Ranking 2019 MLB postseason teams Red Sox fans should root for
The 2019 MLB postseason field is set, and it doesn't include the defending champion Boston Red Sox.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be tuning into October baseball. This year's playoff bracket is stacked with talent, from NL MVP candidate Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers to AL Cy Young candidates Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros. There's a bevy of players and teams worth watching and cheering on.
So with the Red Sox out of the mix, who should you want to take home the 2019 World Series title? Here's each playoff team listed in order of least to most worth rooting for. . .
10. New York Yankees
Is an explanation really necessary? The Yankees winning the 2019 World Series would be the worst possible way to finish off such a disappointing season in Boston.
9. Tampa Bay Rays
Yes, I know they're the small-market underdogs and those are the teams typically worth rooting for, but they're still your AL East rival.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers
It's impossible not to like some of the players on this team -- Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler to name a few -- but the Dodgers have represented the NL in the World Series the last two seasons. Do we really want to go through this again?
7. St. Louis Cardinals
Paul Goldschmidt getting a World Series ring in his first season in a Cardinals uniform would be a great story. Other than that, there aren't many reasons for Red Sox fans to actively cheer on St. Louis throughout October. Boston hasn't forgotten about how the 2019 Stanley Cup Final unfolded...
6. Washington Nationals
It sure would be poetic to have the Nationals cruise through the postseason in the first year of the post-Bryce Harper era. The Nats have earned a reputation as playoff chokers the last few seasons, so it'd be nice to see Max Scherzer and Co. finally turn things around.
5. Houston Astros
The Astros are the AL team most capable of taking down the Yankees. On top of that, their roster is stacked with some of the most talented and likable players in the league. The middle of this list is an appropriate spot for this year's World Series favorites.
4. Oakland Athletics
Earlier, I mentioned the Rays as the small-market underdog who you'd probably root for if they weren't your AL East rival. Well, in the AL wild-card game the Rays will be going up another team that fits that description in Oakland. The Athletics have a knack for beating the odds and finding their way into the postseason. It'd be fun to watch them finish the job this time around.
3. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers will need to get it done without Christian Yelich, which makes them major underdogs and even more of a team worth cheering on. It'll be a difficult road from the beginning, as they'll visit the Washington Nationals for what's going to be an eventful wild-card game.
2. Minnesota Twins
The Twins will take on the Yankees in the ALDS and are big-time underdogs even after staying atop the AL Central all season long. Boston will be rooting for Minnesota to finally put its historic woes vs. the Bronx Bombers to an end.
1. Atlanta Braves
Ronald Acuña headlines a Braves team that's loaded with exciting young players and includes veterans like Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson who are well worth rooting for. They've been one of the most thrilling teams to watch all season long, and that's sure to continue for as long as they remain in contention.
Bonus: They also were the Boston Braves until 1948.