Top 5 MLB Playoff Scenarios Fans Would Love to See
It’s nearly impossible to predict who’s going to do what in the last two weeks of the 2012 MLB season, but we sure can tell you what we’d like to see.
The wild-card races are growing tighter as the season winds down, and there are a number of scenarios most baseball fans would love to see play out.
For instance, the New York Yankees find themselves in a tight race for the division crown, while the Los Angeles Dodgers are barely staying afloat for the wild card.
Obviously fans of these prospective teams don’t want to see them fail, but I think most baseball fans certainly do.
Here are five MLB playoff scenarios baseball fans would love to see:
New York Yankees Miss the Playoffs
Let’s be honest—unless you live in the Tri-State Area, you hate the New York Yankees.
Yankees fans travel well, but their team is the most hated (also known as envied) team in baseball because of its classy appearance and storied history, highlighted by an MLB-leading 27 World Series championships.
The Yankees (shocker) have the highest payroll in baseball (h/t USA Today), yet they’re in jeopardy of losing out on an AL East title to a squad that ranks near the bottom half in terms of payroll.
Heading into play Sunday, New York holds a one-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles, a lead most baseball fans would love to see disappear.
Baltimore Orioles Win the Division
How great would it be to see the Baltimore Orioles—with less than half the payroll of their AL East counterpart—steal the 2012 division crown from the Bronx Bombers?
You have to go all the way back to 1997 to see the last time the O’s won the East, with New York dominating the standings for much of that time in between.
Despite sporting a negative run differential, the Orioles still find themselves in prime position to win the division in late September, much to the credit of manager Buck Showalter.
The Fighting Showalters have been the kings of one-run games and extra-inning wins this season, making them a confident squad as we move closer to the postseason.
MLB fans have seen some classics between the Orioles and Yankees here in 2012, and at just one game behind in the division, this is the best race to watch down the stretch.
Oakland Athletics Make the Playoffs
The Oakland Athletics have the second-lowest payroll in all of baseball ($55,372,500), according to USA Today, yet they currently hold one of the two AL wild-card spots.
What’s more shocking is that the A’s are ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in the division and in front of teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers in the wild-card standings.
The Athletics have the seventh-youngest roster in the big leagues (27.2 average years old), according to ESPN, but it’s the energy and late-inning comebacks that have fans wanting to see more of Oakland come October.
Los Angeles Dodgers Miss the Playoffs
After all of the money Magic Johnson and Co. poured into the Los Angeles Dodgers, L.A. is still three back in the wild-card standings and in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs.
With all the spending and rumbles of a dynasty coming from Los Angeles, MLB fans would love to see the Dodgers miss out on postseason baseball.
It’s not like they never had a lead in the NL West—a division where San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum was struggling on the mound and Melky Cabrera was suspended for PED use (via MLB Trade Rumors).
Whereas the Yankees usually prove that spending enough money can at least get you into the postseason, the Dodgers are still learning.
If Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino aren’t enough, what is?
Philadelphia Phillies Clinch Wild-Card Spot
After a horrid first half of the season that saw them without All-Stars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the Philadelphia Phillies still have a shot at making the postseason despite finding themselves 15.5 games out in the NL East.
Injuries have plagued the Phils in 2012, as ace starters Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee have each missed starts this season, while Philadelphia also traded away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence to the NL West.
The Fighting Phils have won six out of their last 10 games, but they have a tough schedule ahead, as six of their last 10 will come against the division champion Washington Nationals.
With all of the negativity Phillies fans have endured this season, I’m sure fans wouldn’t mind seeing them come from behind and clinch a wild-card spot.