Every pro sports team starts the season with the goal of making the playoffs. For some teams, this is a rare occurrence. For others, it is expected. Certain franchises have the coaching, money, and front office savvy to make it to the postseason nearly every season.
24/7 Wall St. used data from the Sports Reference family of sites to determine the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB teams that have gotten to the postseason most frequently over the past 20 years. Seasons in competitor leagues like the ABA or AFL were not considered. The NHL and MLB each missed one season with lockouts. The Vegas Golden Knights were not considered because they have only been around for two seasons.
Getting to the postseason is much tougher in some sports than others. In the NBA and NHL, over half of the teams make it in every year, with 16 qualifying out of the 30- and 31-team leagues, respectively. Of the 32 NFL teams, a dozen make the playoffs. The MLB postseason is the hardest to get to, as just 10 of the 30 teams make the playoffs.
Even the worst teams make the playoffs, but they do so rarely. Two MLB teams have made the postseason less than once in a decade, and three NBA teams made the playoffs less than once every three years. Losing this often takes a toll on a fanbase, driving away supporters who are simply sick of losing. These are the 25 hardest teams to root for.
Some teams enter the postseason as obvious favorites with home field advantage. Every once in a while, however,an underdog that just barely makes it into the playoffs goes on an improbable run all the way to the title. These are the worst teams to win a championship.