The MLB post-season is here, and it will be a bit different this year due to expanded playoffs. Each league will have six teams in the post-season this year, with the top two seeds in each league getting a first-round bye. The remaining four seeds - the worst division winner (which will be seeded #3 regardless of record) and three Wild Card teams - will then play each other in a best-of-three series in the opening round with the top seed hosting all games. The winning teams will then advance to play the top two seeds in the League Divisional Series, with no re-seeding.
For this year’s post-season, the Guardians will host the Rays with the winner taking on the Yankees while the Blue Jays host the Mariners with the winner playing the Astros. In the National League, the Cardinals host the Phillies with the winner challenging the Braves while the Mets host the Padres with the winner going against the Dodgers.
The Royals will not be in the post-season for the seventh consecutive season, and with the Mariners ending their playoff drought this year, this means the Royals have the third-longest post-season drought in baseball behind the eight-year drought by the Angels and Tigers. With no boys in blue in the playoffs, who will you be rooting for?
Back by popular demand, my annual rooting order of the MLB playoff teams:— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) October 6, 2022
7) Blue Jays
11) Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
13) Be'elzebub, Lord of the Flies
I think we can all agree that seeing the Yankees or Cardinals win would be bad for baseball, bad for the working class, and bad for America. I’m Max Rieper and I approve this message. The Braves are the defending champs, so the love for them has run out. The stink of the sign-stealing scandal still hangs over the Astros, so they will have few defenders at this point. The Dodgers have also won rather recently and are spending more on their team than Elon Musk paid for Twitter, so it is hard to be rooting much for them.
The Mets are about as likable as a big-market team owned by a ridiculously wealthy, high-spending hedge fund manager can be. They’re not underdogs and I can’t say I’m rooting for them, but I’m not rooting against them like you might expect me to root against a New York team.
The Phillies got hot and snuck into the playoffs despite injuries to Bryce Harper and a ridiculously bad defense. I can’t really see them going on a run, and there’s nothing really compelling about their team, so I don’t know that they’ll get my endorsement.
I have family in Toronto and visited Exhibition Stadium back in the day and always had a bit of a soft spot for the Blue Jays. But then we faced them in the 2015 ALCS and things got a bit heated, with their fans leaving a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. I think it is a good fanbase that will come out to see a winner so I wouldn’t mind seeing them have some success, and the team is young and fun.
But to me there are really four teams to be pulling for this October. The Padres have never really had much post-season success - they have just two pennants and no titles in over 50 years. But now the team has splurged on talent and they have an amazing roster of fun, exciting players like Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth, and Ha-Seong Kim. It’s a great ballpark and the fans finally have something to root for, it would be great to see that fanbase energized.
The Guardians are division rivals and I’m sure we’re all tired of Jose Ramirez after he hit 91 home runs against the Royals this year. But this is still an organization that has not won a title since 1948, and Cleveland fans were teased with a 3-1 World Series lead in 2016 only to see the Cubs come storming back. The Guardians are a smart team that the Royals would like to emulate in many ways, and they’re a pretty hot team, so it would be fun to see them go on a run.
The Rays are pretty much the gold standard for small-market teams, but they have yet to see that culminate in a ring. They have loads of pitching, Randy Arozarena has been a fun post-season sparkplug in the past, and this could a good platform for Wander Franco to have his coming out party. Still, the thought of a World Series in Tropicana Field makes me shudder, and will any fans even show up?
Finally there is the team I’ll be rooting for the most this fall, the Seattle Mariners. They ended a 21-season post-season drought this year, winning 90 games. They are led by one of the most exciting young players in the game and the American League Rookie of the Year favorite Julio Rodriguez. They can mash a bit, finishing fifth in the league in home runs, but they can also pitch with the fifth-best ERA. I have visited T-Mobile Park in Seattle, and it is a terrific ballpark with great fans, it would be a real treat to see the Mariners win their first ever title.
Who will you be rooting for this post-season? What are your World Series predictions?
Who will win the World Series?
This poll is closed
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets
New York Yankees
San Diego Padres
St. Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays