While we’re all watching the League Championship Series, let’s look ahead and figure out which World Series matchup would be the most fun to watch.
The list of contenders runs from a newcomer to this level of baseball to the team that has owned this portion of the baseball calendar for as long as we can remember. The storylines that could come from any series are endless, but which one would truly be the most fun to watch once the time comes for the World Series to be decided?
The first pitch of the World Series will be thrown on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Here’s who I want to see in the game:
From a pitching standpoint, this matchup would be mouth-watering. On one side, you would have the Nationals attempting to win the most coveted prize in baseball by having the trio of Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin carry them to the promised land. On the other side of things, Washington’s bats would have to deal with the likes of Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke throwing filth for the Astros. You could simply advertise the pitching matchup for a certain night and if it included any combination of the aforementioned names, this would be a game that you’d be morally obligated as a baseball fan to tune in for. I’d personally find you and publicly shame you for missing out on it.
Plus, the Nats are the sentimental favorite. Bandwagoning is at an all-time high and quite frankly, but those type of fans are the smart ones anyway. Everybody likes cheering for an underdog and Washington’s never been this far in the postseason. Could the Nations pick up their first ever World Series championship at the expense of a franchise that’s trying to cement its place as one of baseball’s top organizations with their second title in three years? It’s a tantalizing idea.
2. Yankees vs. Nationals
This is as David vs. Goliath as you can get in the playoffs, a team that’s never been to the World Series and a team that’s been there more than anybody else in the sport. Yes, the Yankees are probably as likable of a bunch of players as anybody wearing those pinstripes can get, but it’s still the Yankees. The Nationals would become the obvious choice for non-Yankees baseball fans across America.
Could the Nats’ aforementioned three-headed pitching monster of Strasburg, Scherzer and Corbin manage to keep the Yankees’ power-laden lineup inside of the ballpark? Imagine the drama if one of those three found themselves in a situation where they had to keep the likes of Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres and the dangerous duo of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton from breaking a game open while the raucous crowd at Yankee Stadium does their best to rattle them. Let’s do it.
3. Astros vs. Cardinals
Then there’s the possibility of Astros-Cardinals. Although this doesn’t really seem too appealing on paper, the past two World Series appearances for St. Louis have actually been entertaining and they just gave us what was arguably the most exciting Divisional Series of this year. On-field drama always seems to follow Yadier Molina and his merry band of redbirds and who’s to say that they wouldn’t continue to bring some magical moments as they got deeper into the postseason.
Also, there’s the off-field aspect. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow got his start with the Cardinals and played an integral role in helping build the 2011 World Series champions. Luhnow could not only win another World Series for the Astros, but do it while showing his teachers that the student has fully and completely surpassed his former master. Plus, he’d probably enjoy watching a team he built directly denying the Cardinals a title after the Chris Correa hacking scandal from not-too-long ago. Success is the best form of revenge — especially when it ensures that an old foe falls at the last hurdle.
4. Yankees vs. Cardinals
That brings us to Cardinals-Yankees. If you’re a history buff, then you get to see the two most successful teams in their respective leagues square off in the Fall Classic for the sixth time. The shades of Lou Brock, Yogi Berra, Bob Gibson and Mickey Mantle would be flashing all over your television screen as the two baseball bluebloods finally get to renew their hostilities on the biggest stage. You’d probably see traditional media outlets get misty-eyed as they conjure up memories of the halcyon days and this would be billed the chance for new players like Stanton, Judge, Marcell Ozuna and Paul Goldschmidt to join the pantheon of legends for either team.
At the same time, this would cause a good chunk of the baseball world to roll their eyes. Regional loyalties are stronger than they’ve ever been, and the success of St. Louis and New York has also bred contempt from fans who have had their hearts broken by these two teams or are just generally annoyed by them. A matchup between The Evil Empire and the team with The Best Fans In Baseball™ would have plenty of neutral fans rooting for the meteor to finally arrive. David vs. Goliath is fun! Goliath vs. Goliath looks good on paper, but it has the potential to be a slog for everybody.
So what have we learned? Each of these matchups has their own merits and truth be told, I wouldn’t mind watching any of them. Every team has enough fun players to make the games entertaining and it would be hard to imagine a flop of a World Series in any combination of the four remaining teams.
What matchup do you want to see? Tell us in the comments!