August is almost behind us, September call-ups are packing their bags and people are pulling out their sweatshirts.
The playoff push is here.
And hot damn, some of the races are close.
The Senior Circuit, meanwhile, has four teams competing for those final two slots.
Here is how I’m rooting for teams that could make the post season.
6. The Milwaukee Brewers are one of the most surprising teams in baseball this year. Normally, I root for teams like that (especially considering they haven’t won the World Series), but I just can’t bring myself to care. If they’re back again next year, I’ll be a bigger fan.
5. The Washington Nationals are one of the least likeable good teams in history. However, they have Sean Doolittle, who might be the best person who wears a Major League uniform. They’ve never won the World Series.
4. The Arizona Diamondbacks won one of the most exciting World Series back in 2001. They have an incredibly exciting player in Paul Goldschmidt. It would be fun to watch them return to the World Series. Just not much as three other teams.
3. The Colorado Rockies have only been to one World Series (a 2007 loss to the Boston Red Sox). They have a ton of exciting players.
2. The Chicago Cubs are the reigning World Series champs. The last time they won, 1908, was a repeat. So they’ve got that going for them. They’re also shooting for being the first NL team to repeat as pennant winners since the 08-09 Phillies. The last NL team to repeat as Fall Classic champs were the 75-76 Reds.
1. The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t won the World Series since 1988. Meanwhile, they have some of the most likeable players in the game.
The American League
11. The Kansas City Royals are not a good baseball team. Even if they get hot and streak to a wild card berth, they don’t deserve to win.
10. The New York Yankees have 27 World Series titles, last winning in 2009. They added some good pieces at the deadline, which they needed. But I’ve seen enough Yankee celebrations at this point.
9. The Tampa Bay Rays made it to the World Series in 2008, losing to the Phillies. They have some talent. I love Evan Longoria. But they’re kind of boring.
8. The Seattle Mariners have been a surprising team. Watching them win would be enjoyable. But they’re also kind of bland. If King Felix got hot, they’d be awesome to watch.
7. The Boston Red Sox winning another World Series would be enjoyable. Particularly with Chris Sale. But there are other teams who would be more enjoyable.
6. The Baltimore Orioles have several enjoyable players. And the city deserves a baseball championship. The problem here is that’s very hard to imagine them winning.
5. The Texas Rangers were to back-to-back World Series earlier this decade. But they have Coke Hamels, Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre. I could live with them back in the World Series.
4. The Houston Astros would probably be the most entertaining team to make it out of the league. I’m hoping all four of these final teams make it.
3. The Minnesota Twins have been my other favorite team since Kirby Puckett jumped, hung in the air for an entire episode of “Cheers” and caught that ball in Game 6. Joe Mauer coming through in October would be beautiful and I don’t know how many chances he’ll have.
2. The Cleveland Indians had their heats broken last year. Returning – and winning the Fall Classic – would be a joy.
1. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have the best player in the game. Mike Trout having a monster post-season would be insane.
My dream final at-bat of 2017 is Mike Trout stepping in with two out and the tying run on against a shutout-seeking Clayton Kershaw in Game 7.