The 2019 MLB playoffs are upon us! The action gets underway on Tuesday with the National League Wild Card Game, continues with Wednesday’s AL Wild Card Game, and then reaches full speed when the Division Series get underway this weekend.
Unfortunately, our beloved Detroit Tigers will not be involved in the October festivities for the fifth consecutive year. Still, with nothing else on the baseball calendar for the next month — not to mention several former Tigers still in the running — most of us will be keeping a close eye on how the postseason unfolds.
This week’s question: Who are you rooting for to win the World Series?
Cameron: The Houston Astros. Get our boy Justin Verlander another ring! At this point, rooting for ex-Tigers is more fun than rooting for actual Tigers. What Verlander is doing in his age-36 season is unprecedented. Having just reached 3,000 strikeouts, watching him take down milestones still brings me great joy despite having to watch him do it outside of Detroit. While team awards shouldn’t matter compared to personal achievements, the Astros winning another World Series would only further cement Verlander’s legacy among the greatest players to ever throw a baseball.
Chris: I’m going to have to echo Cam and say the Astros as well. The Verlander factor aside, they are just such a fun team to watch. Anytime you checked in on them this year it seemed like they were hanging 10-15 runs on someone like it was nothing. And paired with Verlander, Gerrit Cole has been just as terrifying, if not even more so. They have so many great pieces, be it at the plate, in the field, or on the mound. It’s so hard to see them being stopped by anyone in the AL, let alone the NL.
Brandon: I like to reserve judgement until the Wild Card games in case somebody captures my imagination. I’d be into one of the Rays or Athletics making a run. The Rays winning it all would be fun, and make Ashley very happy, so that would be fine. A.J. Puk and Jesus Luzardo in the A’s toolkit makes them much more interesting to me so I’m at least curious to see if they can finally break through. But really, I’m still constitutionally unable to root against Verlander. The Astros are an incredible team, and probably our best hope of preventing a Yankees World Series. So I will stay on the Houston bandwagon and see how it goes.
Ashley: Rays. Obviously. They are my other team and I want to to to the World Series this year. But honestly? All I care about is a World Series that isn’t Dodgers vs. Yankees.
Rob: I would say the Nationals because I live in D.C. and would love to see both Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez get a ring, but I can’t take any more of this Baby Shark business.
Ashley: I secretly love that. It’s so stupid.
Rob: Still, the Nats (or the Brewers) are the least evil of the NL teams, so I have to go with them. I’d be OK with an all-Wild Card World Series. All of the division winners can get out.
Adam: I’m not rooting for anyone in particular, I’m just hoping for some good matchups. It’s Tigers or bust for me when it comes to baseball, especially now that the Chicago Cubs have a World Series under their belt and Justin Verlander has his ring. I’ll probably pay more attention to the Asian leagues playoffs coming up.
Peter: I pick Nats, do do do do-do do do-do.
Brady: Anybody but the Yankees or Dodgers. Of course, seeing our former Tigers in Houston and Washington get rings would be awesome, but this Milwaukee Brewers team and the odds they overcame to make the postseason have drawn me in too. If they manage to make a run sans Christian Yelich, that would be something for the history books.
Also, I know this sounds ridiculous, but I kind of want to see the Twins win. They have a lot of fun players and I don’t dislike this team like I have other division rivals like the 2016 Indians, 2015 Royals, 2012 White Sox, and 2009 Twins. Is it because we didn’t have to compete with them? Probably. But do they have some cool stories and exciting guys to watch? Absolutely.
Rob: Yeah I can’t root for the Twins. They’re fun, but nope.
Zane: I’m with Adam. I will still pay attention, but I’m a Tigers guy through and through. Verlander has his ring, and I don’t care to see Houston win another. I will not root for the Twins. I guess if I could see myself hopping on a bandwagon, it may be for the Rays. But that means they will lose the Wild Card game. So it goes.
Ashley: How dare you.
Zane: You’re right, I’m not rooting for them.
(please don’t lose to Oakland, Rays, you’re the closest thing to a second team I’ll ever have)
(besides my irrational love for the Colorado Rockies and those beautiful black-and-purple uniforms)
Adam: It’ll be a cold day in Hell when I root for the Twins.
Brandon: The Twins, White Sox and Yankees are the only teams I uniformly will not root for.
Adam: That’s also my list, but add the Boston Red Sox as well.
Ashley: I don’t have the same hate towards the Twins but probably only because they’re my “local” team.
Rob: I’ll be interested to see if the Cardinals still have their Devil Magic.
Cameron: Cardinals vs. Yankees sounds like an all-time insufferable series.
Rob: Anyone vs. the Yankees sounds rather insufferable.
Cameron: Dodgers vs. Yankees would be cool if anyone has to play the Yankees.
Adam: I can root for the Dodgers.
Brady: I want the Dodgers to join the 2011-14 Tigers as “teams who were totally dominant for several years but somehow never got it done.” So I’m kind of selfish on that one.
Zane: Yeah, I’d love to see them somehow lose in heartbreaking fashion in the NLCS. It’s nothing personal, I just see a lot of that old Tigers team in the Dodgers right now. Except they have an elite farm system, too, so they’re not going to get worse. So actually, maybe I want them to lose in the NLDS.
Adam: I’m ok with that.
Zane: I picked the Cardinals to make the World Series in our preseason picks, so maybe I’ll hype train them for a bit. But after 2006, I can’t root for them for real.
Patrick: I am rooting for the Dodgers to win the World Series. They have always been my National League team, and they haven’t won a World Series title since Kirk Gibson blasted the home run against Dennis Eckersley in 1988. They have been in the Fall Classic the past two years, and their team is stacked with good young players. They draft well, make smart player transactions, and develop players well. They deserve it.
Cody: F*** the Twins.