How many games are in the World Series?
The Houston Astros saw off the Boston Red Sox and await either the Atlanta Braves or reigning champions the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2021 World Series.
The Houston Astros secured their place in the 2021 World Series with victory over the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship by four games to two and will await the winner of the National League Championship being contested between the Atlanta Braves and reigning champions the Los Angeles Dodgers – the Braves currently lead 3-2 - to discover who they will face in the showpiece event for the championship.
The champions will be crowned at the end of a best-of-seven series that is scheduled to start on October 26 October with further games on October 27, 29, 30, and 31, and 2 and 3 November should the series go down to the wire.
World Series down the years
The World Series has been played in a best-of-seven format since 1924, with Brooklyn Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets leading the decision to adopt the format permanently in 1925 after it was first used in the 1924 championship decider between the Washington Senators and the New York Giants. There was an exception during World War II, with the 1943 and 1945 World Series played in a 3-4 format. There was also no World Series in 1994, when it was cancelled due to a player’s strike that lasted 232 days and resulted in 948 games not being staged and the subsequent shelving of the post-season.
The World Series in its modern-day guise was first played (and universally recognized) in 1903 and became an annual fixture in the baseball calendar from 1905. Before the creation of the National League and the American Association (precursors to the current American League and National League) there were various different iterations of the championship game. The first took place in 1857, with the Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn being crowned champions.
Before the introduction of the best-of-seven format the championship series was decided in a variety of ways. The first World Series, in 1903, was claimed by the Cy Young-inspired Boston Americans who won a nine-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Other championships were decided in a three-game series (1884, when Providence Grays bested the New York Metropolitans 3-0) while 1887 witnessed a 15-game series between the Detroit Wolverines and the St. Louis Browns, which Detroit took 10-5.