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Who to root for in the American League playoffs

Ezra Shaw

With another edition of the MLB playoffs getting underway tonight when the Oakland Athletics visit the Kansas City Royals it's time to figure out who Blue Jays fans should be cheering for (since it's been over two decades since the answer to that question has been Toronto). There aren't really any teams that are universally hated by Blue Jays fans in this year's playoffs so the options are pretty open as to whom to support.

It's hard to hate on Oakland too much, since they're still a pretty likeable group and have all the Moneyball magic behind them. The team doesn't have many former Blue Jays on their roster and the one that they do in Jesse Chavez doesn't look to feature in the team's postseason plans. Personally, I have a pretty big baseball crush on Sonny Gray and his nasty curveball so I'm hoping the A's beat the Royals so he gets to pitch against the Angels.

The Kansas City Royals are a team that definitely resembles the Blue Jays in a lot of ways, which might make it easier for some people to root for them this October. Both teams feature an outfielder who started off their career slowly before becoming a MVP candidate as well as rosters that feature a combination of both young inexperienced players and proven veterans. With the Royals making it to the postseason this year they snapped their 29-year drought which of course makes the Blue Jays dry spell of 21 years the longest in the league. They also have Jason Frasor. Meh

The Tigers seem to be a team that divides opinion amongst Blue Jays fans every year that they make the playoffs. They are the older fans who remember the rivalry the teams once had before Detroit was moved to the AL Central in 1998. The other side of the coin sees newer fans support the Tigers as the closest team to the Blue Jays and a pretty exciting squad to watch. Once again there's very few notable former Blue Jays on Detroit other than Rajai Davis who will likely be the starting centre fielder in the ALDS which is pretty spectacular.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim appear to me as one of the most underrated and under-appreciated teams in all of baseball even though they are one of the favourites to win the championship. A team with Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Jered Weaver should make for must-watch viewing nightly, but thanks to the time change it seems like they are often forgotten about. Seeing Mike Trout in the playoffs should be a fun experience and it would be pretty cool to see him take on Bryce Harper in the World Series. They also feature John McDonald and Cory Rasmus who is Colby Rasmus' brother.

Lastly there's the American League East representatives in the Baltimore Orioles. If you're bitter about the Blue Jays not being in the playoffs then you certainly won't be cheering for the Orioles, but the other choices to make the postseason from the AL East would be a whole lot worse. There was that hostility a few games ago when Marcus Stroman threw at Caleb Joseph, but that didn't really escalate too much so I personally wouldn't hold it against them. The Orioles seem like a pretty boring team and their starting rotation doesn't have much star power, but they do have Kelly Johnson...

The teams I'll be rooting for this month in the American League portion of the playoffs are probably going to be the Angels because they're extremely exciting to watch and the Tigers because I want to attend a playoff game before I die and the Blue Jays aren't really holding up their end of the bargain. How about you folks?