Are the Houston Astros on the path toward greatness? The team won the 2017 World Series and played in a 24-inning game in 1968, which is one of the longest baseball games ever. And until recently, the Houston Astros were on a winning streak, but how do they compare to the longest winning streaks in MLB history?
As it turns out, the Astros 12-game winning streak, which ended on June 19 with a loss to Tampa Bay, isn’t too impressive when you compare it to the longest winning streaks in MLB history.
The Astros would have had to keep it going (and going and going) to move near the top of the list for longest baseball winning streaks. And when you compare it the longest winning streaks across all sports, it doesn’t rate at all. To give you an idea of where the Astros stand, these are the 13 longest winning streaks in MLB history:
New York Yankees — 18 games
The Yankees won every game they played from May 27 until a June 16 loss against the St. Louis Browns. They capped the season with their fifth straight World Series title.
New York Giants — 18 games
Back when the Giants played in New York they started an 18-game winning streak on June 16, but they lost against Philadelphia on July 4, 1904, to end the winning streak.
Boston Beaneaters — 18 games
You read that right: One of the longest winning streaks in MLB history dates to the 19th century. The Beaneaters was a lovingly-applied nickname for the Boston Red Stockings the team that played in Boston before the Red Sox. The Red Stockings/Beaneaters morphed into the Boston Braves before moving to Milwaukee and then Atlanta.
Chicago White Stockings — 18 games
Don’t get confused by today’s team names: The White Stockings were the precursor to the Chicago Cubs. The team enjoyed an 18-game winning streak starting on June 1, 1885, a streak the Philadelphia Phillies stopped with a 2-0 win on June 25 of that year.
New York Yankees — 19 games
It’s the Yankees again. When we mentioned them a minute ago, it was for an 18-game winning streak in 1953, a season in which they won the World Series. Well, in 1947 they won 19 in a row and claimed their 12th World Series title.
Chicago White Sox — 19 games
Five years after they formed, the Chicago White Sox enjoyed one of the longest winning streaks in MLB history with 19 victories in a row starting on Aug. 2, 1906.
Oakland Athletics — 20 games
Before he became one of the worst free-agent signings ever, Barry Zito was part of Oakland’s three-headed monster of a starting pitcher rotation, along with Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. That trio helped power the A’s to one of the longest winning streaks in MLB history, a 20-game stretch as part of a 103-win season.
Providence Grays — 20 games
Providence’s baseball team only existed from 1878 to 1885, but it packed a lot into its short existence, including National League titles in 1879 and 1884 and a 20-game winning streak in 1884.
St. Louis Maroons — 20 games
The St. Louis Maroons existed for just six seasons starting in 1884, and for the last three of those seasons, they were called the Indianapolis Hoosiers. The team didn’t survive for long, but one of its records does — a 20-game winning streak is one of the longest ever in professional baseball.
Chicago Cubs — 21 games
Yes, even the lovable losers had something to cheer about well before ending their prolonged drought by winning the 2016 World Series. The 21-game streak is one of the longest winning streaks in MLB history.
Chicago White Stockings — 21 games
The precursor to the Cubs showed up on our list a few minutes ago, and here it is again with a 21-game winning streak.
Cleveland Indians — 22 games
A season after appearing in the World Series, the Indians were the team to beat starting on Aug. 24, 2017. The Kansas City Royals stopped the winning streak on Sept. 15.
New York Giants — 26 games
No team has come close to matching the New York Giants’ incredible 26-game winning streak that started on Sept. 7, 1916. They peaked late in the season to finish with an 86-66 record.
When it comes to Major League Baseball in the 21st century, any double-digit winning streak is impressive, even if it doesn’t rate among the longest ever. Dominant starting pitchers who can clinch a win for their teams play once every five days. Plus, even the best position players get regular days off now and then. Unique strategies like the four-man outfield, advanced scouting, and in-depth analytics make it harder than ever for elite teams to beat the also-rans. When you look at it that way, a 12-game winning is as impressive as any of the longest winning streaks in MLB history, even if it doesn’t show up in the record books.