Five World Series games we most want to see

The 2022 MLB regular season is over and the postseason is set to begin on Friday with the all-new Wild Card Series. The best-of-three Wild Card series runs through the weekend, followed by the ALDS and NLDS starting Tuesday. The long marathon is over and the sprint to the finish line is about to begin.

Here is the 2022 MLB postseason bracket (and here are our postseason predictions):

American League

Goodbye: #1 Astros and #2 Yankees
TOILET: No. 6 Rays at No. 3 Guardians (winner plays Yankees)
TOILET: No. 5 Mariners at No. 4 Blue Jays (winner plays Astros)

National League

Goodbye: No. 1 Dodgers and No. 2 Braves
TOILET: No. 6 Phillies at No. 3 Cardinals (winner plays Braves)
TOILET: No. 5 Padres at No. 4 Mets (winner plays Dodgers)

The Braves are looking to become the first repeat World Series baseball champions since the Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000. We are in an unprecedented era of parity in baseball.

Six postseason teams per league means there are 36 potential World Series matchups, and we’re here to rank the ones we most want to see. What exactly do we rank the matches into? The quality of the teams, the historical rivalries, the geographical rivalries, things like that. Our ranking is highly subjective, but feel free to tell us we’re wrong anyway.

After consulting with the other CBS Sports MLB writers, here are the five World Series games we most want to see this postseason. Come with me, won’t you?

1. Mets vs. Yankees

The two New York teams combined to win 200 games this season, their highest combined win total ever, and they got to those 200 wins in the most excruciating way. The Yankees had a 15 1/2-game lead in the AL East on July 8, then saw it dwindle to 3 1/2 games by September 9 before rallying to win the division. There were days when Aaron Judge led his team to a W.

The Mets, meanwhile, had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 and blew it and had to settle for a wild-card spot. Only the 1951 Dodgers (13 games) and the 1995 Angels (11 games) have won larger division leads. The Mets went into Atlanta last weekend needing to win just one game to control their destiny and it was a bridge too far. They were scanned.

Outside of regular season win totals, the narratives are juicy. Mets owner Steve Cohen wants to be what the Yankees were in the late 1990s, the sport’s dominant team with championships galore. The Yankees are trying to put an exclamation point on Judge’s historic season with their first World Series title since 2009. Think: Judge vs. Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso vs. Gerrit Cole. Fun!

The Yankees and Mets have actually met in the World Series once before, with the Yankees winning the 2000 title in five games. This series was closer than the short length would lead you to believe. Four of the five games were decided by one run and the clincher ended when what looked like a game-tying homer off the bat of Mike Piazza settled into the glove of Bernie Williams.

These two teams split their season series — the Mets won both games at Citi Field and the Yankees won both games at Yankee Stadium — and the crowd was raucous. A Metro Series would be more than a World Series, it would be a battle for New York’s athletic supremacy. This match gives us the best possible combination of great teams and an electric atmosphere throughout.

2. Astros vs. Dodgers

There is history here and it is not a pleasant one. The Astros beat the Dodgers in seven games in the 2017 World Series, and after Houston was fined for illegal plate stealing that season, Dodgers players didn’t hesitate to call them out.

“Everyone knows our ring was stolen” Cody Bellinger said.

“It’s hard to feel like they won it,” Justin Turner added.

The 2017 World Series was a long time ago, and the rosters have changed — only 10 players who appeared in that series are still with the Astros and Dodgers — though the biggest names remain: Bellinger, Turner, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander , Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, etc. There will be no love lost in this matchup and it’s our best bet for some real World Series animosity.

Also, the Astros and Dodgers were the best teams in their respective leagues! Not even by a small margin. Two great teams who don’t like each other make for good color TV.

3. Dodgers vs. Yankees

Give the commissioner and network executives a truth serum and I’m sure they’d tell you this is the World Series matchup they want. The Dodgers and Yankees are the two franchises in baseball, they play in the two biggest markets and they also have a lot of history. No two teams have met more in the World Series than the Dodgers and Yankees.

Here is a recap of the rivalry. Historically, more than one of the 11 World Series to date have been between these two teams.

  • 1941 World Series: The Yankees win 4-1
  • 1947 World Series: The Yankees win 4-3
  • 1949 World Series: The Yankees win 4-1
  • 1952 World Series: The Yankees win 4-3
  • 1953 World Series: Yankees win 4-1 (at 25, Vin Scully becomes youngest World Series broadcaster ever)
  • 1955 World Series: Dodgers up 4-3 (Jackie Robinson steals home in Game 1)
  • 1956 World Series: Yankees win 4-3 (Don Larsen pitches perfect game in Game 5)
  • 1963 World Series: The Dodgers win 4-0
  • 1977 World Series: Yankees win 4-2 (Reggie Jackson hits three home runs in Game 6)
  • 1978 World Series: The Yankees win 4-2
  • 1981 World Series: The Dodgers win 4-2

This rivalry has given baseball some of its best, most iconic moments ever, but it’s been a while, you know? An entire generation of baseball fans (2-3 generations in baseball years) have not seen the Dodgers and Yankees hook up in October.

Every time the Dodgers and Yankees meet during interleague play, it’s an event. Like the World Series in the summer. Yankees fans are all over the world, and there are still plenty of Dodgers fans in New York, with fanatical fans passed down through the generations from the franchise’s Brooklyn years. Dodgers vs. Yankees in the World Series would be insanely fun.

4. Mariners vs. Padres

When I sketched out my preliminary rankings, this matchup kept moving up and up and up. I’m excited to watch two teams that are new to the postseason. The Mariners haven’t played baseball in October since Ichiro’s rookie year in 2001, and the Padres qualified for the 2020 postseason, but I think we all want to forget about 2020. Instead, this is San Diego’s first postseason trip. in a full season since 2006.

None Fernando Tatis Jr. doesn’t eat anything from this matchup, but we’ll still have Manny Machado and Julio Rodríguez, Luis Castillo and Yu Darvish, Juan Soto, Eugenio Suárez, Washington native Blake Snell, former Padres Ty France and Andrés Muñoz. we could go on and on. Mariners vs. Padres would be a sneaky great World Series matchup with a lot of fun players and two really dedicated fan bases. These fans have been sitting through a lot of bad baseball waiting for this October.

5. Astros vs. Mets

The No. 1 story here would be the managers. Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter have combined to manage more than 7,000 major league games — they rank ninth and 20th on the all-time hit list, respectively — yet neither has won a World Series (Dusty won a ring as a player with the 1981 Dodgers). Teams are great! Join deGrom and Scherzer against Verlander and Framber Valdez eight days a week and twice on Sundays. Ultimately, this series will guarantee that one of the best managers in the game will finally get a ring, and that’s pretty cool.

Honorable mentions

Astros vs. Braves: This was No. 6 on my list. A World Series rematch is usually a lock for a top-five spot, but I’m more intrigued by a few other potential matchups, so this one is left to the outside looking in. Two great teams though, with little history that extends beyond last year’s World Series (dating back to Houston’s time in the National League).

Astros vs. Cardinals: Really, I just want to see Albert Pujols do it again:

That plus a World Series title would be a legendary cap to an all-time great career.

Blue Jays vs. Padres: Similar to Mariners vs. Padres, that would be two relatively young postseasons with a lot of really great and really fun players going into the World Series. Hard to beat Vladimir Guerrero Jr. against Darvish one inning and Soto against Alek Manoah the next.

Cardinals vs. Yankees: The team with the most World Series titles vs. the National League team with the most titles. The historical references may be insufferable, but Pujols and Yadier Molina (and Adam Wainwright?) farewells would be pretty cool, I think. Also, the Yankees traded Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals (for Harrison Bader) at the deadline, in part because they didn’t think he would be part of their postseason rotation, so there’s a chip in his potential here as well.

Mariners vs. Mets: With the series coming down to Edwin Díaz vs. Jarred Kelenic in Game 7, of course.

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