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Thursday BP: Ranking the Wild Card Series rooting interests

I get why the right answer is the Mariners, but I’m going with the Mets anyway.

Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, baseball fans!

So, the San Francisco Giants 2022 season has come to an end, and an aggressively mediocre team had an aggressively mediocre result, going exactly .500 for the season for the first time in franchise history. Not as good as winning the most games in franchise history, but it’s history nonetheless.

Today is a bit of a breather before the Wild Card Series start, so I thought we’d get a jump on ranking the rooting interest for all of the teams partaking in those. The Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers all get a bye for this round, so they will not be included, we’ll get to them later.

For now, we have the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Guardians; Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals; Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays; and San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets.

Now, this list is highly subjective to my own personal tastes, so feel free to share your own rankings, but here’s what I’ve got.

  1. Mets all day. The Mets are my second favorite National League team, for reasons that make absolutely no sense other than I had fun rooting for them in 2015 and the interest just kind of stuck, through all of the mess that can be the Mets. Also my best friend is a huge Mets fan and he rooted for the Giants last year so this seems only fair.
  2. Mariners, I feel like you don’t even need to explain that one. It would be such a feel good story for them to do big things after such a long drought.
  3. Blue Jays. I’ve rooted for the Blue Jays in the past when they’ve had some playoff success because they were a fun team. I’m also dating a Canadian so like, I feel like they have to be in the top half of the list.
  4. Padres, because they have fun players on their team and I like their ballpark. Though I’m hard pressed to root for any NL West team that isn’t the Giants, so they’re middle of the pack.
  5. Phillies. Bryce Harper, Noah Syndergaard, Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber? Yeah, that’s a cool group of players. Plus they’re playing the Cardinals, so extra incentive for me to want them to do well.
  6. Rays. They lost to the Dodgers in the 2020 World Series, so it’s hard to have too much faith in them, but they always seem to be the underdogs in each postseason and they’re playing the Guardians, so they’ve got my support.
  7. Guardians. I don’t really have anything against the players on the team, but I’ve had an aversion to the entire organization due to their previous name. It’s like a blackhole of baseball activities happens in Cleveland. I tend to forget they exist most of the time, but that’s not saying much since I have the kind of ADHD where anything I don’t see often ceases to exist. Like the entire American League, to be honest.
  8. Cardinals. I mean, the Dodgers would rank below them if this were a complete list of teams in baseball, but not by a ton.

We’ll have more information on when and how to watch the games tomorrow, but in the meantime, who are you guys rooting for?