The 2019 MLB Postseason begins tomorrow night, and 10 teams have made the cut! For the past two years, I have ranked them by who I was going to root for, and offered my predictions. Last year, my predictions were perfect, and I gleefully watched the Boston Red Sox win another championship. Hopefully I'll do as well this year, even if the defending World Champions won't be participating again this time around.
Who I'll Be Rooting For
As a Red Sox fan, you can probably 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. Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West Champions - 30 year drought)
|1989 Fleer - World Series #12 Dodger Blue World Champs
With 7 straight division titles, the Dodgers are the favorites to repeat as NL Champs. The reason I moved them up to my number one position is because I would hate to see them lose a third straight World Series. As someone who watched his favorite football team lose 4 straight Super Bowls, I can say honestly I wouldn't wish that kind of bad luck on anyone. It doesn't matter how much you dominate the regular season - without a title, the narrative is one of pity and sadness. The Dodgers have paid their dues. It's time for them to win one. Unfortunately, I don't think they will.
Prediction: Lose to the Houston Astros in the World Series
2. Washington Nationals (NL Wild Card - Never won in 50 years of existence)
|2019 Topps #341 Nationals Park
Living in Virginia, the Nats are the closest I've got to a hometown team. They didn't skip a beat after losing Bryce Harper, with new face of the franchise Juan Soto leading the charge. This could be the surprise team of the postseason!
Prediction: Lose to the Dodgers in the NLDS
3. Milwaukee Brewers (NL Wild Card - Never won in 50 years of existence)
|2019 Topps #79 Miller Park
The Brewers surprised us all last year with their postseason run, and after losing Yelich towards the end of the season, they're surprising us again. After half a decade without a title, and no World Series appearances since 1982, their fans are more than overdue. Alas, Yelich is one of those types of players that could carry a team, and losing him is going to be tough to overcome.
Prediction: Lose to the Washington Nationals in the NL Wild Card.
4. Minnesota Twins (AL Central Champions - 27 year drought)
|1988 Fleer World Series #8 Kirby Puckett
There's an axiom about hitting getting you to the postseason, but you need pitching to win it. You can't slug your way to a title, so the Twins will need to find another gear to go far. That being said, the Twins/Yankees series is going to be insane! Bombs away!
Prediction: Lose to the New York Yankees in the ALDS
5. Atlanta Braves (NL East Champions - 23 year drought)
|1996 Collector's Choice #395 Tom Glavine (WS)
I usually say that I'm OK with the Champions coming from any team that has gone longer than 20 years without a title. This applies to the Braves, but honestly, it doesn't feel like it, doesn't it? Their decade of dominance was really that long ago? Their run of postseasons was so huge I almost want to say it's not long enough yet. Still, I can't deny I'm excited to see what Ronald Acuna Jr could do in the spotlight this year!
Prediction: Lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS
6. Houston Astros (AL West Champions - 1 year drought)
|2018 Topps Heritage
#169 Astros Celebrate Their Victory (WS)
Despite being so far down my list, they're my pick to win it all. They've assembled a team that can steamroll their way to another title. Verlander/Cole/Greinke is just flat out scary. Truth is, I like them. They have a fun team, with guys that are easy to root for. I also have a bit of a soft spot for them because I got a ball signed by a bunch of them years ago before they got good.
Prediction: Defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
7. Oakland Athletics (AL Wild Card - 29 year drought)
|1990 Score #708 World Series Game 4 (WS)
I was all ready to put the Athletics at #5, right behind the Brewers in their rightful place of teams based on droughts. Truth is, the late 80's Athletics absolutely owned the Red Sox, always sweeping them in the postseason. That wound still hurts my friends. I'll make you a deal, Oakland: knock out the Yankees (if you play them), and all is forgiven.
Prediction: Lose to the Houston Astros in the ALDS.
8. St Louis Cardinals (NL Central Champions - 7 year drought)
|2012 Topps Heritage
#148 St. Louis Cardinals (WS, HL)
The Cardinals remind me of the Red Sox - every few years they put together a fantastic run and show up in the World Series. If they do it again this year, they won't have to worry about facing the Red Sox again. Can Yadi lead them to one more title?
Prediction: Lose to the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS
9. Tampa Bay Rays (Never won in 21 years of existence)
|2019 Topps #566 Tropicana Field
The Rays just flat out annoy me. It annoys me that they have no obvious strengths or weaknesses, but consistently complete to a point where you can't say they're playing over their heads. It annoys me that they never seem to make bad moves. The lack of fans in their ugly domed stadium annoys me. They are the mosquitoes of Major League Baseball. You swat at them and they just keep buzzing in your ear.
Prediction: Lose to the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wild Card game
10. New York Yankees (AL East Champions - not a long enough drought)
|2010 Topps - History of the World Series
Did you know that if the Yankees fail to make the World Series, it will be the first time in
Prediction: Lose to the Houston Astros in the ALCS.
So good luck to all the teams out there (except New York of course)! This is going to be a great postseason!
AL: Athletics over Rays
NL: Nationals over Brewers
AL: Astros over Athletics
AL: Yankees over Twins
NL: Dodgers over Nationals
NL: Braves over Cardinals
AL: Astros over Yankees
NL: Dodgers over Braves
Astros over Dodgers