With MLB’s divisional series set to kick off today, fans of the New York Mets might be feeling a bit left out. But we’ve got you covered, with a ranking of the teams that fans of the Amazin’s should root for.
Although the Mets missed the playoffs this year for the first time since 2015, the postseason tournament is still worth watching. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to land on a team to support once your favorite team is eliminated—or doesn’t make the dance at all.
Because of this, we’ve put together a power rankings list of which teams Mets fans could be most inclined to root for in October. The rankings are based on of former players, the league the team is in, and any history the Mets have had with the team.
1. Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians might be the most difficult team in the playoffs to root against. The city is known for disappointing professional sports teams—Cleveland Browns, anyone?— and last year’s team nearly won it all before losing to the Chicago Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series.
Mets fans can sympathize with the Indians’ team-building strategy that was originally focused around the starting rotation. The Indians also have Jay Bruce.
Bruce was met with animosity in his first season with the Mets in 2016, but put together a productive season in 2017 and quickly became a fan favorite. It’d be nice to see him walk away with a ring, and just maybe return to Citi Field next year as well.
2. Boston Red Sox
There’s always been at least one reason for Mets fans to root for the Red Sox, and that has to do with the Yankees. However, this year’s Sox team includes former Mets reliever Addison Reed.
Reed was a stabilizing force in the Mets bullpen while he was with the club, and had a memorable hold in the NL Wild Card game last year to boot. Former Met Chris Young is also on the roster, giving the team two former Mets to root for.
The Red Sox are the Yanks’ most bitter rivals, have a bevy of young talent and Reed pitching in the late innings. That’s plenty for Mets fans to cheer for. Besides, we still owe them a thank you for 1986, don’t we?
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers may seem like a difficult team for a Mets supporter to root for on the surface, but there are plenty of reasons to pull for the West Coast juggernaut.
The first and most prominent reason is Curtis Granderson, who was dealt by the Mets this summer. The Grandy man was a leader in the clubhouse and produced underrated numbers in Flushing.
Looking beyond Granderson, the Dodgers have former Mets infielder Justin Turner in the heart of the lineup. Although Turner wasn’t the same caliber of player with the Mets as he is now, he was a hard-nosed utility man that was let go too soon.
Finally, former Mets bench coach Bob Geren is filling the same role on the Dodgers staff. His service to the Mets should be appreciated by the fans, and some have speculated that he could replace Terry Collins as manager. Overall, there are some strong reasons to back the Dodgers even though they’re a National League team that has met the Mets before.
4. Houston Astros
Former Mets All-Star Carlos Beltran contributed to the Astros from the DH spot this season, and even after his failings with the Mets in the playoffs, his career with the organization and as a whole deserves respect.
Just like the Dodgers, the Astros have a bench coach with Mets’ ties. Alex Cora spent nearly two years as a player with the Mets (2009-10) and, by some accounts, is the frontrunner for the Mets’ managerial opening. Like Beltran, Cora is a likable guy.
One last connection the Astros have to the Mets is starting pitcher Collin McHugh. Although he did practically nothing for the Mets organization he still has a history with the team.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks don’t have much of a connection to the Mets. However, they are more likable to Mets fans than any of the remaining playoff squads.
With an underrated core of players that includes superstar Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb, the D-Backs are an easy team to cheer for. Their victory over the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game made for some exciting baseball, the kind we’d like to see more of.
6. Chicago Cubs
Now that the Cubs have ended their championship drought, there is not much left to root for as a Mets fan sans Rene Rivera. The backup catcher was an important piece of the Mets playoff teams behind the dish.
Yes, the Mets swept the Cubs two years ago on their way to the World Series, but some resentment is definitely warranted by Mets fans. When the Mets took on the Cubs, the narrative was that these were two young teams that would own the National League for years to come.
The Cubs were built on offense, and the Mets were built on pitching. Since that meeting in October 2015, the Cubs have won 11 playoff games and the Mets have played in one. That jealousy and envy make the Cubbies a tough team to root for.
7. Washington Nationals
It was a tough call to determine whether a Mets fan would rather root for the Nationals or the Yankees. It was a nail-biter, but Daniel Murphy made the difference.
And I guess that all depends on how you view Murph now. Some might say he’s a Mets killer and rival, while others might say that he carried the 2015 team to the World Series and then proceeded to get a raw deal from the Mets front office.
Two things can be true at once. Yes, he’s a Mets killer, but that should not erase the 2015 memories, and those moments two years ago give us more of a reason to root for the Nationals.
8. New York Yankees
This was supposed to be a “rebuilding year,” yet here we are the Yankees, who just won an exciting Wild Card duel with the Twins while the Mets are marred in dysfunction. It’s just too difficult as a Mets fan to root for the crosstown rivals.
Their fans are relentless and their future is bright. Here’s hoping for a first-round exit and sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians.