Published: Wed, October 04, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Major League Baseball playoffs: Ranking all 10 postseason teams based on rootability

Major League Baseball playoffs: Ranking all 10 postseason teams based on rootability

Both defending league champions return to Major League Baseball's playoffs this season, but face stiff competition on their road to defending their pennants.

Last year, game 7 of the series pitting the Cubs against the Cleveland Indians pulled in more than 40 million viewers, making it the most watched baseball game in the past 25 years. Led by pitcher Chris Sale, the Red Sox have a great starting rotation on paper, but aside from Doug Fister, the remaining starters account for just one collective playoff win (not including wins from the bullpen). For the Yankees, the wild card is still an acceptable berth after losing the race for the AL East to Boston. The Washington Nationals (15/2) and the Cubs (8/1) round out the National League's top contenders.

Can anyone challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Playoffs this season?

No matter the outcome of the NL Wild Card, the Dodgers will face a fellow NL-West rival in the NLDS.

The Indians have lost only three times in their last 35 games heading into a September 30 game against the White Sox. The Dodgers are just loaded everywhere you look, and while the Cubs put it on cruise control at times this season, they'll need everything to break right for an opening at what's next. The Nationals won the season series 4-3 with no team winning back-to-back.

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The Flyer News sports staff laid out their predictions for the October ahead. That being said, I just don't see the Twins doing enough here.

The Red Sox, which features a number of entertaining young stars, hit the fourth fewest home runs in all of the majors.

The American League Championship Series sees the Indians face the Astros.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have clinched the NL West and will host the NL Wild Card victor.

The Houston Astros suffered a similar fate as the Dodgers in that they ran away with the league's best record for so long that they were invariably destined to come back down to earth. There's something to be said for resilience, and passion.

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Aside from Cleveland, the Houston Astros (9/2 odds) and the Boston Red Sox (8/1) are the American League's top World Series competitors this fall, according to Bovada.

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It will nearly be like having seven World Series instead of one. Again, it was the Twins who took Game 1 of the divisional matchup behind the pitching of ace Johan Santana, winning 2-0 in the Bronx. The NL Wild Card will be closer because D-backs' Greinke has been seesawing his performance in the postseason. Arizona last won the NLCS in 2001 while the Rockies won it in 2007. After this it gets surprisingly easier.

The 2009 ALDS was just a bit more merciful for the Twins. Sorry Steve, but the Nats are missing something... That, in turn, has pushed good teams to get better. Though Minnesota couldn't reverse its 2003 playoff woes against NY in 2004, the Red Sox made sure of their vengeance. In the end, the #WIndians, with their bullpen with the pennant this year. It has proven hard to go from the wild-card game to the World Series, reinforcing the incentive for teams to win their divisions. The Dodgers have cooled off dramatically after they were on a record pace for three-quarters of the season. The Red Sox will clinch the AL East and the Yankees will host the AL Wild Card game.

Seven games pitting the Dodgers and Astros against each other for all the marbles sounds like a baseball fan's dream. They blew three games to one lead in the World Series a year ago against the Cubs, which the internet went insane for, as expected.

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Looking through the standings, the only potential thing to "win" would be the first draft pick in next year's amateur draft, which goes to the team with the worst win-loss record. While this season doesn't guarantee they play home games at Target Field, this team reversed course on a dismal 103 loss season, to surprise even the most hopeful fans.

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