It's playoff season, and with that...bam, a new edition of the Watchability Rankings. This set of rankings isn't a set of power rankings, breaking down the best MLB Postseason teams by skill level. Instead, these rankings will attempt to answer the question of "which team would I want to watch play upwards of 20 games this month?" The more entertaining the team, the more I'd like to watch them play, and thus, the higher their ranking. This isn't that hard, or that serious.
Wild Card vs Reds
Pittsburgh *needs* this, and quite frankly, they deserve it after the last 20 years of crap they've had to wade through with the Pirates. The Bucs have one of the most electric athletes in baseball in Andrew McCutchen on their squad, and a pitching staff featuring Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, and Jason Grilli is one of the most fun to watch in the majors.
ALDS vs Tigers
Can you imagine what would happen if the Moneyball-minded A's won the World Series? The old school television pundits who scream about "that stuff not working in the playoffs" would be tripping over themselves to come up with excuses as to why the A's won. Maybe a World Series would also get the wheels moving on that new stadium too, huh?
NLDS vs Braves
I like watching Yasiel Puig do Yasiel Puig things. I like older media types getting upset over meaningless actions by the club. There's an obvious joke here about the Dodgers beating the A's in the World Series and jumping in the feces pool in the clubhouse, but I digress.
NLDS vs Dodgers
If the Braves somehow struck out something like 200 times this Postseason and still won the World Series, they would have completely obliterated a narrative that had been taking hold around their team since the spring. it would be glorious. Plus, now that Jason Heyward is healthy and at the top of their lineup, Atlanta is putting runs on the board like it's going out of style.
Wild Card vs Indians
A World Championship would hopefully do a lot for the future of this club and baseball in the Tampa Bay area. This could also be the last hurrah for David Price as a Ray, and Evan Longoria is still somehow under appreciated (and totally awesome) at third base. Yes, the Rays have their share of bad characters, but Joe Maddon has somehow kept their reprehensibility at a low level this year.
Wild Card vs Rays
This isn't the Albert Belle/Manny Ramirez/Jim Thome Indians of nearly two decades ago. It's also not the CC Sabathia/Grady Sizemore led bunch from five plus years ago. This is a different squad led veterans like Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, as well as electric young stars like Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana. I don't really have anything against the Indians, but isn't the sports world more fun when Cleveland fans are miserable?
ALDS vs Athletics
Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander sure are great to watch, as are Max Scherzer and Prince Fielder. Yet, when watching the Tigers play, I feel unenthused, like the team somehow should be better. If they didn't beat the tar out of the Indians like they did during the regular season (15-4!), they might not have even made the playoffs. Of course, we can't play that game (as it will turn into a giant rabbit hole of suck), but I still feel like the Tigers are a team that peaked last year, and might suck all of the fun out of the playoffs this year.
ALDS vs Rays or Indians
Because honestly, do Boston fans need to be any more insufferable? A third World Series in ten years would push them past Yankees fans, even if New York hasn't had a complete debacle in the style of the 2012 Red Sox in years. Plus, I think that the Red Sox winning would set a bad example going forward. If you're a manager that wants a new job, just complain and make subtle hints in the media, and you'll get it. If you're a general manager that signs a lot of terrible contracts, just bail for a new club and let your successor dump nine figures worth of contracts on another team that is desperate for a return to relevancy.
NLDS vs Pirates or Reds
I really don't want to hear about the "best fans in baseball" every time a game is played at Busch Stadium. It's a go-to talking point for everyone whenever a game is played there, and that's one of those statements that makes my head hurt. The main draw of the Cardinals is "our catcher is really good at throwing out baserunners". The rest of their team is efficient in nearly every other aspect of the game to a fault.
Wild Card vs Pirates
I'm sorry Reds fans, but my brain would probably explode if I had to watch Dusty Baker manage for more than one game this October and hear Brandon Phillips incessantly talk about swag (or whatever).
I know these are going to irritate everyone. Cardinals fans will talk about the masterful pitching of Adam Wainwright and raw hitting talent of Matt Holliday as to why their team is watchable. Reds fans will talk about Joey Votto's understated talent at the dish. Red Sox fans will spout about how awesome it is to see Mike Napoli hit 450 foot homers on a weekly basis. But these rankings really aren't for you: they're for the Royals fan who hasn't seen playoff baseball in decades. They're for the baseball fans in Chicago and New York who don't know what to do with themselves in October. They're for the fans in the Beltway who were optimistic after last year's playoff success, only to be punched in the gut this year.