Monday, October 4, 2021

MLB Playoff Rankings 2021


The dust has settled. After an insane weekend where 4 AL teams were fighting for the 2 Wild Card spots, and 2 100-win teams fought to see who was division champ and who has to play a one game Wild Card, we finally have our 10 playoff participants. After a unusual 2020, this year did not disappoint. Who will I be rooting for? The first and last place teams are obvious, but everyone else is up for grabs! As I've mentioned before, there are a lot of factors that influence my ranking, but I usually start with a list of teams who have suffered the longest Championship droughts and adjust accordingly. Once again, I present my personal 2021 Playoff rankings!

1. Boston Red Sox (AL Wild Card - 2 year drought)

2019 Topps #549 Sweet Victory (WS)
Before the season began, you'd have a hard time finding anyone willing to consider the Red Sox as a playoff team. The fact that they are here is an amazing story, especially when you consider the insane talent level in the AL East and the teams they needed to beat to get here.. They are good enough to win it all, but their defense is a big weakness. Unfortunately, I think that will be their undoing. I hope I'm wrong though!
Prediction: Lose to the Rays in the ALDS

Milwaukee Brewers (NL Central Champions - 52 year drought) 

2021 Topps #59 Milwaukee Brewers (TC)
Watch out! The Brewers have one of the best rotations among the postseason teams. If they can score runs, they'll be hard to beat. It's been far too long since there has been a World Series in Milwaukee.
Prediction: Lose to the Dodgers in the NLCS

Atlanta Braves (NL East Champions - 25 year drought)

1996 Collector's Choice
#395 Tom Glavine (WS)
The dynasty is officially a quarter of a century old! That still seems weird to me. You have to give the Braves a lot of credit. Losing one of the biggest young stars of the game would give any team an excuse to give up, but the Braves loaded up with outfielders and used every ounce of moxie to make it to October.
Prediction: Lose to the Brewers in the NLDS

Chicago White Sox (AL Central Champions - 15 year drought)

2005 Topps Updates & Highlights
#UH134 White Sox Sweep (WS)
When a team loses not one, but two young stars for most of the season, it's usually not a good sign for their playoff aspirations. Not only did the White Sox continue to win, they became the first AL team to clinch a playoff berth. I think this team will be the surprise team of the postseason!
Prediction: Lose to the Dodgers in the World Series

St. Louis Cardinals (NL Wild Card - 9 year drought)

2012 Topps Heritage
#148 St. Louis Cardinals (WS, HL)
No team ended the season hotter than the Cardinals. Will the momentum be enough to beat their juggernaut wild card opponent? Anything is possible, especially when you have the ageless tandem of Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina to lead the way.
Prediction: Lose to the Dodgers in the NL Wild Card game

San Francisco Giants (NL West Champions - 6 year - drought)

2015 Topps #227 Madison Bumgarner (WS)
For a team expected to fall way behind both of their California counterparts, it was fun to watch this team defy all expectations and stand toe to toe with the nearly unstoppable Dodgers. Aside from Cardinals fans, can anyone say they wouldn't love to see one final postseason clash between the Dodgers and Giants?
Prediction: Lose to the Dodgers in the NLDS

Los Angeles Dodgers (NL Wild Card - defending Champions)

2021 Topps Heritage #1 Los Angeles Dodgers (WS)
I don't have anything against this team (well, maybe Trevor Bauer), but I'm not ready for back-to-back champs yet. (Although if they do win, I'll no longer have to hear that the Yankees were the last team to do it...) I can't deny the sheer talent of this team though.
Prediction: World Series Champions (again!)

Houston Astros (AL West Champions - 3 year drought)

2018 Topps Heritage
#169 Astros Celebrate Their Victory (WS)
There will come a day when Bregman, Correa, Altuve,and the rest will move on from their days in Houston. For now, I dread an Astros AL Championship only because everyone on the TV will be talking about the scandal. I really don't want to listen to that anymore.
Prediction: Lose to the White Sox in the ALDS

Tampa Bay Rays (AL East Champions - 23 year drought)

2021 Topps #222 Tampa Bay Rays (TC)
Pesky mosquitos. That's what they are. I thought when their ace Tyler Glasnow went down for the season, it'd at least make them Wild Card contenders at best. Nope. Despite the lack of superstars, they just keep winning. I have a fear in my gut the world will know the name Wander Franco before this postseason is over.
Prediction: Lose to the White Sox in the ALCS

10. New York Yankees (AL Wild Card - Not a long enough drought)

2010 Topps - History of the World Series
#HWS25 Yankees
My youngest daughter turns 10 this November. She's never lived during a time when the Yankee have called themselves Champions. It's a beautiful thing, and I hope her childhood remains pure like that.
Prediction: Lose to the Red Sox in the AL wild card game
To summarize my predictions: 

AL Wild Card 
Red Sox over Yankees
NL Wild Card
Dodgers over Cardinals

White Sox over Astros
Rays over Red Sox
Brewers over Braves
Dodgers over Giants
White Sox over Rays

Dodgers over Brewers

World Series
Dodgers over White Sox

Who do got?


  1. As a Yankee fan, I'm not really looking forward to tomorrow. This game is going to be so overhyped. If I put on the TV it will be with the sound off. Just going to peek at my phone every few minutes. I don't trust this team even if they go ahead.

  2. "My youngest daughter turns 10 this November. She's never lived during a time when the Yankee have called themselves Champions. It's a beautiful thing, and I hope her childhood remains pure like that."


    I'll be rooting for the White Sox and Rays in the AL. The Brewers in the NL. And whoever's playing the Dodgers.

  3. The Cubs imploded, so if I stay local I'd have no issues with the Brewers or White Sox making a deep run.