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If I was king of the postseason, 2019 edition

All right, wild-card games out of the way, ridiculous over-the-top celebrations for play-in games out of the way, we've arrived at the real part of the postseason.

Has anyone been dreading this as much as I have?

I like to think of watching baseball games as a fun activity. But the older I get, the more consecutive times the Dodgers make the postseason, the more Major League Baseball resembles a video game, the more I approach the playoffs just a tad anxious.

I'm sorry. That's not the right outlook. But already I don't like the idea of my team's pitcher giving up five home runs in a game, even if the Dodgers still end up winning. I don't know how much of that I can take. And I expect it to happen a lot this October.

But the Dodgers are in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year and I guess I just have to deal. Better than being a Padres fan, right?

The first two years I wrote this post, the Dodgers weren't involved. But since then, L.A. and a bunch of other teams keep showing up in the postseason over and over again. I assembled the 16 possible matchups for this year's World Series and 11 of those matchups were possibilities over the previous nine years.

Fortunately the Twins have made it this year to supply a splash of new blood. It's appreciated or else I would be massively repeating myself here.

So here are all the potential World Series matchups. Mull them over while you're watching the two games and 952 commercials tonight.

1. Astros vs. Dodgers -- the "I keep having the same nightmare" series

What's good about it: As I said last year, the only thing good about this series would be: REVENGE.

What's bad about it: I'm not liking all the comparisons of the Dodgers to the 1990s Buffalo Bills even if all of those comparisons are in my head.

Who I want to win: Dodgers

2. Twins vs. Cardinals -- the "1987 rematch" series

What's good about it: This World Series occurred during a very happy period of my life. So it would be filled with warm fuzzies, especially if they showed some old highlights from the Metrodome, which I am sure they will.

What's bad about it: The team that I wanted to win the first time they played -- the Cardinals -- would win this time.

Who I'd want to win: the Twins

3. Rays vs. Nationals -- the "baseball is officially dead" series

What's good about it: Every fan would have three seats on either side of them to lounge around.

What's bad about it: Those people who write those stories about how baseball attendance is down and young people don't watch baseball anymore and how everyone under 30 spends all their time playing video games would have more fuel for the fire with the lowest TV ratings of all-time.

Who I'd want to win: Rays

4. Yankees vs. Braves -- The "so gross" series

What's good about it: People who were born in 1986 will get to reminisce about those awful Yankees-Braves World Series of the late '90s.

What's bad about it: I hated those late '90s World Series. And since I've already seen it once -- I mean twice -- I don't need to watch it again.

Who I'd want to win: Braves

5. Twins vs. Braves -- the "1991 rematch" series

What's good about it: All these rematches! I'd get to watch the Twitter people go at it. There are always very vocal Braves fans on Twitter. And there are a handful of vocal Twins fans who I would immediately feel sorry for because the Braves fans just won't END.

What's bad about it: I see many home runs in this series. Too many home runs. Of course, we'll have all seen the Twins-Yankees ALDS by this point, in which they set a record for an average of 15 home runs per game, so I guess we'd be numb to it.

Who I'd want to win: Twins

6. Rays vs. Dodgers -- the Adam Kolarek series

What's good about it: Every game I watch on TV at Tropicana Field instantly puts me to sleep. The Dodgers would be just what that field needs to keep my attention.

What's bad about it: The Dodgers and Rays trade like every year (this year it was Adam Kolarek) and I would feel the Rays have some sort of insider knowledge because of this.

Who I'd want to win: Dodgers

7. Yankees vs. Cardinals -- the "AL Yankees play the NL Yankees" series

What's good about it: Seeing the Cardinals stun the Yankees with some guy that nobody heard of until this year -- which has been a Cardinals specialty for at least a decade -- would finally be a fun thing instead of an irritating Devil Magic thing.

What's bad about it: I don't think either team really needs another title.

Who I'd want to win: Cardinals

8. Astros vs. Nationals -- the "no-hitter alert" series

What's good about it: Verlander vs. Scherzer; Cole vs. Strasburg. Holy smokes.

What's bad about it: This likely would be a short series.

Who I'd want to win: Astros

9. Yankees vs. Nationals: the bloviator series

What's good about it: Heck I don't know. All I can see is the Expos in Yankee Stadium for the World Series and I'm a little ticked off right now!

What's bad about it: This has been a possible WS matchup three times in the last nine years and each time all I can think of how it's a matchup between the two most self-important cities in the country.

Who I'd want to win: Nationals

10. Rays vs. Braves -- the "damn it's hot down here in October" series

What's good about it: Both teams save on gas mileage. Maybe we can get rid of the built-in breaks in the Series.

What's bad about it: Everybody down south has moved on to football.

Who I'd want to win: Rays

11. Twins vs. Dodgers -- the "1965 rematch" series

What's good about it: The best World Series program cover in history, from the 1965 World Series, will reappear everywhere.

What's bad about it: The ghost of Zoilo Versailles will ensure the Twins get revenge.

Who I'd want to win: Dodgers

12. Astros vs. Cardinals -- the "good Ol' NL Central matchup from 1997" series

What's good about it: Two National League teams are playing!

What's bad about it: I'll get to see the Astros tee off on Cardinals pitchers about 47 times. That should be a good thing, but ... admit it, home runs are a wee bit repetitive now.

Who I'd want to win: Astros

13. Rays vs. Cardinals -- the wings and fins series

What's good about it: I think this Series would interest only real fans. I'd enjoy watching a Series without any extra garbage going on.

What's bad about it: I'd have to buy some notebooks as I learn a lot of players' names.

Who I'd want to win: Rays

14. Twins vs. Nationals -- the "former Senators play the former Expos" series

What's good about it: Nobody expects this to be the World Series. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

What's bad about it: Another Series that will draw low ratings and unleash a series of mournful articles but actually I think low-ratings World Series are the best. I'm still all buzzed by the Rays and Phillies in '08.

Who I'd want to win: the Twins

15. Astros vs. Braves: the "National West of my youth returns" series

What's good about it: Lots of references to Jose Cruz and Bob Horner and Gene Garber and Craig Reynolds, right? Right?????

What's bad about it: The announcers would get just a little too excited about the amount of youthful stars in this series. And then we'd see 50 Topps Now cards a day of Ronald Acuna Jr.

Who I'd want to win: Astros

16. Yankees vs. Dodgers -- the "saved the worst for last" series

What's good about it: If the Dodgers win, it will be the greatest 24 hours of my life since 1981.

What's bad about it: The whole Series will be agonizing, both in front of the TV and in the rest of my life. I'll have to listen to a 100 different observations, all from a Yankees perspective, every day of the World Series. I might have to go live in a cave.

Who I'd want to win: Dodgers.

OK, so those are all the potential matchups. Settle in for a lot of pitchers craning their necks upward as yet another home run leaves the yard.

Oh, and congratulations to the Astros.

There's no way you're not winning.


  1. Thinking of a possible Rays-Nationals matchup made me wonder how long it's been since the World Series featured two franchises that had never won it before. I looked it up, and I was surprised it's happened so rarely. The last time was in 1980 when the Phillies beat the Royals. Before that was in 1920 when the Indians beat the Brooklyn Robins, and it only happened five other times, all from 1903-1909.

  2. Go Nationals! But they'll get stomped at some point. Then I'll root for a team that hasn't won it in a while. Dodgers are high on that list.

    I hate that it's such a crisis in the media when the WS matchup is not two major market teams. Gee, if a smaller team gets to the Series, their market may expand! Share the wealth a little New York, Boston, and St. Louis...

  3. Go anyone except the Yankees!

  4. Totally agree on the Yankees vs. the Dodgers being #16... although I've gotta admit two legendary franchises meeting in the World Series is MLB's dream. Personally... I'd like to see the Astros vs. the Nationals. However at the end of October, the only thing I'd be truly bummed about is if the Yankees ended up winning #28.

  5. Much like you, I don't want #16 to happen because then I'll have to root against the Dodgers. I'd much rather just root for my team or root for the Dodgers to upend Houston.

  6. Please, let's have anyone make the World Series from the American League except the Yankees.

    I agree that Houston seems like the favorite, but don't count your Dodgers out quite yet. I don't want to jinx things, but they have a special team once again.


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