Of the 50 teams that have won a Game 6 to force a Game 7 in the LCS or World Series, 29 have gone on to win the series.
St. Louis and Los Angeles will meet in Friday's National League Championship Series Game 6 (8:30 p.m. ET on TBS) at Busch Stadium, while the Red Sox and Tigers will tangle in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET on FOX unless the NLCS is over, in which case ALCS Game 6 starts at 8 p.m.) at Fenway Park. The Dodgers won Game 5 on Wednesday to force another elimination game, while the Red Sox took a series lead with a 4-3 win over the Tigers on Thursday night in Detroit.
The odds of winning a series after forcing a Game 7 have gotten even better recently, as Game 6 winners of the LCS or World Series have gone 19-6 in Game 7 over the past 25 occurrences.
While recent history may be on the Dodgers' side, they like their chances against the Cardinals mainly because of their starting pitching. Clayton Kershaw will take the mound in Game 6, with Hyun-Jin Ryu ready for a possible Game 7 on Saturday.
"We feel pretty confident," said infielder Nick Punto. "We've got our pitchers lined up. I think we feel great. We feel pretty good about our chances in Game 6 with Kershaw."
Same goes for the Tigers, who have Max Scherzer to start Game 6 on Saturday and Justin Verlander for a possible Game 7 on Sunday. The two have been stellar in the postseason, combining for a 3-1 record in six appearances (five starts), striking out 57 in 39 innings, while allowing just 18 hits and five runs in that span.
"If you had a tiger, and he was backed in a corner, he couldn't go left, he couldn't go right, he couldn't go behind him, what's he going to do? Fight through," Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said after Thursday's loss. "That's what we're going to try to do. That's what Tigers do.
"Our back is against the wall. We can't go left, we can't go right. We're going to go right through it. I like being down, 3-2."
Los Angeles has been on both sides of the equation.
The Dodgers lost Game 6 of the 1988 NLCS to the Mets but rebounded in Game 7 and went on to beat the A's in the World Series. They have not been to the Fall Classic since.
The Brooklyn Dodgers forced Game 7 in the 1956 World Series only to see the Yankees walk away with the hardware. Of course, that was a reversal of the 1955 World Series between the two rivals. In the '52 World Series, the Yankees beat the Dodgers in Games 6 and 7. During Jackie Robinson's rookie season in 1947, the Dodgers won Game 6 of the World Series over the Yankees but lost Game 7.
All of that is in the past, though, and these Dodgers are focused on the present.
"We've just got to worry about Game 6 and win that game," said closer Kenley Jansen.
More recent history is against the Tigers. In each of the previous four instances in which a best-of-seven ALCS has been tied at 2-2, the Game 5 winner has gone on to win the series. In three of those previous four times, the Game 5 winner wrapped up the series in six.
And although the Dodgers are seeking to become the first club to win consecutive games at Busch Stadium this October, they say the pressure is on the Cardinals, who have never closed out an NLCS in which they held a 3-1 advantage.
"We're within striking distance," said Dodgers setup man Brian Wilson. "We just have to go over there and win a series, and then wait on the ALCS."