The 2016 World Series is a battle of the perennial underdogs. The Chicago Cubs, a team long thought cursed by sports fans, hasn’t won the Series since 1908 while the Cleveland Indians haven’t seen a Series win since 1948. By now, nearly anyone following major league baseball is probably aware of that. What sports fans might not know is that only three times in the same position of the Chicago Cubs have gone on to win the World Series.

Where the Cubs stand

Baseball season culminates in a series of seven games played between the two top teams. Games alternate between home turf for each of the two to keep the home advantage even, which all seems straightforward enough, even for those who don’t follow the regular season games.

The Cubs have only won two of the five games played so far, and the final two are slated to be played on the road, giving Cleveland the home field advantage in the final stretch. Experts are divided on whether or not the Cubs can come back to beat the Indians, but they wouldn’t be the first underdog to do it.

Yankees v Braves

Before the Yankees were the New York powerhouse they are today, and before the Braves were housed in Atlanta, the New York Yankees and the Milwaukee Braves battled it out in 1957 and again in 1958 for the World Series honors.In 1958, the Yankees went into game six after being slaughtered by the Braves in three of the five games, including one game in their home of Yankee Stadium.

They headed into County Stadium after besting the Braves in game five (their final home game), and went on to just overcome the Braves in the series. Two of the games in the series even went into tenth innings.

Tigers v Cardinals

10 years after the Yankees and Braves went at it, the Detroit Tigers and St.

Louis Cardinals found themselves in a similar situation.The Cardinals trounced the Tigers in three of their games with scores of 4-0 in game 1, 7-3 in game three, and 10-1 in game four. The series seemed like it was all but a done deal, but the Tigers rallied in a home game for game five and went on to beat the Cardinals on the road with 13-1 and 4-1 games six and seven, respectively.

Pirates v Orioles

It would take another 11 years for two teams to be placed in a similar situation, and it’s so uncommon, it hasn’t happened in a World Series since. The Pittsburgh Pirates, like the previously mentioned teams, overcame the Baltimore Orioles during their seven game series, but unlike the others, their games were much closer to nail-biters.

Baltimore beat out the Pirates by a single run in game one, while Pittsburgh returned the favor in game two. The Baltimore Orioles gave serious pushback in games three and four though, beating the Pirates by first four and then three runs. Pittsburgh appeared to have a fire lit under them beginning in game five though as the clobbered Baltimore 7-0 and then went on to win in the next two games in their opponent’s stadium.

The odds

Can the Cubs come back to win it all? Statisticians will tell you that’s unlikely, but Cubs fans don’t have to give up hope. The odds in their position give them a 21.3% chance at a win historically, and with enough drive and enough luck, they might be able to pull off the upset. In the Cubs' favor is the fact that they’ve actually won more games in their regular season than the three previous teams in the same boat. They’ve also got more than 100 years of fans wishing for a miracle.

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