Certain rivalries will no doubt go on forever. Cardinals fans and Cubs fans will be at the I-20 have been yelling at each other for decades. Giants fans and Dodgers fans will never be best friends. There will be New England parents who refuse to support their children marrying Yankee fans until the end of time. Some rivalries are eternal.
but other competitors naturally appeared, in Among the fierce competition, palpable familiarity, and old-fashioned malice. Why don’t they? Everyone wants to win…and they always have a team standing in their way. Those rivalries won’t last as long as the Red Sox and Yankees bile, but in the moment, over the course of a season, they’re just as intense.
During MLB Network Celebrating Competitive Week, this thing Now that comes to mind, three intradivision clashes continue to air this weekend: Dodgers – Padres (Friday, 9: 10 pm ET), Yankees Rays (4 p.m. ET Saturday) and Astros Mariners (Saturday 9 a.m.: ET ). Meanwhile, the Twins and Guardians also open up their series on Friday (7: pm ET) as part of the Apple TV+ doubleheader.
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AL East: Yankees Rays
FiveThirtyEight has been two years since Neil Paine declared the Yankees and Rays were Real AL East opponents – sorry Red Sox, gotta win more games ! — Since then, the competition has become more intense. Kevin Kiermaier may be in Toronto now, but longtime Ray summed up why the Rays and Yankees were such perfect rivalries last year:
“Yankees, they have massive salaries, superstars,” Kiermaier said. “And then you have the Rays. Small payroll. Not a lot of household names, but a lot of above-average major league players. And guys who know how to win.”
This is especially true this year, when the Rays got off to such a good start and the Yankees led by a game. 94 …but still at the bottom. Add in the Yankees spring training facility in Tampa and you have the ideal 2015 compete.
AL Central: Guardians-Twins
The way AL Central has wobbled over the past decade, basically being the only two teams may be
One of the funniest things about competition is that when the competition They work best when their opponents are similar: we always hate the thing that reminds us the most of ourselves. It’s the Twins-Guardians competition in a nutshell.
AL West: Astros-Sailor
there is another history where This
Mariners in first playoffs at
Okay, so it’s not exactlyNew
The Warriors have a core team that has been signed for years, look Looks very capable of winning another World Series at some point — if not more. At the same time, it can be said that the Mets are very motivated to do whatever it takes to take over the NFC East mantle from the Braves and win them since The first champion of . For an idea of just how close this game is, look no further than the end of last season, when the Warriors swept the Mets to capture the division title for the fifth straight year. They are just getting started.
Now, if this is still a competition, the Cardinals will probably have to at some point Leave the last place. But assuming that happens, these two teams will be entangled, as they have been throughout the century. The Cardinals’ success is well documented. But it’s worth remembering how many times they’ve given Brewers a headache, from 1986 (one of the best Brewers teams to end up losing to the streaking Cardinals in the NLCS) to last year, when the Brewers annoyed the Cardinals all season until the Josh Hader trade took the team to its knees. Funny thing about this divisional rivalry: They actually faced off before the World Series, at 448. (The Cardinals also won.)
This should be the biggest so far, right? The Padres have always been in the shadow of their Southern California neighbors, but with the departure of the NFL Chargers and the Padres the only remaining major sports team in San Diego, that appears to be changing. The Padres’ aggressiveness in trying to beat the Dodgers, who beat the Dodgers at their own game, brought in every big name imaginable, from Manny Machado to Juan Soto to Xander Bogaerts. It hasn’t worked in the regular season, but during last year’s NLDS, the Padres finally broke through. These two would punch each other’s throats for years to come. We’re all lucky enough to watch.