The Washington Nationals Had a Ridiculously Small Chance of Winning the World Series

Despite winning their last eight road games to seal a World Series victory, the Washington Nationals were not a popular pick to win in the middle of the season.

In May, about three months into the season, the Nationals were a below .500 team, with only 19 wins. The team finished the month with the second-worst record in the major leagues at 19-31. According to MLB Stats, the Nationals had less than a 0.1 percent chance to win the World Series on May 28.

The @Nationals had LESS than a 0.1% chance to win the #WorldSeries on May 28th.

Now, they're raising the trophy. #CHAMPS

— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 31, 2019

The Nationals were able to defy all odds and make a historic season comeback to win the 2019 World Series on Wednesday. The team's Game 7 win was their fifth elimination game of the playoffs.

The oldest team in baseball—based on average player age—did not have an easy path to becoming World Series champs. Following their rough start to the season, the Nationals were able to turn it around and finish with a 65 percent win rate.

Finishing their season with a 93-69 record, the Nationals became the 7th Wild Card team to win the World Series, while trailing in nearly every game that they won. During the eighth inning of the National League Wild Card game against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Nationals came back from a 3-1 lead with a slim 13 percent chance to win.

Washington then went on to face the 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series. With the series tied 2-2 in Game 5, the Nationals once again rallied from being down 3-0. Back to back home runs from Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto, combined with a grand slam from veteran Howie Kendrick helped the Nationals punch their ticket to the National League Championship Series.

During this series, the Nationals swept the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals.

Making their first World Series appearance in franchise history, the Nationals were considered the underdogs. On October 20, Caesar's sportsbook had the Nationals listed at +195 odds, while the Astros were heavily favorited with -235 odds.

The Nationals started off the World Series hot, winning their first two games on the road, but then fell off, losing the following three at home. They went on to win the next two games on the road, becoming the eighth team in MLB history to do so.

Games 6 and 7 also saw comebacks from the Nationals. Early in Game 6 the club trailed 2-1, but put up two runs in the fifth, seventh and ninth innings to seal the victory. They came back from another deficit in Game 7, putting up 6 runs in the final three innings to take down the Astros.

Stephen Strasburg was named World Series MVP and the Nationals became the first team in the history of the MLB, NHL and NBA postseasons to win four road games in a seven-game series.

Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals defied all odds to win the 2019 World Series Elsa/Getty