playoffs: Which team faces most pressure to win the World Series?
null null Baseball null You are probably going to disagree with this ranking, and that’s OK. How do I know that? After I settled on the idea for today’s column — ranking the playoff teams by how much pressure they’re under to win the 2017 World Series — I asked a couple of people in the SN baseball circle and a couple other friends for their opinions. Everyone gave me a different answer. Some were vastly different. The team I put No. 1 was No. 5 on another person’s list. Four different teams were in the No. 1 spot. Which means, great conversation topic, right? Here’s what you think, Twitter. On to my list. 8. Red SoxThoughts: Maybe I’m off on this, but it feels like most Red Sox fans look at this team, compare them to the other teams in this year’s AL field, and understand the odds are stacked against them. Boston fans love their Sox, but they recognize better teams when they see them. This rotation just isn’t good enough to win the World Series, short of everyone pulling a 2006 Jeff Weaver and Chris Sale pulling a 2014 Madison Bumgarner the rest of the way. They’ve won the AL East two years in a row, and they have three World Series championship since 2004. There’s very little pressure on anyone not named John Farrell (if they get swept by the Astros, his past four years will have ended like this: Last place AL East, last place AL East, swept in ALDS, swept in ALDS. That’s not ideal for job security). 7. YankeesThoughts: On one hand, they’re basically playing with house money. This was supposed to be mostly a rebuilding year, as youngsters adjusted to the big leagues and the front office prepared for all-out playoff pushes in 2018 and beyond. Nobody expected Aaron Judge to lead this club to a playoff spot with an MVP-caliber season or Luis Severino to develop into a reliable No. 1-type starter during the regular season. To quote the movie “Clerks” (kind of) …RIVERA: A new Yankees empire has risenOn the other hand, this team is absolutely good enough to win the World Series, and lots of teams have won World Series titles in seasons that didn’t start with high expectations. GM Brian Cashman made trades designed to help in the playoffs, and those moves paid dividends in the wild-card game against the Twins. Any time you ha