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A Red Sox fan's rooting guide for the 2015 MLB playoffs

Forget independent thought, let me tell you who to root for this October!

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The playoffs start today! As a baseball fan, this is very exciting. As a Red Sox fan, it’s a harsh reminder that, regardless of how well they played down the stretch, in the end it was yet another lost season for the hometown team. As sad as that may be, most of us will still sit down and watch as much of the postseason as possible. Here are each of the teams you’ll be watching, and whether or not you should be rooting for them.

New York Yankees

If we’re being honest with ourselves, the Yankees aren’t really as hatable as they used to be. Maybe it’s due to Boston’s relative to success, or the retirement of the core from the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Many people still are not very fond of Alex Rodriguez, but beyond him, there aren’t many unlikable players on that roster. They even have Andrew Miller and Jacoby Ellsbury! With that being said, they’re still the Yankees. It’s going to be pretty easy to root against them this October.

Houston Astros

The Astros haven’t been in this position for what seems like forever. Over the past few years, they’ve been taking part in a relatively controversial tanking process. They literally sold shirts that said "process" to sell the idea to the fan base, a tactic that was a little obnoxious. On top of that, they’ve had some shaky moments with player relations, including when they drafted Brady Aiken with the first overall pick. Despite all of that, there are still reasons for Red Sox fans to root for them. They have an exciting young core, including Carlos Correa, who will be Xander Bogaerts’ rival at shortstop for the next ten years, and local boy George Springer. Not to mention the man, the myth, the legend Jed Lowrie. They’re far from perfect to root for, but at least in the wildcard game tonight, most of Boston will be rooting for them.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs

Of all the teams that will be participating in the 2015 playoffs, the Cubs are most likely to be the local favorite in the Boston area. Their entire roster is seemingly made up for former Red Sox players and employees. From Jon Lester to Anthony Rizzo to David Ross to Manny Ramirez to Theo Epstein to Quintin Berry, Chicago’s organization is overflowing with Boston legends. On top of that, they’re going through a somewhat notable World Series drought which will be exciting to watch if/when it ends. However, there is an evil part of me that just never wants the Cubs to win. Plus, who wants to root for Joe Maddon? Still, those two things aren't enough, as this is an easy team for Red Sox fans to root for over the next few weeks.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates have almost no connection to the Red Sox, with their only shared player being Mark Melancon. While he’s been outstanding with the Pirates, he wasn’t exactly a fan favorite in his time with the Red Sox. Even without a specific connection, though, they are an easy team to root for. They were bad for a long time, and although they’ve been in the postseason for a few years in a row now, they haven’t taken the next step. Andrew McCutchen is just about the coolest guy in the league. They have fun, talented young players in Gerrit Cole and Gregory Polanco. It’s not enough to root for them over the Cubs in Wednesday’s wildcard game, but if they move on, they’ll be easy to root for the rest of the way.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have John Lackey, who you should like as a Red Sox fan. They have Former Future Red Sox Right Fielder Jason Heyward. Generally speaking, their roster is made up of mostly likable players. Still, they’re the Cardinals. Their fans can be obnoxiously pretentious. The team is here every year. I’m sick of them, and you should be too. Get them out of here. They’re the easiest NL team to root against.

New York Mets

If you’re at least 35 years old, you’ll probably be rooting against the Mets because of something that happened in 1986. Don’t do that, grudges are dumb. The Mets are an extremely fun team to root for this year, and their roster includes a few former Red Sox, including Yoenis Cespedes and Bartolo Colon. New York is also the current home to Future Red Sox Ace Matt Harvey. David Wright is one of the nicest guys in the league, their pitching is ridiculous, and Yankee fans will be so annoyed if the Mets get all the headlines. You have to root for them.

Los Angeles Dodgers

This is probably going to be one of the most divisive teams amongst Red Sox fans this October. They still have the stink of Josh Beckett (who should have been more well-liked in my opinion, but that’s a story for another day), and Carl Crawford is actually still playing. However, they do have Adrian Gonzalez, who was nothing but great for Boston. They have Clayton Kershaw, the closest thing to Pedro since Pedro. More importantly, they allowed the Red Sox to hit the reset button a few years ago. That was super nice of them. They deserve to have us root for them. However, they’re playing the Mets, so that round is a toss-up. Root for you who want. I’m not your mother.

Toronto Blue Jays

By all unbiased accounts, the Blue Jays are an extremely likable team. They just snapped the longest playoff drought in sports, and the entire city is revitalized. You can tell it’s a special atmosphere there just by watching on TV, like it was in Pittsburgh a few years ago and Kansas City last year. They hit like it’s 2002 again. Still, they’re an AL East team, and we can’t have other teams in the division succeeding. Root against them.

Kansas City Royals

The Royals traded for Jonny Gomes a couple months ago, so they obviously don’t need our help. Still, you can’t root against Gomes. They also have Franklin Morales. Franklin Morales has a 131 ERA+ and a 3.52 FIP in 62 innings. What the hell? They won the ALCS last year, so you’d think they’d be old news by now, but they’re still a fun team. Some will be annoyed by their fans having the audacity to act like fans in the All-Star Game voting, but don’t be one of them. Since they’ve been here before, they’re not the best team to root for, but at least they’re better than the AL East teams. Plus, as a bullpenphile I kind of have to root for the team that popularized strong back-ends.

Texas Rangers

We’re saving the best for last. The only bad thing about the Rangers are the fact that they’re in Texas, but that’s not their fault. They have two of the most likable former Red Sox still in the league, Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre. They were nice enough to end the decades-long Cole Hamels saga. Most importantly, they came out of nowhere this year, and that’s always a lot of fun. They aren’t great at anything, but they’re pretty good at everything. There’s nothing really offensive about this team. Of all the American League teams, they have to be the best choice for Red Sox fans.

So……go Cubs vs. Rangers World Series!