Ranking MLB’s 10 best potential Wild Card Game matchups, including Red Sox-Yankees and Dodgers-Padres

Fewer than two weeks stay within the 2021 MLB common season. Two weeks from Tuesday we’ll know who’s taking part in who within the postseason, even when a Sport 163 tiebreaker is required to determine a race(s) the Monday following the top of the season. Given how tightly bunched a number of races are in the mean time, the probabilities we see a Sport 163 are fairly good. That might be enjoyable.

Right here, for posterity, are the wild card standings going into Tuesday’s motion:

The one factor we all know with certainty proper now could be an NL West crew will host the Wild Card Sport. It will be both the Dodgers or Giants. They’ve the 2 greatest information in baseball and are at present preventing for the NL West title. Whichever crew does not win the division will host the Wild Card Sport. In the meanwhile, the Giants are one sport up on the Dodgers within the NL West.

Apart from that, the wild card races stay broad open. There have been just a few situations through the years the place there was no actual thriller, and the Wild Card Sport matchup was fait accompli for weeks. That’s not the case this yr. The races are nonetheless tight and may come right down to the ultimate few days of the season, if not the ultimate day of the season.

With that in thoughts, let’s rank the very best Wild Card Sport matchups, a few of that are clearly extra seemingly than others. We’ll base these extremely unscientific rankings on crew high quality, historical past, the potential pitching matchup, and normal watchability. That is Yr 9 of the Wild Card Sport and we have seen just a few stinkers and few thrillers. We’re all pulling for the latter for the AL sport on Oct. 5 and the NL sport on Oct. 6. Let’s get to the rankings.

1. Dodgers vs. Padres

The Padres have pale badly these previous few weeks, although they are not fully out of the race but, and these two golf equipment performed a number of the most fun and high-energy video games we noticed all season. Mix that with the urgency of a win-or-go-home situation and it is must-see tv. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, Mookie Betts and Trea Turner, Max Scherzer and, uh, I suppose Yu Darvish? Unsure who San Diego would begin (in the event that they’re even in a position to line up their rotation), however signal me up for Dodgers vs. Padres in October. Now San Diego simply has to get its act collectively.

2. Pink Sox vs. Yankees

Nationwide Pink Sox vs. Yankees fatigue set in round 2006 or so, so I perceive why most of you might be rolling your eyes. Finally, we won’t ignore the rivalry — sorry, The Rivalry™ — and the actual fact this sport may give us a Gerrit Cole vs. Chris Sale pitching matchup. With all due respect to all the opposite aces on different wild card groups, I do not assume it will get higher than Cole vs. Sale. This is able to most likely be a five-hour sport realizing these two groups, however it might be 5 entertaining hours.

3. Cardinals vs. Dodgers

Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt have mixed to hit about 600 residence runs towards the Dodgers of their careers (61, to be actual), so I think about these two plus 40-year-old Adam Wainwright is nightmare gas for the Dodgers trustworthy. These two groups have met within the postseason 3 times since 2009 (the Dodgers received the 2009 NLDS however the Cardinals received the 2013 NLCS and 2014 NLDS) and so most of the predominant characters stay. Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw, Yadier Molina, Justin Turner, and so forth. It could be a blast from the previous Wild Card Sport.

4. Blue Jays vs. Pink Sox

Contemplating how lengthy these groups have been division rivals, they’ve had shockingly few “rivalry moments.” The closest might be Roger Clemens leaving Boston after former Pink Sox GM Dan Duquette stated he was within the “twilight” of his profession, then signing with Toronto, putting out 16 (and staring down the proprietor’s field) in his return to Fenway Park, and successful back-to-back Cy Youngs. Anyway, the Blue Jays are loopy enjoyable and the Pink Sox can go toe-to-toe with anybody in a single sport. Robbie Ray vs. Chris Sale would make for good baseball watchin’.

5. Giants vs. Padres

The Padres and Giants performed one another final week and so they nonetheless have two extra common season collection remaining (together with the ultimate collection of the yr), so possibly fatigue will set in ought to this Wild Card Sport matchup turn into a actuality. I do not assume so although. The Giants are good and enjoyable, the Padres are much less good and enjoyable, and put enjoyable groups collectively and you’ve got a recipe for an thrilling winner-take-all contest. My solely concern is that this matchup may devolve into two bullpen video games given the state of San Diego’s pitching employees and San Francisco seemingly having to maintain their foot on the fuel to pursue an NL West title. Bullpen video games are such an eyesore.

6. Blue Jays vs. Yankees

A younger upstart Blue Jays crew towards the hated Yankees? Hmmm, I’m wondering who non-Yankees followers would root for on this Wild Card Sport. Toronto lately swept a four-game collection in Yankee Stadium through which they did not enable the Yankees to carry a single lead (first time a crew has completed that since 1926), although in a single single sport, something can occur. Plus we’re taking a look at a possible Gerrit Cole vs. Robbie Ray pitching matchup. Cy Younger votes will already be in by then (they’re due earlier than the postseason), although it makes for a enjoyable narrative.

7. Cardinals vs. Giants

Just like the Cardinals vs. Dodgers matchup, the Cardinals and Giants have latest postseason historical past (San Francisco beat St. Louis within the 2012 NLCS and 2014 NLCS) and there are nonetheless so many holdovers from these groups. Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Yadier Molina, Buster Posey, Adam Wainwright, and so forth. This Wild Card Sport matchup can be like stepping right into a time machine and going again seven years, when starters accomplished six innings and so they did not put a runner on second base in additional innings for some motive.

8. Cardinals vs. Reds

This NL Central rivalry has had a little bit of every little thing the previous few years. There’s been some trash discuss (“I hate the Cardinals. Let me make this clear, I hate the Cardinals,” former Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips stated in 2010), some excessive pettiness (former Cardinals supervisor Tony La Russa left former Reds ace Johnny Cueto off the 2012 All-Star Sport roster), and a few downright ugliness (a number of benches clearing incidents). I do not need brawls, however give me all of the trash discuss and pettiness.

9. Blue Jays vs Mariners

Squint your eyes and you may see the Mariners as the following Blue Jays, that ascendant crew constructed round thrilling younger hitters. The Blue Jays have Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, then splurged for George Springer and Hyun-Jin Ryu. In idea, the Mariners are the place the Blue Jays had been in 2019, when Vlad Jr. and Bichette first arrived, and the crew had not but opened its pockets. Will Seattle spend the way in which Toronto has now that Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert have been referred to as up (and Julio Rodríguez is not too distant)? Unclear, however this matchup makes for a enjoyable narrative.

10. Athletics vs Yankees

This is able to be a rematch of the 2018 Wild Card Sport, which had the best mixed successful share within the comparatively transient historical past of the Wild Card Sport (the 100-62 Yankees beat the 97-65 A’s in that sport). These groups have a postseason historical past going again far past 2018 as properly (most notably the Derek Jeter flip play), and so they all the time appear to play video games which are something however regular. Current A’s vs. Yankees conferences are likely to function a lot of lead adjustments and late-inning weirdness. | Rating MLB’s 10 greatest potential Wild Card Sport matchups, together with Pink Sox-Yankees and Dodgers-Padres


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