Dodgers clinch NL West title for seventh consecutive season and with nearly three weeks to spare
The last time a team other than the Dodgers won the National League West was in 2012
The Dodgers won 7-3 in Baltimore on Tuesday night to clinch their seventh straight NL West title. Whereas last year they needed a one-game playoff victory in Game 163 to take the West, thanks to a terrible start to the season, this time around the Dodgers are the first team in baseball to clinch, doing so with nearly three weeks of the season remaining.
The Dodgers are now 94-52. The only time during this streak they've won more than 94 games was in 2017, when they went 104-58, so it's safe to say this is one of their top two teams in the seven-season streak.
The MLB record for consecutive division titles is 14 (1991-2005 Braves), so the Dodgers aren't really close to that record, but suffice it to say, runs of seven straight division titles are pretty rare. Only the late-'90s, early-2000s Yankees with nine straight and these Dodgers have ever won more than five straight.
Now, the unfortunate reality -- which is also unfair -- is that this Dodgers team won't be celebrated in the future unless it wins the World Series. That's what happens with sustained success. The Yankees franchise has put itself in that place. The Cubs and Astros probably will feel like failures if they don't at least reach the Fall Classic. But the Dodgers have won seven division titles in a row with two pennants and zero World Series titles to date.
As noted, it's probably unfair, but most of the time when people look at those 14 Braves' division titles, the response is, "yeah, but only one World Series title." It's not like they came up empty!
So far, the Dodgers have. How the 2019 Dodgers are remembered won't have anything to do with what they've done to this point. Winning seven division titles in a row is amazing.
"Yeah, but ... "
They'll need to keep winning through late October to avoid it.
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