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MLB Postseason: How to watch and who to cheer for

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The Tigers didn’t make the cut this year, but there’s still plenty to look forward to.

Cincinnati Reds v Minnesota Twins Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

A whopping 16 teams have made it into the newly adjusted postseason this year, and while the Tigers are not among them, there is still a lot of excitement surrounding this new format. Imagine a top seeded team like the Dodgers losing in a three game upset to the Brewers? Or a 2016 Cubs/Indians rematch?

Truly it feels like almost anything is possible this week.

Below we have a full breakdown of the Wild Card schedule and where to watch (MLB TV fans in the US, prepare to find yourself very frustrated if you don’t already have a cable package.)

Before we dive into that, though, here’s a quick breakdown of all 16 postseason clubs and why you might want to cheer for them this year.

American League

Tampa Bay Rays: Making their second postseason appearance in as many years and their third AL east title in franchise history, the Rays still have yet to win a World Series ever, which makes them a fun choice to cheer for. Plus former Tigers hot prospect Willy Adames is a real treat to watch in games.

Toronto Blue Jays: It can’t be easy for the Jays, who had to play away from home for the whole season, but they still managed to secure a postseason berth at the end of the regular season. They’ve been without a World Series title since 1993.

Cleveland Indians: Nope. Even with the longest World Series drought in baseball, we just can’t do it.

New York Yankees: The Yankees seem to be fast favorites to get to the World Series, but they actually have one of the worst records in the AL as far as teams who made the postseason. That said they’re a young club with lots of fun players and many alive this might as well just be called the Villains series.

Minnesota Twins: If it isn’t enough that Alex Avila is on the team now, perhaps you can cheer for them simply because they’re up against the Astros. Plenty of people will still feel some animosity about Game 163, and we won’t blame you if you’re one of them, plus noted Tiger-killer Nelson Cruz is on the team, but nevertheless, they’re the lesser of two evils here.

Houston Astros: They cheated and Justin Verlander isn’t even playing this postseason, plus they’ve already won it in the last five years. Thank you, next.

Oakland A’s: The A’s have been a notorious foe against the Tigers in postseasons past, but they also haven’t won a World Series since 1989, and their current roster has a lot to like and little to hate.

Chicago White Sox: While they might be division rivals the White Sox have a really fun, stellar young team and should be a shining light of how quickly a rebuild can become a run to the postseason. We might want to hate them for killing us during the season, but they sure are a lot of fun to watch.

National League

Los Angeles Dodgers: They’re the Dodgers, they’re a juggernaut, but they always seem to fall just shy of winning it all. In their eighth consecutive year making a playoff run, you better believe they’re hungry to get to the World Series.

Milwaukee Brewers: Much like the Rays, the Brewers have also never won a World Series, and with their eighth place seed in the NL, they’re a great option if you’re looking for an underdog.

San Diego Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. The end. This team is wildly entertaining and super easy to cheer for if you want an option different from the Dodgers.

St. Louis Cardinals: In spite of missing several games (including two against the Tigers) due to COVID this year, the Cardinals still managed to make it to the posteason. Of course, many of us are still a bit annoyed about 2006.

Chicago Cubs: The excitement that came with their World Series run in 2016 has worn off a little, but this team is still filled with exciting players, and it would be nice to see a postseason redemption arc from Yu Darvish.

Miami Marlins: The Marlins have never lost in the postseason, do with that what you will. Also, the Marlins are IN the postseason, Tigers fans should be living for that kind of comeback story.

Atlanta Braves: While not exactly a major drought, the Braves haven’t won a World Series since 1995. They have been a solid team for quite some time that no one really seems to talk about that much.

Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have absolutely incredible pitching, plus the Tigers worst trade in memory, Eugenio Suarez, is out there on third base. Plus Amir Garrett and Joey Votto are just great dudes.

There are plenty of reasons to cheer for (or against) any of these teams, and later this week you’ll see the BYB staff picks for each round of the postseason if you want to make your own predictions.

The Schedule

Tuesday evening will be a quiet start with a mere four games, but things really start to heat up on Wednesday with an all-day slate of eight Wild Card games. Hope you booked a day off, as any of the AL teams has the opportunity to sweep their best of three series that day.

All times below are Eastern.

Tuesday, Sept. 29

• AL Wild Card Series Game 1: Astros at Twins, 2 p.m. Where? ABC
• AL Wild Card Series Game 1: White Sox at A’s, 3 p.m. Where? ESPN
• AL Wild Card Series Game 1: Blue Jays at Rays, 5 p.m. Where? TBS
• AL Wild Card Series Game 1: Yankees at Indians, 7 p.m. Where? ESPN

Wednesday, Sept. 30

• NL Wild Card Series Game 1: Reds at Braves, 12 p.m. Where? ESPN
• AL Wild Card Series Game 2: Astros at Twins, 1 p.m. Where? ESPN2
• NL Wild Card Series Game 1: Marlins at Cubs, 2 p.m. Where? ABC
• AL Wild Card Series Game 2: White Sox at A’s, 3 p.m. Where? ESPN
• AL Wild Card Series Game 2: Blue Jays at Rays, 4 p.m. Where? TBS
• NL Wild Card Series Game 1: Cardinals at Padres, 5 p.m. Where? ESPN2
• AL Wild Card Series Game 2: Yankees at Indians, 7 p.m. Where? ESPN
• NL Wild Card Series Game 1: Brewers at Dodgers, 10 p.m. Where? ESPN

Thursday, Oct. 1

• AL Wild Card Series Game 3*: Blue Jays at Rays, TBD Where? TBS
• AL Wild Card Series Game 3*: White Sox at A’s, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
• AL Wild Card Series Game 3*: Astros at Twins, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
• AL Wild Card Series Game 3*: Yankees at Indians, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
• NL Wild Card Series Game 2: Brewers at Dodgers, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
• NL Wild Card Series Game 2: Reds at Braves, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
• NL Wild Card Series Game 2: Cardinals at Padres, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
• NL Wild Card Series Game 2: Marlins at Cubs, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
* if needed

Friday, Oct. 2

• NL Wild Card Series Game 3*: Brewers at Dodgers, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
• NL Wild Card Series Game 3*: Reds at Braves, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
• NL Wild Card Series Game 3*: Cardinals at Padres, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
• NL Wild Card Series Game 3*: Marlins at Cubs, TBD Where? ESPN Networks
* if needed