The Detroit Tigers may not have made the postseason, but fans can still have a rooting interest
The Detroit Tigers have missed the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year, which is now tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the longest playoff drought in baseball. But just because the Tigers fell short of the postseason yet again, doesn’t mean that fans can’t watch and enjoy the greatness that is playoff baseball.
Call me biased, but the MLB Postseason is the best in all of the four major sports. The crowd is so engaged with every pitch, with loud cheers ringing out after an out is recorded. The athmosphere is always electric.
We’re going to do something a bit different here at Motor City Bengals for the postseason. We’re going to make a Tigers fan’s rooting guide. If you’re struggling with who to root for this postseason, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
One thing to remember is that starting this year, the playoffs have expanded from 10 to 12 teams, with an extra wild card team being added to each league. The Wild Card game has also become a wild card series, with two teams competing in a best-of-3 to move on to the Divison Series.
The top two seeds in each league get a bye as well. It’s kind of like how the NFL used to do it before they expanded to a 14-team playoff.
This will be updated after every round, starting with the Wild Card round, which begins tomorrow. So let’s start with the first matchup in the American League.
Both of these teams have one thing in common: they don’t like to spend money. They both rely on excellent scouting and player development to get it done. Cleveland will single you to death, while Tampa Bay will use next-level strategy to find every conceivable advantage to try and defeat their opponent.
This one should be a no-brainer. The Guardians are a division rival, and frankly, they’re just annoying. Root for the Rays here. The winner of this series will take on the Yankees in the ALDS.
Oh boy, this is going to be a fun series. The Mariners are on the up-and-up, clinching their first playoff berth since 2001. They are led by their four-headed monster of a rotation. Youngters George Kirby and Logan Gilbert have both had great rookie seasons, and free-agent acquistion Robbie Ray has rebouded after a rocky start. But the real prize has been trade deadline acquistion and newly-extended Luis Castillo, who has been dynamite since coming over from Cincinatti. They may have given up a haul to get him, but so far it’s been worth it.
Many would say the Blue Jays underachieved this year, and they’re not wrong. With that lineup and rotation, one could argue they should have won the AL East this year. But here they are, hosting the Wild Card series.
No offense to the Jays here, as they’re a fun team, but I am personally rooting hard for the Mariners. After over two decades of futililty, they’re finally in the playoffs. They’re fans deserve to see them make a deep run. For other Tigers fans, I implore you to do the same, although I think Toronto is the better team.
The winner of this series will play the top-seeded Astros in the next round. On to the National League…
Detroit Tigers fans have had a disdain for the Cardinals since the 2006 World Series. Even thinking about it now…brings back horrible, horrible memories.
With that said, former Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowkski is now at the helm for the Phillies as their president of baseball operations. He has led them to their first playoff birth since 2011. As you can probably guess, he’s still up to his old tricks, signing guys like Kyle Schwarber and former Tiger Nick Castellanos to large free agent contracts. He also traded one of their better prospects in catcher Logan O’Hoppe at the deadline for Noah Syndergaard.
I know a lot of Tigers fans still have an affinity for Dombrowski, so if you’re one of those people, root for the Phillies. If you still hate the Cardinals, root for the Phillies. Otherwise, still root for the Phillies. The winner of this series will play the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.
The Mets have got to feel a little cheated here since they won 101 games, yet are stuck in the Wild Card round. On the other hand, they led the NL East for most of the season and still didn’t win it, so the fault is their own.
The Padres are still mired in inconsistency. Even after acquiring Juan Soto at the trade deadline, they still haven’t lived up to their potential. After all the money they’ve spent over the past couple years, after all the trades that A.J. Preller has made, 89 wins is the best they could do.
The Mets have former Tigers ace Max Scherzer anchoring their rotation along with Jacob deGrom, so you could root for the Mets for that reason. But the real former Detroit Tigers great is on the Padres roster. That’s right, Brandon Dixon is now playing in San Diego.
I was torn on this one, but I just made up my mind. Root for the Padres. Who wouldn’t want to see Brandon Dixon get a ring at the end of all of this? (Former Tigers prospect Jose Azocar is on the Padres roster as well, for what it’s worth.)
The winner of this series will play the juggernaut that is the 111-win Dodgers in the next round.