The 2015 MLB playoffs start today. It’s mostly a good group of teams and looks to be a fun few weeks. Here is each team along with the reasons why you should root for them.
Houston Astros 86-76 Second AL Wildcard:
Houston is a perpetually snake-bitten franchise and no one expected them to contend this year, so they have the whole underdog thing going for them. Jose Altuve is awesome. They have the best baseball names of any team in a long time. Look at their 25 man roster:
|C||Max Stassi||R / R|
|C||Hank Conger||B / R|
|C||Jason Castro||L / R|
|DH||Evan Gattis||R / R|
|IF||Jonathan Villar||B / R|
|IF||Luis Valbuena||L / R|
|IF||Jon Singleton||L / L|
|IF||Jed Lowrie||B / R|
|IF||Marwin Gonzalez||B / R|
|IF||Matt Duffy||R / R|
|IF||Carlos Correa||R / R|
|IF||Chris Carter||R / R|
|IF||Jose Altuve||R / R|
|OF||Preston Tucker||L / L|
|OF||George Springer||R / R|
|OF||Colby Rasmus||L / L|
|OF||Jake Marisnick||R / R|
|OF||Carlos Gomez||R / R|
|P||Vincent Velasquez||B / R|
|P||Joe Thatcher||L / L|
|P||Dan Straily||R / R|
|P||Tony Sipp||L / L|
|P||Chad Qualls||R / R|
|P||Oliver Perez||L / L|
|P||Pat Neshek||B / R|
|P||Collin McHugh||R / R|
|P||Lance McCullers||L / R|
|P||Dallas Keuchel||L / L|
|P||Scott Kazmir||L / L|
|P||Will Harris||R / R|
|P||Luke Gregerson||L / R|
|P||Mike Fiers||R / R|
|P||Josh Fields||R / R|
|P||Michael Feliz||R / R|
I haven’t seen baseball names like that since I was a kid rooting for Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Jim Rice, Jack Morris and Fernando Valenzuela. If I were writing a book about a baseball team, these are the names I would pick. Oh, and Jose Altuve is awesome.
New York Yankees 87-75 First AL Wildcard:
I’m sorry, but there is no reason why anyone should be rooting for the Yankees. That goes generally, but especially this year. They are completely unlikeable and they aren’t even a good team. Let’s all just hope they lose to Houston so we can enjoy the rest of the playoffs.
Texas Rangers 88-74 American League West Champions:
Sort of like Houston, Texas has defied expectations, which is nice. They rescued Josh Hamilton from Anaheim, which is also nice. And Mike Napoli is one of the most likeable players in all of baseball.
Toronto Blue Jays 93-69 American League East Champions:
Toronto hasn’t won since 1993. A title drought always makes for a good team to root for. Plus, they have actually been a pretty good team for a while now, but they have had the unfortunate luck of playing in the AL East. I swear there was a ten year stretch where they came in third every year and would have been first in any other division. And they have a knuckleballer in their starting rotation.
Kansas City Royals 95-67 American League Central Champions:
There are just so many reasons to root for KC. Salvador Perez is amazing. Lorenzo Cain catches everything. That bullpen is fantastic. And they are just an all around fun team.
Chicago Cubs 97-65 Second NL Wildcard:
First of all, they’re the Cubs. Saying you don’t like the Cubs is like saying you don’t like puppies. They could win ten years in a row and they’d still feel like underdogs. Arrieta is a legitimate ace. Bill Murray would be thrilled if they won. And they have ivy on their wall.
Pittsburgh Pirates 98-64 First NL Wildcard:
Talk about a fun team. Andrew McCutchen is probably the most fun player in all of baseball. He should be the most famous, too. They are stuck with the Cardinals in their division, so no one seems to notice just how good they are. Their ballpark is beautiful. Even on TV, it’s nice to look at. Plus, they won 98 games and they are stuck playing a wildcard game. If there were any justice, they would win.
New York Mets 90-72 National League East Champions:
It’s been a while for Met fans. They have a fantastic rotation. And it would be great for the Mets to get the spotlight for a while. They are so much better than that other New York team.
Los Angeles Dodgers 92-70 National League West Champions:
Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are the two best pitchers on the planet. The more we get to see them pitch, the better. When he’s healthy, Puig is the most exciting player in baseball. They are full of tradition and play in another beautiful ballpark. They haven’t won in more than 25 years.
St. Louis Cardinals 100-62 National League Central Champions:
This is a tough one. They did have the best record in baseball, so I guess they deserve to be in the playoffs. And they aren’t the Yankees, so there’s that.
So, there you have it. This year’s MLB playoffs and reasons to root for each team. Sorry about the Cardinals and the Yankees. It’s not my fault there aren’t any good reasons to root for them.