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Home / Every MLB Postseason team in the League Championship Series, ranked

Every MLB Postseason team in the League Championship Series, ranked

Here we are again. Another round of the MLB postseason is done, so another round of rankings are in order. We’re down to four teams — the Dodgers, Brewers, Red Sox, and Astros — all of who got through their Division Series in less than five games. So all of the rotations should be lined up as they’d like and everyone is getting time to rest before both Conference Series kick off this weekend.

The NLCS starts tomorrow night in Milwaukee with the ALCS getting underway Saturday night in Boston. Whether they will also go less than the distance remains to be seen but with each team putting their foot on their opponent’s neck in most of the games of the DS we’re either in for battles between giants or more teams failing to stack up. It looks more like the former than the latter.

These rankings are completely subjective and you can rest assured I’ve moved teams around at least a few times as I worked through this one. Only having four teams left doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard, guys. This is an art in as much as me going “yeah, this seems right” can be an art.

Again, yelling about the rankings in the comments is definitely going to happen but me reading them definitely will not. It’s the postseason, let’s have fun.

4. Red Sox (Previously 5)

As a Red Sox fan, which I’ll readily admit to being, I know the Red Sox are fun to root for when they’re your team. I mean, look at Brock Holt’s face. This puppy dog, history-making face.

when the adorable family dog gets its own screen in the sitcom credits pic.twitter.com/WtC7dRVCOm

— Whitney McIntosh (@WhitneyM02) October 9, 2018

But if Boston isn’t your team (which applies to a lot of people!) their ragtag, People Don’t Believe In Us Even Though We Won 108 Games, shaggy bunch of buddies playing baseball and also Steve Pearce is here schtick is not endearing to everyone. They’ve won three championships in 14 years. And they’re making it even harder to be a plucky, lovable group that can add fans from other cities as we get deeper into October.

After they beat the Yankees in the Bronx, which should have made them heroes to some for at least five minutes before the sun came up the next day, they decided to immediately turn heel and get petty. They played “New York, New York” after beating the Yankees at their own stadium, to get back at Aaron Judge walking through the halls of Fenway blasting the same song on a boombox after New York won Game 2.

Sox pitcher Rick Porcello heard Yankees starter CC Sabathia make a comment about umpire Angel Hernandez’s inconsistency, one that a lot of people in baseball agree with and approved of him speaking out about, and decided that was the moment to be devil’s advocate and call out the player he just beat to advance in the playoffs.

For me, this snark is amazing and I support it. But on the rootability scale? It’s not exactly helping them.

3. Astros (Previously 7)

The other half of the ALCS is similarly cocky and petty which, based on personal preference once more, is just fine. Combine their team feeling slighted by the Division Series schedule — which had them play all afternoon games instead of getting any primetime spots — with the fact that they won last year and this is not the recipe for a team you can feel great to root for either.

(This is the part where I remind you they also actively traded for Roberto Osuna this season while he was suspended for domestic violence. There are no All Good Guys Teams in this league but this example is especially egregious and they handled it especially poorly and continue to do so. That’s all.)

The reason they’re above the Red Sox even as defending champs is because they are the defending champs, and a team repeating would be fun especially since there are so many genuinely nice players on the roster. But also because that big chip on their shoulder is correct. Look at Bregman talk about the primetime stuff.

Here’s the full Alex Bregman commentary about the #Astros and primetime games. So much swag. pic.twitter.com/iaaO5OgB0y

— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) October 8, 2018

Sure he’s cocky and entering the CS against Boston clearly feeling overlooked, a mood that should be way less believable for a guy whose team won 103 games this year. But it is believable, because he’s right. They deserved a preseason game! For some reason the level of conversation about the Astros this year while they defended their championship seemed low! They won 103 games and somehow that seems forgettable.

So yeah, they might not be the most purely guilt-free rooting interest left of the four options, but they have their highlights. Hopefully Bregman and the rest of the team continue to talk their smack and they go full “team you love to hate” if they make the Series.

2. Dodgers (Previously 4)

Let’s start with some pictures. Just some pictures of some guy celebrating making it to the NLCS with his tongue out. Not looking all that different from how he usually looks on and off the field. Having a completely normal one.

#Postseason Puig is the best Puig. pic.twitter.com/F94o6ActhO

— MLB (@MLB) October 9, 2018

The Dodgers can beat you a few big ways or fifteen different small ones, as they proved against a Braves team that couldn’t get anything going against LA in the DS — give or take a grand slam from their star rookie.

Those big ways are intimidating. Clayton Kershaw on the mound one day with a very tiny chip on his shoulder from not being started in Game 1 versus Atlanta, Hyun-jin Ryu on the mound another day with a career renaissance that is shutting down opposing batters left and right. Justin Turner always seeming to be able to put something together at the plate.

The small ways are intimidating and possibly more entertaining. Cody Bellinger being able to track down the large majority of the balls hit his way in the outfield. Yasiel Puig making very Yasiel Puig decisions (like attempting to steal second way later than anyone should, or making a theatrical slide in the outfield that doesn’t result in a caught ball and then sitting there glum about it) and sometimes even getting away with it. Kiké Hernández smiling from ear to ear and somehow still being able to execute tricky plays.

Every one of those players is fun, and exciting, and after last year’s close but no cigar, heartbreaking World Series loss to the Astros it’s only fair that if they got another shot they give us another show. This teem is built for putting on a show (see; Puig ad infinitum) and rooting for them to get there is easy.

1. Brewers (Previously 6)

The Brewers are doing everything the Astros and Red Sox are doing right now. Calling other players out, feeling slighted, swaggering around the field and locker room after they won their Division Series. Except in Milwaukee it’s coming across so much better because it’s a little more genuine. Coming from a little bit lower down Respect Mountain than the other three squads.

Christian Yelich somehow seems underrated, still, despite being an almost-guaranteed NL MVP winner and continuing to rake in the playoffs. Mike Moustakas showed up just in time, making big plays and coming through in important offensive spots that kept the Rockies at bay. But nothing so blatantly heroic that he’s getting a ton of the credit. Jhoulys Chacin and Wade Miley are operating at the upper levels of their job description on the mound and are getting a little bit of short shrift, because they’re Chacin and Miley and not Sale and Kershaw or something.

Maybe let’s just have Jesus Aguilar explain.

Jesus Aguilar hit a monster dong against the Rockies and shouted “fuck your team, fuck you” to the Rockies catcher….i could not possibly be more in on the Brewers this postseason. #OurCrewOurOctoberpic.twitter.com/TE3Y5X0I8d

— Gritty Fan Account™️ (@brandonco4) October 8, 2018

Hernán Pérez would also like to give Yasiel Puig’s celebration pictures a run for their money. Look at these! My lord, they’re fantastic. Truly art.

These Getty photos of Hernán Pérez from the Brewers NLDS celebration are AMAZING pic.twitter.com/p8laAakISm

— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) October 8, 2018

Combine all of that with the fact that the Brewers are the only team on this list who haven’t yet won a World Series, and in fact have only been there the once back in 1982, and it’s an easy choice on who to root for overall out of these teams. (Except for Josh Hader. We’re not rooting for Josh Hader.)

This doesn’t meant the Brewers will even make it to the World Series or the Red Sox won’t or after the first game of their respective series this entire ranking won’t be turned upside down because someone on the Astros saves a cat in a tree. But it’s my best guess as to who you should be putting your oomph behind while watching the rest of the postseason go down.

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