With the Orioles unfortunate early exit of the 2016 MLB Postseason, many fans of the team may be looking at the competition left to try and cling on to a team for the rest of the month in hopes that they can snag a World Series title.
I will take a look at the remaining eight teams and break down some pros and cons for each of them along with what players to watch.
Just remember that this is all my opinion and you do not have to agree with any of it; I encourage you not to, at times.
Boston Red Sox
Now, before you outright skip this section based on principal (I would not blame you), take a look at what the Red Sox have to offer.
They have probably one of, if not the best, young outfields in the game which includes Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Andrew Benintendi. It will also be the last time we ever get to watch David Ortiz play baseball and depending on how you feel about him, that is either a good thing or bad thing.
I can see the Red Sox going deep into the postseason which is why they are my predicted World Series winners. Yes, it was very painful to come to that conclusion. So, if you want to root for a team that will be possibly playing for a while, you can pick the Sox.
I know that decision would be hard to live with so I do not blame you if they are not your first or even seventh choice.
Most Likable Player: David Price
Least Likable Player: David Ortiz
Pro: Young and exciting
Con: Division rival
Toronto Blue Jays
Ah yes, the ever-likable Toronto Blue Jays. If you truly hate yourself and the Red Sox don’t induce the feeling of vomiting enough, then the Blue Jays are perfect for you.
After their Wild Card victory over the Orioles, the Jays advanced to the ALDS thanks in part to an Edwin Encarnacion three-run home run that I refuse to ever watch again.
In addition to Encarnacion, the Jays roster also includes such gems as Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Michael Saunders and Marcus Stroman.
Also, the luxury of playing a playoff game in Toronto is unmatched anywhere else.
Most Likable Player: Kevin Pillar
Least Likable Player: Take your pick
Pro: Cool uniforms, I guess
Con: Just eliminated the Orioles
The Cubs have received droves of attention for having an extended World Series drought while the Cleveland Indians have one of their own. The Indians have not won the World Series since 1948; that is 68 years.
The last time the Indians won a World Series: Harry Truman was the President, Isreal was just declared a country, Samuel L. Jackson was 2 months old, and the number one song at the time was A Tree in the Meadow by Margaret Whiting.
As for the current team, they have a pretty likable group of players. Francisco Lindor is coming into his own as one of the best short stops in baseball while guys like Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco dominate on the mound. They also have former Orioles’ reliever Andrew Miller in their bullpen and as O’s fans know, he is pretty lights out in the postseason.
Most Likable Player: Francisco Lindor
Least Likable Player: Mike Napoli
Pro: Deserving of a title after a long drought
Con: Dumb team name
The 2016 Rangers are actually very similar team to the 2012 Orioles. They both did well in one run games and had very low run differentials. The Rangers this season went 36-11 in one run games with a +8 run differential while the 2012 O’s went 29-9 in one run games with a +7 run differential.
As for the Rangers current team, they have the always enjoyable Adrian Beltre along with the possible comeback player of the year nominee in Ian Desmond, Jose Bautista face puncher Rougned Odor, Nomar Mazara and Jonathan Lucroy. They also have Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, who returned from injury this season, leading the rotation and will make it tough on the Jays in the ALDS.
Most likable player: Adrian Beltre
Least likable player: None
Pro: Never have won a World Series
Con: History of choking
The Orioles’ neighbors in the region are making another run in the postseason with hopes of making it past the divisional series.
When I look back years from now, I’m always going to remember Daniel Murphy having a higher WAR than Bryce Harper as being one of the strangest things. Outside of those two, you have Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner and Max Scherzer.
Unfortunately for the Nats, they will be without Wilson Ramos and Stephen Strasburg, two of their biggest contributors this season for a majority of the postseason, if not all of it. They still have a young solid team that will give the Dodgers a run for their money, which the Dodgers have a lot of, and make things interesting as they try to get to the NLCS for the first time in franchise history.
Most likable player: Gio Gonzalez
Least likable player: Daniel Murphy
Pro: You may have friends or family that root for the Nats
Con: You may have friends or family that root for the Nats
Never forget where you came from, Jake.
Okay, so the Cubs are REALLY good. Like, insanely good. They have the possible NL MVP in Kris Bryant along with Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Addison Russell, Jon Lester, and former Orioles pitchers Jason Hammel, Pedro Strop, that former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta.
Being that the Cubs have not won a World Series in 108 years, they are very easy to root for. The north side of Chicago deserves something besides a Blackhawks and Bulls championship.
Most likable player: Anthony Rizzo
Least likable player: Aroldis Chapman
Pro: First championship in over 100 years is now possible
Con: Besides Peter Angelos, they pretty much own the Orioles
Los Angeles Dodgers
For the fourth straight season, the Dodgers are the champions of the NL West and will try this time to get to the World Series after losing in the NLCS in 2013 and failing to advance past the NLDS in 2014 and 2015.
The Dodgers seem to have the best of both worlds: a ton of money to spend on free agents and a great farm system. Some notable players from the team include the likely NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, former Oriole Justin Turner, Yasmani Grandal, Yasiel Puig, and that Clayton Kershaw guy; I’ve heard he’s pretty good.
If the Dodgers can finally get over that hump of failing in the postseason and reach a World Series, watch out.
Most likable player: Yasiel Puig
Least likable player: Bud Norris, who is now a free agent though
Pro: Chance to win a World Series for Vin Scully
Con: They are basically the Yankees: West Coast edition
San Francisco Giants
Oh look, it’s an even year; time for the Giants to go win another World Series.
After their Wild Card victory over the Mets, led by half human, half robot Madison Bumgarner, the Giants are looking to capture their fourth World Series title in seven years.
The Giants have become the definition of a modern day dynasty in baseball and for how much we joke about the even year thing, it is pretty damn impressive.
Led by obviously Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, the Giants also have Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik, Hunter Pence, and Johnny Cueto who all round out to make this team very solid for a deep October run once again.
Also, they’re the only other orange and black team in baseball so they get brownie points for that.
Most likable player: Hunter Pence
Least likable player: Jake Peavy
Pro: Black and orange
Con: WE GET IT, YOU’RE GOOD