Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays were an expansion team founded in 1998, but they never had much success until the 2008 season. Out of nowhere, they won 97 games and had the best record in the American League under Joe Maddon.
The Rays took out the Chicago White Sox in four games in the ALDS before matching up with the then-defending champion Red Sox. Tampa Bay almost blew a 3-1 lead in the series, coughing up a 7-0 lead to lose Game 5 and dropping Game 6.
But ALCS MVP Matt Garza won Game 7 and sent the Rays to the World Series. Unfortunately, they could not contain the Phillies.
Twelve years later in the COVID-shortened season, the Rays were back in the Fall Classic, this time facing the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rays and Dodgers traded wins in each of the first five games. But a crucial decision by Rays manager Kevin Cash haunts the team to this day.
Former Cy Young Blake Snell was cruising and had a 1-0 lead to work with in Game 6. However, Cash played the numbers game and pulled Snell in the sixth inning. The Rays bullpen proceeded to allow three unanswered runs, giving the Dodgers their first World Series title since 1988.