Welp, that season went just about like many predicted, if not worse. Who cares? 2019 baseball was stupid anyways. We (holding back tears) we didn’t even...(bites lip)...wanna like...(tries to think about Patrick Mahomes)...even make the after season or whatever the rest of the league calls it.
But have no fear, the meatiest part of baseball is still to be played. As cliche as it is, the regular season is meaningless once game 162 is over and the calendar turns over to October.
Only the best remain to fight for the flags that will fly forever. (so many F-words!) Unfortunately, this season wasn’t meant to be for our Royals, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely move on to football season yet. Post-season baseball is still a whole lotta fun and now is the time to plant your flag on what team to root for. I’ve got your back on that front. (weird sentence) I’m going to give you a reason to root for each team in this slate, a reason not to root for each team, and how many old friends they will have on their October rosters.
The National League
You’ve navigated the waters of the American League all season, maybe it’s time to see how the other half live. Maybe you’re done with the DH. Maybe you have family/friends that root for one of the NL contenders. Whatever your reasoning may be, the National League has produced five teams with capable bandwagons to jump on. Let’s take a tour, shall we? Let’s shall.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Reasons to root for the Dodgers
The Dodgers have a group of young superstars that are very exciting to watch. Maybe you’re a person that likes to see the rich get richer. Maybe you want to bet on a heavy favorite to look smart but you don’t want to root for THE heavy favorite in order to hide your strategy.
Reasons to not root for the Dodgers
The Dodgers sport the fourth-highest payroll in the majors including $48.8M in money for players that aren’t even on the team anymore. For context, that is 71 percent of the Royals 25 man roster. That level of fiscal irresponsibility shouldn’t be rewarded with a World Series trophy. Not to mention, they haveve been there the last two years without finishing the job. They’ve gotten their chance. Let someone else take a crack at it.
Scott Alexander (on the Injured List)
Reasons to root for the Braves
Like the Dodgers, the Braves are sporting some of the games rising superstars. Maybe you’re like me and you watched a lot of Braves baseball because they were on TBS a lot so you feel a bit nostalgic when you watch them play.
Reasons to not root for the Braves
Maybe you’ve decided already that the Braves are your team. “Not so fast, my friend!” This team has a great young core and their big two are extended for the next decade. If they get their rings now, they might turn into a dynasty and you’ll start hating them. Kinda like worrying about eating your favorite food because afterwards, it’ll be gone.
St. Louis Cardinals
Reasons to root for the Cardinals
OK, in the interest of fairness, maybe you’re into gambling and looking for value. I think the Cards are the best value pick of the field at +1500. They have the ninth-best starting pitcher xFIP (4.35), the tenth-best bullpen xFIP (4.35), and a perfectly capable offense. They will matchup with the young pup Braves team, and could face the Dodgers after that. The Cardinals have met the Dodgers in the postseason four times since 2004 and have won three of them. It’s unlikely but we’re talking about value here. Plus, it’s the Cardinals and they consistently overachieve in October. (Leaves to vomit)
Reasons to not root for the Cardinals
They’re the Cardinals...
Reasons to root for the Nationals
Maybe you love Greek mythology; the tale of Sisyphus in particular. You love to see the same team push the boulder up the hill, almost reach the summit, lose control of it, and watch it roll back down the hill. If that’s your cup of tea, the Nats are for you. Also, you might check out the definition of insanity.
Reasons to not root for the Nationals
DRAIN THE SWAMP! DRAIN THE SWAMP!
None : (
Reasons to root for the Brewers
Maybe you want a vesting interest in a team but stay as close to Royal Loyal as possible. I think that’s this Brewers team. They don’t have the most old friends, but they have the main old friends in October in Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain. They will be #ForeverRoyal and you might want to see them make another run.
Reasons to not root for the Brewers
Maybe you’re an old school baseball mind that hates new school hijinx. Kids these days don’t know real baseball. They gotta have homerun mascot slides and sausage races and vape yo-yos. BASEBALL IS PLAYED ON THE FIELD AND THAT SHOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH!!!
Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Manny Pina
The American League
If you’re a die-hard DH supporter and you still can’t wrap your brain around the Double Switch you might want to stick with the AL. If that’s where your heart lies, you’re also potentially inheriting the “Well the AL produced the champ so obviously it’s better” reason to excuse the Royals’ 100-loss season. Whatever helps us sleep at night, right?
Reasons to root for the Astros
The Astros are the odds on favorites to win it all and for good reason. They are sporting the best wRC+ and xFIP in baseball as well as the 12th-best defense rating according to Fangraphs. They are, hands down, the best team on paper in the postseason. Maybe that’s your thing.
Reasons to not root for the Astros
The Astros are the odds on favorites to win it all and for good reason. They are sporting the best wRC+ and xFIP in baseball as well as the 12th-best defense rating according to Fangraphs. They are, hands down, the best team on paper in the postseason. Maybe that’s not your thing.
Zack Greinke, Martín Maldonado
New York Yankees
Reasons to root for the Yankees
I can more or less copy/paste everything I mentioned about the Dodgers here for the Yankees. They too have a group of exciting rising superstars to go with their current superstars. They hit many a dinger and sport one of the best bullpens in the league. What’s more impressive, though, is that they won 100+ games with some of the worst health luck I’ve ever seen. Even the Yankees and their $218M payroll have obstacles to overcome outside of luxury tax thresholds.
Reasons to not root for the Yankees
They’re the Yankees...
Reasons to root for the Twins
Maybe you’re a fan of the long ball. If so, might I interest you in the King in the North, The Fathers of Dingers and Breakers of ChangeUps. If that’s not your cup of tea, might I interest you in the Cinderella of 2019. Of the playoff field, the Twins had the worst preseason projected record (ZiPS had them going 83-79). Who doesn’t like a good Cinderella story?
Reasons to not root for the Twins
They legitimately have the worst mascot in the league; worse than the Cardinals. I mean, your team is named after a birthing scenario? What’s the next expansion team gonna be? The Montreal Water Births?
Reasons to root for the A’s
Speaking of Cinderellas that inhabit the city of Dongtown, the Athletics were projected to win 86 games this year and they’ve already beat that projection by 10 games. They had the 5th most homeruns in baseball this year while wearing the 1st best uniforms. Those Kelly Greens are sexy. If those reasons aren’t appealing, they have the most ex-Royals on their roster with six!
Reasons to not root for the A’s
They share a stadium with the team that ruined Bo Jackson. Sure they were the Los Angeles Raiders at the time, but a jerk by any other name is still a jerk.
Homer Bailey, Liam Hendriks, Sean Manaea, Joakim Soria, Jake Diekman, Ryan Buchter
Tampa Bay Rays
Reasons to root for the Rays
Do you like pitching? The Rays have the best starting pitching xFIP (3.59) and the 4th best reliever xFIP (4.14). That’ll get it done in October baseball. I also think they’re the second-best value bet in the field at +2800.
Reasons to not root for the Rays
It’s not the Rays fault that their average attendance was 4,000 fans LESS than Kansas City’s but it’s the best I can come up with. They came in with the second to worst average attendance in the major leagues and that type of behavior should not be rewarded.
If you’re still on the fence...
I’ve basically done my best to persuade/dissuade you to follow a particular team this October. If you still haven’t decided, I’ll make the decision for you. My process is simple; I have four rules to follow:
No teams with rings in the past 10 years.
(That eliminates the Astros, Cardinals, Yankees)
No teams with above average payrolls.
(No cheering for the Dodgers, Nationals, Braves)
No teams on a coast.
(Sorry A’s, Rays)
Of the remaining teams, who has the most former Royals?
So your new team is the lowest seed in the National League, Milwaukee Brewers.
Who will you be rooting for during the 2019 Postseason?
This poll is closed
Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Kansas City Chiefs