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The field is set! From 30 hopefuls we have narrowed the field down to 10. If you're team is lucky enough to advance, congrats! If your team is home playing golf, well.... Anyway, I thought I would post my unofficial ranking of the playoff teams, in terms of who I want to win the World Series. Because what I would like to happen is often not what I think will happen, I'll post my predictions as well.
Who I'll Be Rooting For
As a Red Sox fan, you can probably guess who is first on the list (and for that matter, you can make an educated guess at who comes in last!) Outside of my team, I usually will root for whichever team has gone the longest without a Championship. There are, of course, exceptions based on current rosters and special circumstances.
1. Boston Red Sox (AL East Champions)
|2004 Topps World Champions Boston Red Sox #NNO Boston Red Sox Jumbo|
As long as my team is alive and kicking, I'll be rooting for them to win their 4th Championship since 2004. That being said, they have a tough road to World Series, and will have to defeat some incredible teams along the way. They have the talent to do it, but they'll be underdogs all of the way.
Lose to the Indians in the ALCS.
2. Cleveland Indians (AL Central Champions)
|1967 Laughlin World Series #45 1948 Braves vs Indians |
The next 3 teams are fairly interchangeable, but I have to give Cleveland the nod here. Last year's World Series was one of the best ever, and you have to feel sorry for the Indians and their heartbreaking Game 7 loss. They are now the team that's gone longest without a title, and it's time they get theirs. Bonus points for manager Terry Francona, a personal favorite of mine. He's already a Hall of Famer in my book, but a 3rd title would seal the deal.
Defeat the Nationals in the World Series.
3. Houston Astros (AL West Champions)
|2017 Topps #175 Houston Astros |
I'll admit, I have an AL bias. I'm more familiar with that league. Houston is scary good, and about an equal a match for my Red Sox as any team out there. A part of me wants them to win it all, if nothing more than for the hurricane torn city of Houston and their fans. I won't be sad if they do, but I think they'll be one of the first teams out.
Lose to the Red Sox in the ALDS.
4. Washington Nationals (AL East Champions)
|2017 Topps #564 Washington Nationals |
The Nats are as close as I have to a local team, and it's great to see them do well. The Scherzer/Strasburg one-two punch is a tough combo to beat, and I think that and their offense will take them far.
Lose to the Indians in the World Series.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West Champions)
|1989 Fleer - World Series #12 Dodger Blue World Champs|
We've seen this team at their best, and at their worst, and both times we looked on wide eyed and in disbelief. They are the Jeckle and Hyde of baseball, and I don't know who is going to show up. If they play to their abilities, they'll make Kirk Gibson proud.
Lose to the Nationals in the NLCS
6. Minnesota Twins (AL Wild Card)
|1988 Fleer World Series #8 Kirby Puckett |
They have a young exciting lineup, and Kirby's team deserves a good run. Unfortunately, it seems that whenever they have to face the Yankees in the playoffs, they get owned.
Lose to the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game.
7. Colorado Rockies (NL Wild Card)
|2017 Topps #583 Colorado Rockies|
The main reason I have them over the next team is that they haven't won a title yet in their relatively short existence. That, and I feel a small pang of guilt that my team swept them in 2007.
Lose to the Diamondbacks in the NL Wild Card game.
8. Arizona Diamondbacks (NL Wild Card)
|2004 Topps - World Series Highlights #WS-LG Luis Gonzalez|
If my AL bias has one major downfall, it's that I don't watch enough of Paul Goldschmidt. He's probably more amazing than my fantasy team stats give him credit for.
Lose to the Dodgers in the NLDS.
9. Chicago Cubs (NL Central Champions)
|20016 Topps Chicago Cubs World Series Champions Box Set #WS-14 Ben Zobrist|
Just because they reside here does not mean I have something against them! They are a dynamic team who will keep Chicago in the playoff headlines for the next 5 years at least. I just have a hard time rooting for them to go back-to-back when 6 other teams have gone 25+ years without a title.
Lose to the Nationals in the NLDS.
10. New York Yankees (AL Wild Card)
|2010 Topps - History of the World Series #HWS25 Yankees |
I don't care how likeable and exciting this team may be - never the Yankees! Don't "Judge" me...
Lose to the Cleveland Indians (hopefully swept) in the ALDS.
So just to sum up my predictions, I think it's going to be Cleveland over Washington in the World Series. I hope the Red Sox prove me wrong!