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Blue Jays: Who should we cheer for to win the 2020 World Series?

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 23: A general view of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays with a reflection in a window of a suite during a baseball game at Tropicana Field on August 23, 2020 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 23: A general view of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays with a reflection in a window of a suite during a baseball game at Tropicana Field on August 23, 2020 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /
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With only four teams remaining, who should Toronto Blue Jays fans cheer for to win the World Series?

Ideally, the Toronto Blue Jays would be the ones facing the Houston Astors in the 2020 ALCS. Unfortunately, they, like the rest of us, are watching at home with pizza and drink of choice.

But when your favourite team(s) bow out of the postseason race, it gives you a chance to root for another team. As a Rocky Mountain Canadian, I flip between the Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants. When both are out it’s time to figure out where former players are, any Canadian connections, or simply which bandwagon would be fun to jump on.

The remaining teams are the aforementioned Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves and L.A. Dodgers. Let’s start breaking down each team and why Blue Jays fans should root for them.

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Houston Astros

This is going to be a tough sell. But listen, the Astros somehow made it to the ALCS and are just four wins away from yet another World Series appearance.

The plan in sports is trying to heat up at the right time. The Astros come into their matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays winning five of their last six games, although they dropped they opener on Saturday night by a tight score of 2-1. They swept the Minnesota Twins in the Wild Card round, then took down Oakland Athletics in four, and they’re playing good baseball right now.

The Astros also have four players hitting over .300 with Carlos Correa averaging an even .500 heading into the ALCS.

A key reason Blue Jays fans might cheer for the Astros is because of their opponent: The Rays. Obviously, Tampa Bay swept Toronto in the Wild Card and Blue Jays fans would love nothing more than to see them lose.

Houston is low key exciting to watch, especially with all their storylines over the last year and a bit. Everyone wants them to fail, but they’ve gone further than most expected (or wanted.)

Tampa Bay Rays

If the Rays end up winning the World Series, Toronto fans can confidently say “we would’ve won the title, but lost to the champs.” But again, this is another team Blue Jays fans most likely won’t root for.

Tampa Bay might be a team who would relish the extra fan support. They’ve been one of baseballs best clubs in recent years, but it’s almost like nobody knows about them. (I went to a Rays vs. Texas Rangers game back in 2018, so I can confidently confirm this.)

The Wild Card series might still be fresh in Toronto fans minds, but Tampa Bay is truly a fun team to watch. They did defeat the Yankees in thrilling fashion. If you missed it, here are the highlights.

They have one of the best pitching rotations with Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton and Ryan Yarbrough. Tampa also has some exciting fielders with Kevin Kiermaier leading the way. Third baseman Mike Brosseau knocked out a home run against the New York Yankees in the ALDS, which should give some Blue Jays a reason to cheer for them.

Kiermaier also came out with this quote regarding the matchup against Houston:

All in all, the Rays have a legit chance at bringing another title home to East Florida and could be worth cheering on.

Atlanta Braves

Being from Calgary, AB, Canada, the Braves have been a team on the radar since last season. They are home to one of baseball’s finest up and comers in pitcher Mike Soroka. Unfortunately, the kid from Calgary was injured early in the season and won’t be back until next year.

But Soroka isn’t the only superstar on this team. Atlanta has potentially one of the best players of all-time in outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. Last season Acuña Jr sent 41 baseballs out of the park and in this shortened season fired away 14 in 46 games played.

His teammate first-baseman Freddie Freeman is a favourite to win the NL MVP award. Freeman had a remarkable season which began with a battle with COVID-19. Freeman played in all 60 games for the Braves notching 13 homers, 53 runs batted in, with a batting average of .341 percent – a career-high. In this postseason the Braves second-round pick in 2007, has struck out only once and has walked five times.

Based on the connection with Soroka to Calgary, the Braves should be most of Canada’s pick to win it all. But Atlanta is such an exciting, young team with lots of enthusiasm it’s hard not to like them.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Probably MLB’s greatest franchises to not win a World Series title in the last 30+ years. The Dodgers constantly win the NL West and are always threats to bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to Hollywood. However, historically October hasn’t been kind to the Dodgers, which might give Blue Jays fans a reason to root for the favourite “underdogs.”

The Dodgers boast the best all-around lineup baseball has possibly ever seen. Future first ballot Hall of Fame pitcher Clayton Kershaw leads the way, with outfielders Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger. But the Dodgers are deep throughout the dugout.

There are many connections between LA and Toronto on the diamond and off. The Blue Jays nabbed two Dodgers pitchers Hyun Jin Ryu and Ross Stripling who proved to be valuable pieces to the franchise. (Thank you, Dodgers.) The Dodgers took and locked up Betts for another 12 years, which means the Boston Red Sox don’t have him and will need to figure out how to improve while the Blue Jays continue to be better. (Thank you, LA again.)

LA and Toronto are both major cities for blockbuster movies and celebrity sightings.

Final decision:

Blue Jays fans, cheering for an NL team is probably your best bet. It’ll be difficult to cheer for Houston, and if you cheer for Tampa Bay you’re rooting for a division rival, which is tough to do.

The Braves and Dodgers series is going to be a hitter’s dream, a pitcher’s nightmare. Either one of these teams can win the World Series and it’s okay to pull for one during this off time.

Next. Blue Jays: My experience in an empty Rogers Centre. dark

After watching the Rays play in Tampa Bay and also attending a Braves spring training game in Orlando, I’ll be cheering on those teams to the World Series.

Who are you cheering for?

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