With football well into the offseason, and basketball and hockey on the brink of following suit, baseball seems to be the only sport left to watch.
Luckily for Maryland residents, the Orioles and Nationals are currently leading their respective divisions, which means both teams would be in the postseason if the season ended today. Obviously, the season has already started, but it doesn’t mean fans of “America’s Past Time” can’t dream a little bit.
So, being as realistic as possible based on how the current 2016 MLB season is going, what would a perfect postseason look like to a fan of Maryland professional baseball?
AL Playoff Seeding:
- Baltimore Orioles (East) – Not only would this be a completely ideal spot for the Orioles, but it’s actually a legitimate possibility as of now.
- Kansas City Royals (Central) – We learned (not too long ago) that the Orioles and Royals aren’t overly fond of each other. If they meet in the playoffs, things could get heated.
- Seattle Mariners (West) – There are only two teams in MLB history who have never appeared in the World Series. The Mariners are one of them. However, the Mariners might be looking to rewrite history. In order to do that, they would have to go through Baltimore first.
- Boston Red Sox (Wild Card) – Let’s put the Orioles current biggest threat at the AL East title in this playoff picture. It’s no secret that these teams don’t like each other, so, this would make for a potentially great series.
- New York Yankees (Wild Card) – The Blue Jays are the more realistic choice for this spot. However, the Orioles don’t dislike the Blue Jays near as much as they do the Yankees – arguably their biggest rival. Remember, I’m trying to be as realistic “as possible.” This is just a dream scenario.
NL Playoff Seeding:
- Washington Nationals (East) – The Nationals are on fire right now. Not only is being the top seed a possibility, it’s a very achievable goal. They currently hold the second best record in the in the entire National League.
- Chicago Cubs (Central) – It’s hard to not put the Cubs here (they currently have the best record in the MLB). They were on the doorstep of making the World Series last year until the Mets eliminated them in the Championship Series.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (West) – Jackie Robinson might have something to do with why I’m putting the Dodgers in this “dream” scenario.
- San Francisco Giants (Wild Card) – They were the most recent NL team to win the World Series. The Giants tend to be a headache to any opponent they face in the postseason – if the qualify for it.
- New York Mets (Wild Card) – The Braves are probably the Nationals biggest division rival. They are also doing absolutely awful right now. At the rate that they’re going, they could end up with the worst final record in the MLB this season. So, I’ll put one of the teams that kept the Nationals out of the playoffs last season in this mix.
Nothing is sweeter than blasting through teams that you don’t like in order to get to the promise land. With that being said, which of these potential matchups would offer the most headlines?
Wild Card Game:
(5) New York Yankees over (4) Boston Red Sox
(5) New York Mets over (4) San Francisco Giants
The Orioles will see this Wild Card contest as a win-lose game. The more disliked rival advances. Meanwhile, the Nationals also see their division rival advance to the NLDS.
(1) Baltimore Orioles over (5) New York Yankees
(2) Kansas City Royals over (3) Seattle Mariners
(1) Washington Nationals over (5) New York Mets
(2) Chicago Cubs over (3) Los Angeles Dodgers
The Orioles and Nationals both take out their division rivals in the Division Series. Two familiar foes advance to face off against them for all the marbles.
(1) Baltimore Orioles over (2) Kansas City Royals
(1) Washington Nationals over (2) Chicago Cubs
The Orioles knock off the defending World Series champion in thrilling fashion while the Nationals show their grit and take down a team that makes the Championship Series for the second year in a row. This means the World Series would be in Baltimore and the Nation’s Capital. This would also be the first time the Nationals have ever appeared in the World Series.
2016 World Series: Baltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals
No matter who I pick to win this hypothetical World Series, I’m playing with fire. Either way, someone would be upset or disagree with my prediction. So, I’m going to leave those honors to you. Remember, it’s OK to dream a little bit.