SPORTS CHART OF THE DAY: The Wild Card Hurts Baseball's Best Teams

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With the Washington Nationals eliminated from the playoffs, it is now just three times in 18 years (16.7%) in which the best regular season team won the World Series. In the 18 prior years, 33.3% (6) of the best teams in the regular season won it all.

And while the average number of wins for the regular season champs is nearly unchanged (101.6 pre-Wild Card, 101.8 post-Wild Card), the average number of regular season wins for the World Series champs has fallen from 97.1 prior to the Wild Card to 94.6 since the Wild Card was introduced.

Here’s a look at how the regular season champs compare to the World Series champs since 1975. Years in red indicate seasons in which the regular season champ also won the World Series…

MLB regular season vs World Series

Data via 1981 and 1994 (strike-shortened seasons) were excluded from the data.

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