Column: Finding a playoff baseball team


Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant (17) and Anthony Rizzo (44) celebrate during the ninth inning of Game 4 of baseball’s National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. The Cubs are favorites to break their 108-year curse and win the World Series. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

In the Northeast, most people are either New York Yankees, New York Mets or Boston Red Sox fans as each of these teams are out of the playoffs and fans of these organizations are at a loss. Just because they are out or did not make the playoffs in the Yankees case, this does not mean that you should not watch the playoffs, you just need to find a new team to root for.

Are you a person who likes the long ball, flashy players and the possibility of a fight breaking out in the middle of the field? If so, the Toronto Blue Jays are the team for you as they do things differently above the northern border.

Like the Golden State Warriors lived and died by the three-pointer in the NBA Finals, the Toronto Blue Jays live and die by the home run. From last year’s Jose Bautista bat flip to Edwin Encarnacion’s walk off in the Wild Card game this year, the Blue Jays have a thing for the dramatic long ball. Toronto finished the year tied for second in the AL East and defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 in the 11th inning of the Wild Card series.

After dispatching the Orioles, the Blue Jays swept the Texas Rangers by scores of 10-1, 5-3 and 7-6 as they hit eight home runs in three games. This postseason, their relievers led by Roberto Osuna and Joe Biagini have combined for 8.2 scoreless innings, as it has been their starting pitchers who have let them down a little. The Kansas City Royals bounced Toronto last season, and this year it is World Series or bust for the Blue Jays.

Are you the sports fan that believes in destiny, non-household players and championship runs that are similar to underrated sports films? If so, the Cleveland Indians are for you. Cleveland finally won two championships this year and they want a third.

After the Cavaliers and the Lake Erie Monsters won championships for Cleveland, the Indians are looking to join the party and bring home another championship. The Indians finished first in the AL Central and swept the Boston Red Sox, 5-4, 6-0 and 4-3. They are looking for their first championship since 1948 and their best two players might be their relievers Cody Allen, a rookie, and Andrew Miller, who was a Yankee for half of the year.

The Indians have not been this good since they were led by Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger in the movie series “Major League.” After improbably winning the division title, the band of misfits takes the playoffs by storm in a quest of glory, so why can’t these Indians do the same thing?

Do you like the underachieving team of superstars and a team led by superstars? If so, the Washington Nationals or Los Angeles Dodgers are the team for you.

Both of these teams, for both the past few years and this season, were deemed World Series contenders as they are led by stellar starting pitchers and have power hitters scattered through their lineup. Each year for the Dodgers, star pitcher Clayton Kershaw in the playoffs turns into Peyton Manning in the playoffs and chokes while the Nationals are the San Diego Chargers of the regular season and find a hilarious way to lose.

The Nationals and the Dodgers play in Game Five of the NLDS on Thursday night and the winner gets a date with the best team in baseball and a team that seems to be on a mission from above.  If you love the best team in baseball, or the team that is trying to break a 108-year curse, the Chicago Cubs are for you.

The Cubs are given a 64 percent chance by to reach the World Series and a 39 percent chance to win it as they finished 103-58 in the regular season and thwarted the San Francisco Giants “even year” magic in four games to win the NLDS.  The Cubs have some of the best young talent in the game, the best manager in the playoffs and an unbelievable closer who tops 102 miles per hour regularly. Chicago is on a mission to bring a championship back to Wrigley and if you are looking to root for the team with the best story, the Cubs are just that team.

Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at

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