Favorite MLB Teams – Why I Like Some Better Than Others
Here I rank my favorite MLB teams as of August 2019, all 30 of them! These rankings are very subject to change, but most teams probably won’t shift around by more than 1-5 spots over time. It gets a lot harder and more random after the first 5-7 teams of course.
I grew up in a town near Syracuse right in the middle of New York State. I wanted to root for a home team, and since I was born in 1994, the Yankees were a clear and obvious choice from the start. Come to think of it, I don’t know if I knew the Mets existed as a child, and now they’re my least favorite team.
A lot of these rankings are due to my opinions about the front office of a franchise. If the management of a team cannot make the right decisions via the draft, trades, free agency, and player development, I generally find it very hard to root for the team. It’s just too hard to be a fan of a franchise that never wins and doesn’t seem committed to changing their losing streak. Of course I’m spoiled as a Yankees fan, but I also don’t like when teams end a “championship window” earlier than needed due to finances.
For a while now I’ve said that I’m more a fan of Major League Baseball than I am of the Yankees, which I think allows me to enjoy the sport and postseason more than most fans. The trouble with being a big fan of one team per sport (rather than the sport/league itself) is that you’re almost guaranteed to be disappointed (almost heartbroken) every year when your team inevitably does not win the championship. But that’s a subject for another post. Onto my favorite MLB teams!
1. New York Yankees
They have and always will be my favorite. Super happy to root for the most successful baseball franchise ever. Derek Jeter was my hero growing up.
2. Atlanta Braves
Rich history, awesome ballparks, tons of memorable and cool players. The Braves became one of my favorite teams by default because back in 2006 when I started watching baseball a lot on TV, the Braves were on TBS pretty often. I was able to catch probably at least one Braves game per week or every other week until a few years later when the games weren’t broadcast on TBS as much. Growing up it was awesome to see John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones and others. It was also neat to see the start of Andrelton Simmons’ career.
3. St. Louis Cardinals
With Phat Albert leading the way, the 2006 Cardinals took over the TV screen in October and beat the Tigers in the World Series. Somewhat random players like Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver made their way into my “baseball lore” and watching “Cardinal magic” (as I call it) unfold throughout 2011 and in later postseasons was such a joy to watch. They’ve been a little disappointing the past handful of years, but I love seeing what the Cardinals can do come postseason time – one of the best teams for epic moments.
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4. San Francisco Giants
Another incredible and old franchise. Barry Bonds is generally my second-favorite player after only Jeter. Combine his splash hits with one of the most beautiful and iconic ballparks in the league, and it’s a recipe for awesomeness. I wish the Giants could have won a title with Barry still around, but the teams from 2010-2014 (and even 2016) were classic to watch.
5. Colorado Rockies
This team would be a lot lower a handful of years ago, but I’ve really loved watching the combination of Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon (and others) power their offense.
6. Toronto Blue Jays
This is mostly based on their EPIC postseasons in 2015 and 2016. I wish they could have won a pennant or had a longer “window”, but it was a huge amount of fun while it lasted. Not many goosebumps moments compare to the dome in Toronto with the horn going off after a huge home run or walkoff win.
7. Washington Nationals
The team that can’t get past the NLDS. The Nationals have still provided a really interesting baseball tale since their name transition from the Expos. From total laughingstocks to occasional World Series favorites. Anthony Rendon is consistently one of the most underrated players in the game.
8. Arizona Diamondbacks
I feel like this is a team that consistently fields good talent, but cannot seem to make the postseason or make it far when they do qualify. Definitely in a tough division this decade with the Giants and Dodgers dominating.
9. Chicago White Sox
Seems like the White Sox have been perpetually rebuilding for far too long now. I used to overrate them based on my bias in preseason predictions (even expecting them to win the Central when the Tigers were still dominant), but that time has passed as now they always underperform. Arguably one of the most disappointing teams of the 2010’s overall. The White Sox have been one of my favorite teams since I started watching more in 2006, as they were on WGN a lot just like the Cubs.
10. Oakland Athletics
The A’s have a rich history, with some of my favorite historical players coming from them (Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove). Sometimes they remind me of the D-Backs – talented but not quite good enough for consistent postseason appearances.
11. Milwaukee Brewers
This was a fun team to watch in the 2018 postseason, and they’ve had a lot of cool players I’ve enjoyed seeing over the years.
12. Tampa Bay Rays
I find it ironic that they became much more successful when they took the “devil” out of their team name. The Rays always seem to do fine with less, and have been surprisingly successful at the end of this decade.
13. Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw has been fun to watch for a while now, and I have to enjoy some of his epic postseason chokes against the Cardinals and other teams I like better. They’ve managed to stay on top for a while now, and have plenty of awesome franchise moments from the past few Octobers.
14. LA Angels
Trout and Pujols is such an incredible Hall of Fame duo that we are lucky to be witnessing. It’s crazy how this team has almost no postseason success this decade with names like those and many others that have had some time to shine. (CJ Wilson, Jered Weaver, and tons more) I can’t believe Mike Scioscia hasn’t been able to get this team into contention, and I think he’s one of the most overrated managers in history as a result.
15. Philadelphia Phillies
The big bad monster team my Yankees took down in 2009. Took way too long to rebuild and now finally starting to contend again… maybe.
16. Houston Astros
The Astros have broken Yankee hearts in 2015 and 2017. I sometimes have fun watching them when they’re not playing the Yankees lol. Unfortunately they definitely look like a better team than the Yankees heading into the 2019 postseason.
17. Pittsburgh Pirates
18. Chicago Cubs
I’ve grown less fond of the Cubs over time, mostly due to the excessive hype starting around 2015 and continuing after they clearly had a (long) championship hangover of sorts. Loved seeing them on WGN a ton as a kid from 2006-2010, not so much since then. I just like the old teams better and kind of miss Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, Mike Fontenot, and others.
19. Cleveland Indians
Really missed their opportunities in 2016 and 2017. Still can hardly believe the Yankees came back and beat them in the 2017 ALDS.
20. Seattle Mariners
21. Cincinnati Reds
22. Detroit Tigers
23. Texas Rangers
Yankee nemesis in 2010 and 2011, I won’t forget! XD
24. Miami Marlins
25. Minnesota Twins
26. Baltimore Orioles
27. Kansas City Royals
28. Boston Red Sox
29. San Diego Padres
One of the worst decision making teams of all time. Incredibly inept. Signing the biggest douche in the sport (Manny Machado) will only cripple the franchise for yet another decade.
30. New York mets
(this is just a rant I find funny) They need to get the hell out of New York. The Dodgers and Giants recognized Yankee greatness and moved. Time for the mets to go. New York is a huge city, but the Yankees are a huge team with HUGE success, so MLB only needs one team in New York. The mets should take their failures elsewhere. Dumb name, embarrassing meltdowns when they should have made the postseason, just horrendous really. XD So glad to see them struggle since I started hating them in the 2000’s. Obviously the 2015 World Series was a nightmare for me lol.
In general I like NL teams more than AL teams, I really like the NL East and NL West, and I can’t stand the AL Central which is always wicked boring and seems devoid of interesting/great players. Sometime I may try to find my favorite MLB teams ranking from sometime during my 2006-2010 period of massive interest in baseball.
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Feel free to leave your own ranking below, or at least your favorite 3 MLB teams!