The Evster figures out who you should root for in the MLB playoffs

The Evster figures out who you should root for in the MLB playoffs

Even though most baseball fans could not tell you one player on the Oakland A's, people are going bonkers for this year's major league playoffs. Of the four teams left (the Cardinals, Dodgers, Red Sox and Tigers), all are legitimate clubs with rich histories, dope uniforms and no Chad Durbins. It's nice that we get to see October baseball without any of those newfangled weirdo teams like the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Marlins and Mets.

Who should we root for? I have no idea. Absolutely no idea. Up until a week ago I would've said the Montreal Expos, but since then I've seen a couple walk-off homers, a near no-hitter and a guy that looks and plays exactly like Shane Victorino. After a 162-game regular season snooze-a-thon, postseason baseball has roped me back in. So let's break down each club: analyzing their fans, their cities, their history and the guys who actually play baseball -- and then finally let my wife decide who we should root for because let's face it, she makes all of my important life decisions anyway.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Fans: The self-proclaimed "Best Fans in Baseball" are always optimistic, eternally loyal and absolutely insufferable. Every person from the Midwest is so nice it's disgusting. This lady Beverly who I work with (originally from Iowa, or Indiana, or some place where people drink milk with dinner) constantly brings baked goods into the office and leaves these little notes that say stuff like, "From my kitchen to your belly! Have a Terrific Tuesday!" and "Got the working week blues? Here's to a Wonderful Wednesday!" WHATEVER BEV, YOU NYMPH. 

The City: I don't know one human being who has technically been to St. Louis -- except for the Griswolds ("Roll 'em up!") who passed through on the way to Wally World. The town is a total snooze. Besides the Gateway Arch, the Mighty Mississipp and Anheuser Busch's headquarters, what do they have? NOTHING. Actually, they have really good ribs there too. And Darius Miles. Wow, St. Louis might be amazing. No wonder Scott Rolen wanted to go back there. 

Celebrity Fan: Jon Hamm is originally from St. Louis, but he's currently recovering from throat surgery so I doubt he'll make it to any of the games. Behind him on the Cards' fans depth chart is Maya Angelou (borrrrinnngggg), Scott Bakula (amazzzzinnnggggg), Chuck Berry (still alive!), Nelly (corny), Andy Cohen (nope!) and Tina Turner (BING BONG).

Coolest Cardinal Ever: Obviously Ozzie Smith is the man, but Vince Coleman and Keith Hernandez did way more coke than The Wizard and we all know that doing tons of coke = being really cool. But the coolest Cardinal of all time, despite his lack of a coke habit, is Willie McGee. Two-time batting champ, 1985 NL MVP and the closest thing the game has ever seen to a half-man/half-anteater. Love you Willie! Love those ears! Love that you wore #51! What a stupid number.

People Who Actually Play Baseball: The Cards are loaded with players you've actually heard of: Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Oneofthe Molinas, as well as the person with the shortest name in the history of names, Jon Jay. Try saying his name out loud: "JonJay." It's even shorter than Mark May. "JonJay." "MarkMay." "JonJay!" "MarkMay." "JonJay!" "MarkM'okay that's enough." Also their first baseman Matt Adams easily weighs over 400 pounds. This team is super adorable.

Let's kick it over to my wife to see what she thinks of St. Louis.

My Wife's Take: "Never been there, it's probably a fine place. Whatever. But I never liked how people who went to Washington University thought they were so great. Maybe it was just one person. It’s been pointed out to me that Jon Hamm is a fan, and any reason to see more of him is okay with me, so I’m pulling for St. Louis to get to the World Series and lose."

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Fans: An entire population of good-looking idiots trying to break into reality television. (SHAMELESS PLUG WORTH CLICKING ON). I was in LA last March and while strolling on the boardwalk/promenade/whatever they call that thing along Venice Beach, I overheard this ridiculous conversation between a chick rollerblading and a dude doing pushups with no shirt on: 

CHICK: Oh, hey Brad.

DUDE: Oh, hey Jen. Whutt're you up to?

CHICK: Oh, y'know, just rollerblading.

DUDE: That's cool.

I honestly don't remember what happened next. My mind was so blown away by how stupid their conversation was (PLUS THE FACT THAT SHE WAS ACTUALLY ROLLERBLADING) that I just stood there for ten minutes with my mouth open, catching flies. And Venice Beach has a lot of flies (and a lot of homeless people). Californians are nimrods. Mexicans are cool, though. I'll give 'em that.

The City: If you can overlook the glitz and the glamour and the fact that Californians use the word "rad" unironically, LA is actually a pretty cool town. It's got loads of palm trees and a beautiful ocean and the tacos are absolutely insane. Still, all that sun can't be good for anything. Look what it did to Will Smith.

Celebrity Fan: Alyssa Milano has dated like 50 different baseball players. Frankly, I always thought she was a bit overrated (not during the Who's the Boss days, obviously she was dope during the Who's the Boss days). But recently she's been getting out-Alyssa Milano'ed by Brooke Burke, who is essentially the same person. I also have no idea how Magic Johnson is still alive.

People Who Actually Play Baseball: Do you have any idea how low Clayton Kershaw's ERA was this year? Do you have any clue? 1.83. ONE POINT EIGHT THREE. Is ERA still a thing? Because that's really low. Since 1964, only Greg Maddux, Dwight Gooden, Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Ron Guidry, Vida Blue and Pedro Martinez have posted lower ERAs. (SOMEONE SHOULD PROBABLY FACT CHECK THAT BUT I'M PRETTY PROUD OF MYSELF FOR DOING ACTUAL RESEARCH.) The Dodgers also have Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, that Cuban guy, Zack Greinke, Brian Wilson, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, GEEZ THEY SURE DO HAVE A LOT OF GOOD PLAYERS, and Nick Punto.

Coolest Dodger Ever: It's Kirk Gibson. No doubt. His spiky, balding hairdo? Unstoppable. Forget about his walk-off blast vs. Eck, only he and Bruce Willis could've pulled off that hair. Also that walk-off!

Back to my wife!

My Wife's Take: "Eh, it’s LA. A place I would never want to live, and philosophically can’t support. So I can’t really get behind the team. But more importantly, the combination of sounds in Yasiel Puig’s name really gets to me and I don’t want to listen to people making those sounds with their mouths."

BOSTON RED SOX

Fans: Amazing how in one short decade, Boston fans went from lovable losers to intolerable pricks. "Boston Strong?" Shut up. Between their stupid accents and this dude I know who posts pics on Facebook of his fat, dumb baby, Boston fans might be (and I said "MIGHT BE") worse than Cowboys fans. HOW ABOUT THAT, 700 LEVEL READERS?

The City: Beautiful city! Clean, colonial cobblestone streets, extremely walkable downtown, charming parks and gardens -- it's a shame it's filled with so many blowhards.

Celebrity Fan: You do realize that at some point in the next few days we're going to see Ben Affleck and his kids on TV, right? I don't know why Ben Affleck has such a bad rep, he seems to be a nice guy, makes semi-decent movies and genuinely likes baseball. But why doesn't he ever hang out with Matt Damon? Something's not right there. And what's the deal with Stephen King's ENORMOUS cranium? Something's not right there either.

Coolest Red Sox Player Ever: Shane Victorino.

People Who Actually Play Baseball: Big Papi, Victorino and those two Japanese relievers are the only cool guys on this team. Everyone else -- especially Dustin Pedroia -- can take a shit. Also, I don't care who pays his salary, Jonathan Papelbon will always be a Red Sock to me, and that guy sucksssssssss.

Let's hear from Mrs. Evster!

My Wife's Take: "Obvs, ugh. Full disclosure, I’m a Yankees fan. And not a bandwagon Yankees fan. My dad grew up next to the stadium, I’m from NY, and I own a Yankees (and Knicks) Barbie. So, no I don’t want to watch the Red Sox and they annoy me. But it really comes down to their sloppiness, sartorially speaking. They pride themselves on being the anti-Yankees when it comes to beards, hair length, uniform tightness, etc. But you know what? That doesn’t make you cool – it just makes you look dirty and gross. And I have nothing against beards, in fact I prefer them. But these beards, and greasy hair, and stupid rope necklaces need to go."

I agree, honey. Sartorially of course.

Anyone else have to look that word up? Who am I even talking to?

DETROIT TIGERS

Fans: AN ENTIRE CITY ON SUICIDE WATCH. 

The City: The Motor City has become the undeniable armpit of America. There's a chance Detroit has been on fire for the last six months and no one is doing anything to stop it.

Celebrity Fans: It's a shame the A's lost, because Oakland has a major hip-hop triumvirate: MC Hammer, Del tha Funkee Homosapien and wait for it ... Tony! Toni! Toné! Detroit of course has the most embarrassing musician of all time, Kid Rock, as well the best rapper alive, Jalen Rose.

Coolest Tiger Ever: No disrespect to the original Beastie Boy, Hank Greenberg, but Miguel Cabrera is the coolest Tiger ever. I know, I know, "BUT WHAT ABOUT LOU WHITAKER, EV?" Sure, Sweet Lou and his little dipsy-do double plays were unbelievable, but Miguel Cabrera WON THE TRIPLE CROWN last year! I do not understand why we're still not talking about that. Every single day the lead story on The 700 Level should be "Hey everybody, remember when Miggy Cabrera won the Triple Crown last year?" HE LED THE LEAGUE IN ALL THREE MAJOR STATISTICAL CATEGORIES. Not even Hank Greenberg or Ty Cobb or RECORD SKIP -- (fact check shows that Ty Cobb won the Triple Crown in 1909) -- WHATEVER, TY COBB! No one could stand you when you were alive! So stick it!

People Who Actually Play Baseball: Am I the only person who is fascinated by Max Scherzer's two different colored eyes? The other night they showed him in the dugout and I paused my DVR for like a half an hour to stare at him. I would also pay big bucks to watch Prince Fielder eat a meatball hoagie. And Justin Verlander has the tightest little apple butt I've ever seen.

Over to you, honeybutt!

My Wife's Take: "Now here's a team I can get behind. Great history, like a “real” baseball team from days of yore. Great hats. Sad city. That's who I'm goin' with. The Dee-troit Tigers."

ME TOO, LOVEBUG.

Let's go Tigers!

Hooray for baseball!

Hooray for marriage!

Sorry, Tony Toni Toné, Motown Philly back again!

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story). 

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets top Red Wings to notch 5th straight win

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets top Red Wings to notch 5th straight win

DETROIT -- Brandon Dubinsky scored a tiebreaking goal in the second period and the surging Columbus Blue Jackets won their fifth straight game, 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

Lukas Sedlak got his first NHL goal for the Blue Jackets, who have earned at least a point in 12 of their last 13 games. Cam Atkinson contributed a short-handed goal in the first period for Columbus.

Dylan Larkin's power-play goal in the second was the only scoring of the night for the Red Wings. Sergei Bobrovsky had 32 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Sam Gagner scored into an empty net with 13.9 seconds remaining (see full story). 

Staal scores in 6th round of SO to lift Wild over Oilers
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Eric Staal scored in the sixth round of a shootout and the Minnesota Wild beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Friday night.

Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker scored in regulation for Minnesota, which has won three straight.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves. He entered with a league-best .946 save percentage and 1.65 goals-against average.

Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had goals for the Oilers, whose four-game losing streak began with a 2-1 home overtime loss to the Wild last Sunday.

Staal scored on a backhand deke before Nugent-Hopkins fired wide in the sixth round (see full story). 

Raanta, Rangers beat Blackhawks, 1-0, in overtime
CHICAGO -- Nick Holden scored 55 seconds into overtime, Antti Raanta made 26 saves against his former team and the New York Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 on Friday night.

Derek Stepan passed from the boards to a streaking Holden in the middle of the ice, and he beat Scott Darling on the stick side for his fourth goal of the season.

Darling was going for his second straight shutout while subbing for injured starter Corey Crawford but had to settle for another solid performance.

Raanta, who made his NHL debut with Chicago in 2013 and played for the Blackhawks for two seasons before he was traded to New York, improved to 15-0-3 in 20 career appearances at the United Center.

The 27-year-old Raanta had 17 saves in Thursday's 2-1 victory at Winnipeg, and coach Alain Vigneault opted to give him a second straight start over Henrik Lundqvist because of his recent play and his success in Chicago (see full story).

Oshie, Johansson, Grubauer lift Caps over Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson each scored a goal, Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Jakub Vrana and John Carlson also scored, helping Washington beat Buffalo for the third time in 15 days.

Kyle Okposo scored and Robin Lehner made 25 saves for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost three of their last four.

Oshie gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 6:43 into the second period when he lifted a shot from the right edge of the crease past Lehner. Jay Beagle drew two defenders into the corner and sent the puck back to a wide open Oshie for his ninth goal of the season (see full story).