The Kansas City Royals' season is over, and the team was pretty far removed from qualifying for a postseason spot. With that said, the 2021 MLB playoffs start on Tuesday and feature a ton of premier matchups between some fantastic teams. The Inside The Royals crew recently gathered to talk about which teams we'll be rooting for over the course of the next few weeks.
Jordan Foote: This is relatively low-hanging fruit, but Lorenzo Cain and the Milwaukee Brewers get the nod for my bandwagon club this postseason. I've always admired the Brew Crew from afar, especially once Mike Moustakas and Cain got there. Cain may be the only former Royals player left, but Christian Yelich is also one of my favorite players in all of baseball. Milwaukee is a fun club with a ton of great players (how about that pitching staff?), so I've got to pull for a Brewers World Series win this year.
Christopher Tenpenny: While Royals fans may find my choice surprising, I will be rooting for the Chicago White Sox through the playoffs. I understand Tony La Russa is its manager but it feels as if the team is playing in spite of him instead of for him. Also, the White Sox have so much young talent and play with so much energy, it’s hard not to enjoy watching them on the diamond.
Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez play with such a child-like flair and Luis Robert is budding into a superstar right before our eyes. Add in an elite pitching staff with Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, former Royal Liam Hendricks and personal friend of Patrick Mahomes, Michael Kopech and you have a very likable team. I get the White Sox are in the division and I get they started fights back in 2014-15, but this is a new White Sox team and I would love to see them go the distance.
Tyler Dierking: I really want the Tampa Bay Rays to win it all this year. Small market team love and they have former Royals player Brett Phillips, A.K.A. Maverick, flying around the bases and the outfield.
Lucas Murphy: It might be a baseball sin, but I'm going to root for the south side of Chicago. The White Sox have assembled a good squad worthy of a playoff run and a pitching staff that could do well against some heavy-hitting lineups. No matter what happens, this is shaping up to be a great 2021 MLB playoffs.
Jerry Edwards: With so many unlikeable teams like the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs this year — and because Tampa Bay doesn’t need another championship — the answer for me is the Brewers. They have by far the best pitching staff top to bottom in baseball and are who the Royals should try to emulate if they are going to start being competitive again.
Danielle Sachse: As I look at the final postseason bracket, I see a lot of teams I do not like. This postseason might be one of the toughest to find a team to cheer for. The Yankees and Red Sox are obviously out, and you will never catch me cheering for the White Sox. There is honestly no American League team I will cheer for this year (Tampa Bay would be my only exception if they make it far because of Brett Phillips). So now, I look over to the National League. The Braves and Brewers are the two teams I genuinely can find myself cheering for, but of course, they face each other in the NLDS. I’m Brewers all the way. I’ve always felt like they mirror the ‘14-‘15 Royals squad. They are easy to cheer for, plus they have Lorenzo Cain on the team, so what’s not to love about that?
Mark Van Sickle: It would be cool to see Danny Duffy get a ring with the Dodg- never mind, let’s not do that. The San Francisco Giants are an incredible story this season but we will never forget 2014. I'll never root for the Yankees and Red Sox. Let’s put the Cardinals in with those previous two teams, although they are a fun story this season. If Tony La Russa wasn’t the manager for the White Sox, I may have chosen them. In the end, I’m hoping the winner of the Braves-Brewers series takes the whole thing. It would be cool to see Lorenzo Cain get another ring, so I’m cheering for the Brew Crew to come out on top!
Sam Hays: I would typically change my answer to give this article some more diversity, but I’ve already committed to the Milwaukee Brewers. A couple of my best friends are Brewers fans (hi Henry and Charlie) and I went to a Royals-Brewers game earlier this year with them — my first Royals game since the second game of 2016 against the Mets. I’ve also committed to buying a Brewers World Series hat if they win it all, and I’d just love to spend more money on good sports stuff. The Brewers have a lot of fun players such as Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich and Josh Hader. They also have some others who are establishing themselves as great players now like Corbin Burnes, Willy Adames, Brandon Woodruff and Luis Urias. Brew Crew, first World Series in their 53-year history.
Jacob Milham: This postseason is filled with Royals rivals or baseball's key villains. It is easier to choose who to boo than whom to cheer for, but the Milwaukee Brewers have my support this postseason. Once the hottest team in baseball, the Brewers have slid into the postseason once again. Craig Counsell is one of my favorite managers in MLB, plus Lorenzo Cain getting another ring would be icing on the cake!
Sterling Holmes: The Brewers are not only named after beer, which is pretty cool, but Lorenzo Cain is on that team. If having one of the best smiles from a former Royal isn’t enough, Milwakee's starting pitching is absurd. Woodruff, Burnes and Peralta make up a lesser-known three-headed monster and watching a “smaller” market team win is always enjoyable. Plus, I'm pretty sure they still have their mascot slide into a giant mug of beer after home runs, which is awesome.