, 2017, 5:45 PM | Updated: 8:38 pm
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)...
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

If it seems to you like every October in the last half-decade has featured a Cinderella baseball team, you wouldn’t be wrong.

The Wild Card playoff round was integrated in 2012, and since then, there have been five winners of that round that were able to pull off the upset in a divisional series.

Those teams were the St. Louis Cardinals (2012) Kansas City Royals (2014), San Francisco Giants (2014), Chicago Cubs (2015) and the Toronto Blue Jays (2016).

Winners of the play-in game have a series record of 5-5 in the divisional series and have a promising record of 23-19 against those superior teams. Three of the five clubs that lost in the divisional series were able to take it to five games.

There have been more upsets in the National League, with Wild Card teams being 3-2 in winning the series and 12-10 overall.

There’s also been a theme for all the clubs that have been pulled off the upset: their ERA.

No team has been able to pull off the shocker in the five-game series unless they found themselves in the top 12 in ERA. Three of the five teams finished in the top eight.

The D-backs have the third-best ERA in baseball at 3.66. They also boast the sixth most strikeouts in the league for 1,482 on the season and allow the seventh lowest batting average at .240 against opposing teams.

An example of exceptional pitching carrying over to the playoffs for a Wild Card team is the Blue Jays, who had the best postseason ERA of 2.52 in the 2016 playoffs. The Giants and Royals, the 2014 Wild Card teams, finished with the second and third best postseason ERAs with 2.87 and 3.51 respectively. Those two clubs made the World Series.


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Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig celebrates after his triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig celebrates after his triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock watches his home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the third inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock hits a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the third inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock scores on a home run past, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal during the third inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner watches his RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez rounds the bases after a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a hit by Justin Turner during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez celebrates in the dugout after his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez celebrates his home run past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw reacts after giving up a home run to Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez hits a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the sixth inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw is removed during the seventh inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte celebrates after his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte, right, celebrates his home run with Jeff Mathis during the seventh inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits on the bench after being removed during the seventh inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, front, and Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig watch Puig's RBI double during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brandon Morrow throws to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the seventh inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits in the dugout before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish waits for Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda stands in the dugout before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Actress Isabela Moner sings the national anthem before Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Former Los Angeles Dodger Don Newcombe waves before throwing out the first pitch at Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Actress Isabela Moner sings the national anthem before Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, left, greets Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo before Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw prepares to throw to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Members of the Los Angeles Dodgers participate in a moment of silence for the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Fans participate in a moment of silence for the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, before Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks stating pitcher Taijuan Walker throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, left, celebrates his three-run home run with manager Dave Roberts at the dugout during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner watches his three-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, right, celebrates his three-run home run with manager Dave Roberts at the dugout during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner celebrates in the dugout after his three-run home run during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner celebrates his three-run home run during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, left, and Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner watch Turner's three-run home run during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger scores past Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis on a double by Yasiel Puig during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner hits a three-run home run off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, left, during the first inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig hits an RBI double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig watches his RBI double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, front, and Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig watch Puig's RBI double during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits in the dugout during the second inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, right, celebrates his three-run home run with Corey Seager during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Godley throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the second inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock watches his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen catcher Steve Cilladi throws during batting practice before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager throws during batting practice before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) A stadium worker stocks the shelves with baseballs before Game 1 of a National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks stretch before Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo watches batting practice for Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder J.D. Martinez bounces a ball off his bat before Game 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball National League Division Series in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder David Peralta watches batting practice before Game 1 of the baseball team's National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Fans arrive under flags that have been lowered to half staff in respect for the victims of the Las Vegas shootings, before Game 1 of a baseball National League Division Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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