The Rays are out. That is extremely disappointing for every Rays fan. But while a good portion of Rays fans are just about done watching baseball until March, plenty of them are not just Rays fans but big baseball fans who are going to tune in. Who should those fans root for? Here’s the case for each team.
New York Yankees- A good portion of you are just bandwagon jumpers from the Yankees at one time or another anyway. Why not go back for one postseason?
Baltimore Orioles- They came up with an incredible run reminiscent of the 2008 Rays… but eliminated the Rays from playoff contention and didn’t even make us feel like they deserved it as the Rays took 2 of 3 against them to end the season and of course their run differential is out of whack.
Detroit Tigers- You get to see some dominant pitching in Verlander and Scherzer and the Triple Crown winner in Miguel Cabrera. A mix of the propensity for strikeouts the Rays have the sluggers that they most certainly do not.
Oakland Athletics- They really went on improbable run, being carried by young pitching and players coming out of nowhere to step up offensively on their way to a miraculous division title. They’re the real 2008 Rays emulators here, not the Orioles.
Texas Rangers- They eliminated the Rays from the postseason the last two years and failed to come through when the Rays needed them to beat the A’s. I guess you could root for ex-Rays draft pick Josh Hamilton, but no chance. Would be absolutely hilarious if they made it the World Series again and lost for the third time in a row.
Atlanta Braves- More great pitching to be found, a closer in Craig Kimbrel who was nearly as good as Fernando Rodney this season, and of course it would be nice to see the Braves go on a deep playoff run to end Chipper Jones‘ career.
St. Louis Cardinals- The starting duo of Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter to go along with Kyle Lohse, Mr. Clutch David Freese, and Jose Molina‘s younger brother Yadier Molina, coming off a huge year. They could also be the first MLB team to win back-to-back World Series since the 1998-2000 Yankees.
Based on my completely arbitrary assessments, it seems pretty clear that Rays fans should be rooting for the A’s in the AL and it’s hard to go wrong in the NL, but it makes sense to jump on the Nationals bandwagon while also keeping a keen eye towards the Giants, specifically how Tim Lincecum will perform. Hopefully it will be a fun postseason that will get us excited for what the Rays will do when they’re back in the dance next year.