The Houston Astros and New York Mets, who won 106 and 101 games, respectively, last season, already have had their MLB contention hopes crimped by injuries suffered during the World Baseball Classic. One happened on-field, with the Astros’ Jose Altuve suffering a broken thumb when hit by a pitch and the other occurred on the field but after the game when Mets closer Edwin Diaz was hopping around in celebration after a key victory by Puerto Rico and tore a knee ligament.

Over the years, teams have found it hard enough to repeat successes of the previous season without suffering injuries in March.

As testament, no major league has repeated a World Series championship since the New York Yankees captured three in succession from 1998-2000. That’s what 2022 champion Houston is up against.

In the National League, no team has repeated a World Series title since the Cincinnati Big Red Machine in 1975-76, or nearly 50 years ago.

Over the past 22 seasons, there have been 14 different MLB teams win the World Series with the Boston Red Sox bagging four, San Francisco Giants three and St. Louis Cardinals two as multiple winners.