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A Red Sox fan’s rooting guide for the playoffs: National League Edition

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How things shake out on the senior circuit.

2019 NLDS Game 3 - Los Angeles Dodgers v. Washington Nationals Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The MLB postseason got underway yesterday in a new format that hopefully is an old format when this time of year rolls around in 2021. There are eight first round series, all best of three, all with the higher seed hosting all three games. The Red Sox, of course, are not participating. Even with that being the case, I would guess many Red Sox fans will still be following along, potentially wondering for whom they should root. I am here to serve, and thus will be providing reasons to root for every postseason team, as well as reasons not to. After looking at the American League on Tuesday, we look at the National League today with that side of the bracket getting started this afternoon. We go in order of seeding, because we live in a society dammit.

(1) Dodgers

Why you should root for them

Some people will probably look at Mookie Betts as a reason to root against them because of some perceived slight of him not signing long-term before being traded. That’s fine. Different strokes for different folks and all that. But that is a reason I am rooting for them. I like Mookie Betts, and also he is about as entertaining as it gets on a baseball field, so the more Mookie action, the better. In addition to Betts, Dave Roberts is the manager. I’m told he’s a big deal in Boston. Also, Clayton Kershaw deserves a win. I mean, jeez. Give the guy a break, baseball gods. And finally, this a fairly tortured fan base.

Why you should not root for them

This part of it is extremely simple: They are the best team in baseball, and it’s not particularly close. It is no fun to root for the favorite, unless the favorite is the Red Sox.

(2) Braves

Why you should root for them

The lineup is full of fun and incredible players. Ronald Acuña specifically is on the short list for most fun players to watch in all of baseball. Freddie Freeman might win MVP and is forever underrated. We’ve seen first-hand what Marcell Ozuna can do, not only hitting for power but doing it in style. The Acuña/Ozzie Albies friendship is something easy to fall in love with. This doesn’t really apply to anyone but me but will help explain my rankings below: My grandparents lived in Atlanta when I was young so the Braves have been my second favorite team forever.

Why you should not root for them

The chop. Pablo Sandoval.

(3) Cubs

Why you should root for them

Jon Lester. Anthony Rizzo. Theo Epstein. Yu Darvish.

Why you should not root for them

They once employed Joe Maddon, and that cannot be rewarded. They have won recently. Let’s get some new winners in here.

(4) Padres

Why you should root for them

This is going to be the most popular team in the playoffs, I think. Most of that has to do with Fernando Tatís Jr. I mentioned Acuña being one of the most fun players in the league, and Tatís is on that list as well. Also, Dinelson Lamet deserves more national recognition. Also, of course, Don Orsillo and Mitch Moreland.

Why you should not root for them

Manny Machado. Everyone is rooting for them, and you have to be different, dammit.

(5) Cardinals

Why you should root for them

Andrew Miller is still there. Jack Flaherty is cool.

Why you should not root for them

They’re always here. Just take a break guys. Best fans in baseball. Over-the-top Yadier Molina love. (He’s outstanding. Don’t yell at me.)

(6) Marlins

Why you should root for them

They are the ultimate underdog story. You love chaos. Sixto Sánchez is amazing. You can impress your friends by telling them how good Pablo López is. The fact that they have never lost a playoff series is amazing and that’s a fun little tidbit to share whenever you can.

Why you should not root for them

They almost shut the season down after playing despite a COVID outbreak sweeping through their clubhouse. Feels like we’ve kind of let that one fade away. That was pretty bad decision-making!

(7) Reds

Why you should root for them

Joey Votto is your favorite hitter’s favorite hitter. Also he’s Triston Casas’s favorite hitter. Luis Castillo rules. Amir Garrett needs more opportunities to show his personality.

Why you should not root for them

Trevor Bauer. Name too similar to the Red Sox.

(8) Brewers

Why you should root for them

They are the biggest underdog in their opening series. Christian Yelich. Daniel Vogelbach. Devin Williams has a chance to be this year’s breakout reliever.

Why you should not root for them

Josh Hader. Ryan Braun. They cut Brock Holt.


Here is my rooting order, from the team I most want to see win the pennant to least.

1. Braves

2. Padres

*gap*

3. Brewers

4. Dodgers

5. Marlins

6. Reds

7. Cubs

*gap*

8. Cardinals