Bud Selig served as MLB's commissioner for over 20 years, but he will be remembered mostly for two things -- expanding the playoffs in 1995 to include a Wild Card team, and expanding the playoffs again in 2012 to include a second Wild Card team. As such, 10 out of 30 teams now make the playoffs in baseball, when it used to just be four as recently as 1993.
With the 2014 postseason picture set, 10 fanbases have their mind on one thing -- celebrating a World Series title for their favorite team. But nine of those 10 fanbases will ultimately be left sad and disappointed, at least for a little bit. Sure, if the Royals lose to the A's in the Wild Card round, Royals fans will be sad -- but in time, they'll be happy and reflect upon 2014 as a success, after watching the Royals make the playoffs for the first time in 29 years.
Still, 90% of fans with their team still alive will end the year disappointed. Here's why you'll be sad, and why your team won't win the World Series.
Orioles -- Of Baltimore's five qualified batters, four struck out over 100 times -- J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis. Davis is also still serving a suspension -- but that could be a blessing in disguise for Baltimore. The Orioles will face the best pitching the league has to offer, and the offense could struggle because of it.
Plus, is anybody actually scared of facing Chris Tillman in a do-or-die playoff game? Didn't think so. Sorry, Orioles fans, your team will not win the World Series.
Tigers -- The Tigers have been the odds-on favorites in the American League for how many years now, and have what exactly to show for it? Yep, nothing. Justin Verlander isn't himself anymore, and even Miguel Cabrera had a bit of a down year. Don't expect J.D. Martinez to carry this team in the playoffs, as he did for stretches during the summer.
Plus, that bullpen. Seriously. Joe Nathan had an awful year, and the Tigers will have a hard time closing out any close game. Sorry, Tigers fans, your team will not win the World Series.
Angels -- The only scary thing about the Angels is Mike Trout -- other than that, what's so special about this team? Absolutely nothing. The rotation will be anchored by Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, who are both past their primes. The lineup really falls off after the shell of Albert Pujols bats, and who knows which Josh Hamilton will show up.
The Angels just have too many question marks to win the World Series. Keep the Rally Monkey at home this year -- sorry, Angels fans, your team will not win the World Series.
Royals -- First off, the Royals are one of two Wild Card teams, so there's a decent chance the Royals only play one postseason game. Hey, one in 30 years is pretty good, right?
Secondly, just no. This offense isn't going to win a playoff series, let alone the World Series. KC's offense is pretty offensive, right?! Sorry, Royals fans, your team will not win the World Series.
A's -- Did I just mention the Royals had an anemic offense? Well, the same is certainly true for the A's. Oakland dealt one of its two legitimate hitters in Yoenis Cespedes to acquire Jon Lester, and the A's are left with a shell of a lineup.
Billy Beane's teams have yet to advance to the World Series, and this year will be no different. Sorry, A's fans, your team will not win the World Series.
Nationals -- #NATITUDE! The Nats are pretty good, but then you remember -- they are the Washington Nationals. They just can't win, right? I mean, after what happened in 2012, when the Nats blew a two-run, ninth inning lead to the Cardinals to lose the NLDS in dramatic fashion?
Overall, it's a solid team, but that bullpen will be a problem for the Nats. Rafael Soriano? Yikes. Sorry, Nats fans, but your team will not win the World Series.
Cardinals -- Two words: Mike Matheny. Ok, more than two words: the Cardinals can't hit, and have a pretty shaky bullpen. Recipe for playoff disaster.
Plus, haven't the Cardinals used up all their magic the last few seasons? Sorry, Cardinals fans, your team will not win the World Series.
Dodgers -- If Clayton Kershaw isn't on the mound, the Dodgers are a .500 team -- and that's pretty mediocre. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Kershaw can't pitch every game. Los Angeles' bullpen has also been problematic -- sensing a theme here with the NL playoff teams.
Plus, the Dodgers' bats are so streaky. Yasiel Puig went through a really long slump -- and players like Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp are prone to that as well. Sorry, Dodgers fans, your team will not win the World Series.
Pirates -- Besides Andrew McCutchen, who scares you in this lineup? Nobody, that's who. Pittsburgh does have a solid bullpen, but I'm not buying Francisco Liriano or Edinson Volquez in a playoff series. Gerrit Cole is awesome, though.
Still, Cole isn't enough at this point in his career to win a playoff series by himself. Sorry, Pirates fans, your team will not win the World Series.
Giants -- The Giants deserve to lose just because they gave Tim Lincecum a two-year, $35 million contract after last season, when it was clear that Lincecum isn't the same pitcher he used to be. Yeah, the Giants have Buster Posey, but what else in the lineup? Not a ton. How did the Giants even win the World Series in 2010 and 2012?
Just no. The Giants aren't going to be the first team to survive the Wild Card round and advance to the World Series, let alone win it. Sorry, Giants fans, your team isn't going to win the World Series.
There! I said it -- nobody apparently will win the World Series. OK, fine -- somebody will win it, but I'll still be 90% right in a month. That's pretty good.
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