What Is A Pennant In Baseball? (All You Need To Know)

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In baseball, there is a lot of chatter regarding the pennant race. It sounds like the players are gearing up to stand on a starting line and run. Admittedly, that would be a hoot, but it isn’t correct. Instead, the language refers to the triangle flags in the MBL that get hung on the walls of sports bars, dorm rooms, and game rooms. Each triangle represents a team racing to be number one.

Major League Baseball has two pennant races each year: one in the National League and one in the American League. The pennant refers to the team’s triangle flag that boasts their logo. Each team that wins the pennant in their league will go on to play in the World Series.

Baseball is a sport full of nostalgia and history. Thus, it’s unsurprising that their championships contain words of 17th-century origin. As the Oxford Dictionary notes, “pennant” combines “pendant” and “pennon.” The latter refers to irregularly shaped flags hoisted on ships, often resembling triangles. These said who you were or who you stood for. In baseball, a pennant declares your team.

What Is A Pennant Race In The MBL?

Since 1969, there have been two pennant races in the MBL: one in the National League and one in the American League. Each league runs its own postseason playoffs. The final weeks of these rounds produce a champion who will then play at the World Series.

The National League and American League run their postseason playoffs in the same structure. Each side picks the same number of teams from their three divisions: Eastern, Central, and Western.  

The number of teams that go onto the postseason has changed over the years. As of 2022, there is a 12-team postseason, each league playing six teams. The six teams are the three division winners and the three best teams after that.

The two division winners with the best record are automatically moved to the semi-finals. Then, the other four teams play Wild Card rounds, battling for the two remaining spots. Once these spots are claimed, the semi-finals begin.

Which MLB Teams Are In The National League?

The National League has been running since 1876, making it the oldest in the MBL. In the NL, the pitcher has to step up to the plate, so they must have some batting skills.

As of 2022, the teams in the National League are:

  1. Chicago Cubs (Central)
  2. Cincinnati Reds (Central)
  3. Milwaukee Brewers (Central)
  4. Pittsburg Pirates (Central)
  5. St. Louis Cardinals (Central)
  6. Atlanta Braves (East)
  7. Miami Marlins (East)
  8. New York Mets (East)
  9. Philadelphia Phillies (East)
  10. Washington Nationals (East)
  11. Arizona Diamondbacks (West)
  12. Colorado Rockies (West)
  13. Lost Angeles Dodgers (West)
  14. Sand Diego Padres (West)
  15. San Francisco Giants (West)

Which MLB Teams Are In The American League?

The American League emerged in 1901. Unlike the National League, the pitcher doesn’t have to hit but can use a designated hitter (DH).

However, in the World Series, the game is played according to the home team’s rules. Thus, an American League pitcher will have to hit when playing at the National League’s team stadium. 

As of 2022, the teams in the American League are:

  1. Chicago White Sox (Central)
  2. Cleveland Guardians (Central)
  3. Detroit Tigers (Central)
  4. Kansas City Royals (Central)
  5. Minnesota Twins (Central)
  6. Baltimore Orioles (East)
  7. Boston Red Sox (East)
  8. New York Yankees (East)
  9. Tampa Bay Rays (East)
  10. Toronto Blue Jays (East)
  11. Houston Astros (West)
  12. Los Angeles Angels (West)
  13. Oakland Athletics (West)
  14. Seattle Mariners (West)
  15. Texas Rangers (West)

Which MBL Team Has The Most National League Pennants?

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the most pennant wins in the National League. As of August 2022, they’ve done it 24 times, resulting in being World Series Champions seven times.

Close behind are the Giants, with 23 pennants to their name. However, they’re ahead when it comes to the World Series, winning it eight times. 

Which MBL Team Has The Most American League Pennants?

The New York Yankees have dominated the American League, with 40 pennant wins. The Oakland Athletics are second, but it isn’t even close, with only 15 wins. The New York Yankees have also won the World Series 27 times.

Which MBL Team Has Won The Most World Series?

The New York Yankees are the proud record holder of the most World Series wins. They’ve accomplished the feat 27 times.

They’ve also won the World Series for at least two consecutive years, six times:

  1. 1927-28
  2. 1936-39
  3. 1949-53
  4. 1961-62
  5. 1977-78
  6. 1998-2000

Which MBL Team Has Lost The Most World Series?

The New York Yankees also hold the record for the most World Series losses. They’ve accomplished the feat 13 times. The statistic isn’t surprising, considering they’ve attended the World Series more than any other MBL team. At least their loss record for the World Series is less than their wins.

Which MBL Team Has Won The Most Games In A Season?

In 2001, the Seattle Mariners won 116 games, making them tied with the Chicago Cubs, who did the same in 1906. However, baseball season was shorter back then, so if you compare the teams’ percentages, the Cubs are still the winner (.763).

Sadly, the Cubs, in their infamous luck, lost the World Series title to the newly renamed Chicago White Sox (they had previously been the Chicago White Stockings). Nor did they win a pennant since the League Championship Series didn’t debut until 1969.

However, there was a pennant race in 2001. But despite the Mariners’ stellar season, they did not win the pennant of the American League in 2001. Instead, the New York Yankees took it, going on to lose to the Arizona Diamondbacks at the World Series, ending their latest winning streak (1998-2000).


The pennant in MBL is nothing more than a small flag proudly proclaiming its team’s name. But winning the pennant race is a big deal and means the team will go on to play in the World Series. The New York Yankees have dominated the final showdown. There is not another MBL team with a record close to theirs.


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