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2014 Postseason Rooting Guide: National League

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The Padres are done, but there's still baseball to watch.

Number one reason to root for an NL team: No designated hitter.
Number one reason to root for an NL team: No designated hitter.
Mitchell Layton

So the regular season is over, and the Padres are done. There's still baseball to watch, but how do you decide how to cheer for in the playoffs? You could pick randomly. But if you did that, you might end up rooting for somebody bad. Why don't you let us help you with this handy guide?

NL West Champions: Los Angeles Dodgers (94-68)

Pros

You're kidding me, right?

Cons

They're the Dodgers. You're not rooting for them.

NL Central Champions: St. Louis Cardinals (90-72)

Pros

They're not the Dodgers.

Cons

The Redbirds beat the Padres badly in the 2005 and 2006 NLDS. And aren't you a little tired of those guys winning all the time? Since 2000, they've had one losing season. In that time, they've also had two World Series victories, four National League Championships, and a whopping eight division titles. They deserve to spend a few years in the cellar. Oh, and Matt Vasgersian hates going to St. Louis.

NL East Champions: Washington Nationals (96-66)

Pros

They're the Nationals. It's patriotic to root for them! SDSU alumnus Stephen Strasburg is making his first playoff appearance, and he'll be joined on the postseason roster by two-time Padre Scott Hairston. Teddy Roosevelt's losing streak in the Presidents Race is the greatest running gag baseball has ever seen.

Cons

They're the Nationals. If they were going to go for the patriotism play, couldn't they have at least been creative about it? They share a name with an airport! They're also a living reminder of how badly Bud Selig screwed the Montreal Expos in 1994. And don't even get us started on Jayson Werth. We hate that guy. His dad is okay, though.

NL Wild Card: Pittsburgh Pirates (88-74)

Pros

The Pirates are basically the NL East version of the Padres. They get no respect from the media or other fans. They've spent years and years with a payroll scraping the bottom of the barrel. I think some sympathy cheers are in order.

Cons

Peter King might tweet about Andrew McCutchen more.

NL Wild Card : San Francisco Giants (88-74)

Pros

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. No.

Cons

Try to imagine a worse NLCS than Dodgers-Giants. You can't. It's impossible. This must be prevented at all costs.