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Reviewing the other nine post-season contenders

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The Diamondbacks are not the only team in the playoffs. Who knew?

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

For each team, we’ve provided some info on their regular season record, best player (by bWAR), former D-backs who played for them this year (not necessarily on the post-season roster), last playoff appearance and World Series win, odds and an entirely scientific, 100% guaranteed accurate SnakePit likeability factor on a scale from 1-10.

Boston Red Sox

  • Record: 93-69
  • Best player: Mookie Betts
  • Former D-backs: Blaine Boyer, Addison Reed, Chris Young
  • Last playoffs: 2016
  • Last World Series win: 2013
  • Odds: 8/1
  • Likeability: 6

The Red Sox were a lot more likeable when they were losers, and Jimmy Fallon could star with Drew Barrymore in cute movies about how lovable and long-suffering their fans were. Given they’ve had three World Series wins since our last trip, they no longer qualify. But they did give us both Mike Hazen and Torey Lovullo: for that, we thank them. Visiting Fenway Park remains on my baseball bucket list, and I am now unable to hear Sweet Caroline without yelling “So good! So good! So good!” at the appropriate moment.

Chicago Cubs

  • Record: 92-70
  • Best player: Kris Bryant
  • Former D-backs: Miguel Montero
  • Last playoffs: 2016
  • Last World Series win: 2016
  • Odds: 15/2
  • Likeability: 3

See Red Sox, Boston, for the whole “lovable losers” thing, and if there’s another 108-year drought before they win it again, I’d be fine with that. The main problem are the largely insufferable local Cubs fans, who crawl out from under rocks and invade Chase Field for three games a year. It was 10x as bad this season, like having your village invaded by pikeys. :) Which is odd, because the non-local Cubs fans I know - the ones who truly were long-suffering - are pretty cool. The whole Miggy thing this year was kinda odd though.

Cleveland Indians

  • Record: 102-60
  • Best player: Corey Kluber
  • Former D-backs: Trevor Bauer, Craig Breslow, Bryan Shaw
  • Last playoffs: 2016
  • Last World Series win: 1948
  • Odds: 3/1
  • Likeability: 7

After the agony of losing in Game 7 last year, the Indians are back. With now four World Series losses since their last win, they took over from the team they lost to in 2016, for the longest time since their last title [discounting those who never won it, obvs] Will be keeping Bauer’s drones locked up, just to be safe: how you feel about the team may well depend on how you feel about Trevor. Eccentric character, or egocentric dick? There’s a case both ways. If they win, the whole Major League thing can finally be put to bed.

Colorado Rockies

  • Record: 87-75
  • Best player: Nolan Arenado
  • Former D-backs: Mark Reynolds, Gerardo Parra, Chad Qualls
  • Last playoffs: 2009
  • Last World Series win: never
  • Odds: 25/1
  • Likeability: 8

As if playing them 19 times in the regular season, and a bunch more in spring training weren’t enough, we face each other one more time to start the play-offs. Colorado and Arizona share a lot: spring training facilities, moderate budgets and a deep distaste for Los Angeles. But unlike them, we have actually won the division... I think my feelings for them have warmed up with the departure of Tulowitzki, . If we were to lose in the wild-card game, I’d likely be rooting for the Rockies among the remaining NL teams.

Houston Astros

  • Record: 101-61
  • Best player: Jose Altuve
  • Former D-backs: Tyler Clippard, Will Harris, Tony Sipp
  • Last playoffs: 2015
  • Last World Series win: never
  • Odds: 9/2
  • Likeability: 6

You know everyone at Sports Illustrated is pilling for them, after their cover from June 2014. It would complete a remarkable turnaround for the Astros, who lost between 106 and 111 games each year from 2011-13, yet were one of three team who won a hundred this year [the first time there have been this many since 2003]. But I confess to knowing very little about them. Doubt I’ve seen a single inning of their play, outside the games against the D-backs, and beyond Altuve, doubt I could name a handful of their players. An enigma.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Record: 104-58
  • Best player: Justin Turner
  • Former D-backs: Brandon McCarthy
  • Last playoffs: 2016
  • Last World Series win: 1988
  • Odds: 7/2
  • Likeability: 1

Wait, what: their best player is not Clayton Kershaw? And I was assured by some of their fans he would single-handedly win them the World Series, with the Dodgers forfeiting all games outside Los Angeles. Turns out both Turner and Corey Seager have been more valuable this year. They’ve had McCarthy on the roster, otherwise they would be, like, minus ten million or something for likeability. The Dodogers have become the mid-2000’s Yankees, only missing the winning charisma and sunny disposition of Alex Rodriguez, the part instead being played by the Puig.

Minnesota Twins

  • Record: 85-77
  • Best player: Ervin Santana
  • Former D-backs: Craig Breslow
  • Last playoffs: 2010
  • Last World Series win: 1991
  • Odds: 25/1
  • Likeability: 9

If there’s a more unlikely story than the D-backs this year, it has to be the Twins, who were even worse than Arizona last season, going 59-103. Has any team gone from 100 losses to the playoffs the next year? They approached the trade deadline with the worst run differential in the division and as sellers - yet here they are. You could get 150-1 against the Twins winning it all before spring training, and they’re still the long shots, though if they get past the Yankees on Tuesday, that will likely be cut in half. Got to love the team I followed before Arizona, but if we face them, hope it goes better than the series in Minnesota!

New York Yankees

  • Record: 91-71
  • Best player: Aaron Judge
  • Former D-backs: Tyler Clippard, Didi Gregorius
  • Last playoffs: 2015
  • Last World Series win: 2009
  • Odds: 8/1
  • Likeability: 2

If I never hear about Aaron Judge again, it will be too soon. I’m convinced that if he played anywhere bar Yankee Stadium, he would be toiling away in semi-obscurity, rather than having every fart analyzed. Otherwise, this version of the Yankees are not quite as obnoxious as they used to be, a decade or so ago. They haven’t even won a playoff game since 2012, which inflicts a degree of humility on any fanbase. But it takes more than five years for such a massive sense of entitlement to be erased fully. Must admit though, a rematch of the 2001 World Series would be kinda fun!

Washington Nationals

  • Record: 97-65
  • Best player: Max Scherzer
  • Former D-backs: Matt Albers, Stephen Drew, Adam Eaton, Edwin Jackson, Oliver Perez, Scherzer
  • Last playoffs: 2016
  • Last World Series win: never
  • Odds: 8/1
  • Likeability: 5

The Nats have become the NL version of the A’s. They’ve had six consecutive seasons with a winning record, including three division titles, but the franchise’s last playoff series win was as the Expos in 1981. I guess Mike Rizzo’s shit doesn’t work in the playoffs either. Gains likeability points for the plethora of former D-backs all over, in particular Max - then loses them for Bryce Harper. Otherwise, though, I find the Nationals the equivalent of McDonalds: blandly efficient. A World Series between them and the Astros would be almost devoid of rooting interest for me.

Poll

If the D-backs don’t win the World Series, who would you want to win it?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Boston Red Sox
    (17 votes)
  • 7%
    Chicago Cubs
    (17 votes)
  • 22%
    Cleveland Indians
    (50 votes)
  • 16%
    Colorado Rockies
    (37 votes)
  • 15%
    Houston Astros
    (33 votes)
  • 10%
    Los Angeles Dodgers
    (23 votes)
  • 11%
    Minnesota Twins
    (25 votes)
  • 2%
    New York Yankees
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    Washington Nationals
    (10 votes)
218 votes total Vote Now