The reigning World Series champs take the #3 spot! At the moment, there are few fan bases in all of sports happier than Red Sox fans. For the Sox, 2018 was nothing but a resounding success. Following a franchise-record 108 wins in 2018, the team cruised through the playoffs to take home another Commissioner’s Trophy upon winning their 4th World Series. During this streak they lost only three total games while defeating the archrival Yankees, reigning champion Astros, and a Dodgers team making its second consecutive World Series appearance. Expectations couldn’t have been higher at the recent Red Sox Winter Weekend, held every January, an annual event that allows fans to hear from and even meet current players, team officials, and Red Sox legends. Led by young manager Alex Cora and stars such as right fielder Mookie Betts, designated hitter J.D. Martinez, and ace left-hander Chris Sale, the Red Sox (and their fans) hope to be firmly in the mix for another World Series title in 2019. As a franchise with a rich and storied history, the Red Sox are popular with fans in New England and across the country. It should come as no surprise that they graded out highly among FanWide’s Top 10 Baseball Teams, finishing third overall.
FanWide’s #4 team on the Top 10 Baseball Teams list is the Chicago Cubs. Few teams can match the history, good and bad, of the Chicago Cubs. In 2016, the Cubs broke the 71 year “Curse of the Billy Goat”, a period in which did not even appear in a World Series, let alone win a championship. Now, led by young stars such as third baseman Kris Bryant, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and second baseman Javier Baez, the Cubs hope to win another World Series soon. Led by top 10 finishes in every category and top 3 showings in fan clubs, regular season wins, national games televised, and Forbes value, the Cubs can proudly call themselves FanWide’s #4 Baseball Team.
Teams were evaluated in 9 different categories (visit this blog post to see the methodology). The Cubs graded out as follows:
Coming in at #5 on the Top 10 Baseball Teams list is the St. Louis Cardinals. One of baseball’s premier teams, both past and present, the Cardinals graded out exceptionally well, with above-average showings in every category led by the most recent playoff wins and the second most World Series wins and second highest average attendance. In a St. Louis market without an NBA or NFL team, the Cardinals have come to represent the city and its fans, who are often considered among the best in baseball. Through their frequent success, they have represented St. Louis well. With the additions of All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and lefty reliever Andrew Miller to an already-strong roster, the Cards look poised to bring even more success to St. Louis this upcoming season.
FanWide’s #6 team on the Top 10 Baseball Teams list is the San Francisco Giants. The Giants’ most notable recent achievement is their incredible “even year” run: the Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Their widespread popularity, however, extends beyond the team’s on-field success. With the recent growth of Silicon Valley and the tech industry, more and more people have migrated to the Bay Area, increasing the number of prospective Giants fans. Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park), widely considered one of the best ballparks in the MLB, occupies a prime spot in downtown San Francisco on the water, making it a popular destination. The team also benefits from the presence of charismatic superstars like lefty ace Madison Bumgarner and former MVP catcher Buster Posey. A combination of all these factors and more earned the Giants the sixth spot among FanWide’s Top 10 Baseball Teams.
Number 7 on the Top 10 Baseball Teams list is the Houston Astros. When the ‘Stros switched from the National to American League in 2013, they were in the midst of a lengthy rebuild. In 2015, however, they burst onto the scene, making the playoffs and defeating the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the AL Wild Card game. From there, the Astros cemented themselves as one of the top teams in baseball. Their lengthy rebuild netted them several top draft picks, such as outfielder George Springer, shortstop Carlos Correa, and third baseman Alex Bregman. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the city of Houston rallied around the Astros, and led by MVP second baseman Jose Altuve and newly-acquired ace righty Justin Verlander, a World Series title came to Houston for the first time. Now, as one of the best teams in baseball, the Astros hope to make another World Series run in 2019.
The New York Mets claim the eighth spot in FanWide’s Top 10 Baseball Teams competition. As a New York team in the country’s largest market, the Mets are often at the center of attention. Expectations always run high, but the Mets always do their best to deliver. The Mets, and their fans, do what they can to compete with the crosstown rival Yankees, the competitive NL East, and the rest of the league. Coming into the 2019 season, many predict big things for the Metropolitans. Led by ace right handers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard as well as young star outfields Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo, the Mets came into the offseason with an already talented roster. However, the blockbuster acquisition of former Yankees star second baseman Robinson Cano and shutdown closer Edwin Diaz might be enough to put the Mets over the top. Combine that with a promising farm system led by first baseman Peter Alonso, who may well be coming to Queens this season, and the Mets have a chance to contend. 2019 may even be the season Tim Tebow makes his long-anticipated MLB debut. The Mets and their fans are hopeful that this year may be the year a World Series trophy comes back to New York.
Teams were evaluated in 9 different categories (visit this blog post to see the methodology). The Mets graded out as follows:
Coming in at number 9 in FanWide’s Top 10 Baseball Teams competition is the Toronto Blue Jays. Though the Expos have long since left Montreal, baseball remains a key piece of Canadian sports culture due to the lasting devotion of Blue Jays fans. The Jays draw fans from across Canada as well as the U.S. Passionate crowds fill the Rogers Centre for every home game, but the Jays also have a reputation for strong road showings, especially in FanWide’s home city of Seattle. With an impressive collection of young talent headlined by top prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette (sons of former big leaguers Vladimir Guerrero and Dante Bichette, respectively), the future is bright in Toronto. The team will truly thrive, however, on the strength of the Blue Jays fan base, which earned them the ninth spot on the list.
Unfortunately for Arizona Cardinals fans, 2019 will not be the first year they get to see their team raise up the lombardi trophy. The Arizona Cardinals are coming off a disappointing 2018 season. After losing many close games, the Cardinals closed the season with a disappointing 3-13 record. Fortunately for the Arizona Cardinals fanbase, the team is starting to point in the right direction. They have a future franchise quarterback in Josh “the chosen one” Rosen, an established star running back in David Johnson, and legendary wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. In addition, the Cardinals just hired Kliff Kingsbury who is known around the league as an offensive mastermind. Kliff Kingsbury had great success coaching college football and is known for his superb job of developing the 2019 MVP Pat Mahomes. Many believe that Kingsbury will be able to develop Josh Rosen similarly to how he developed Mahomes at Texas Tech. With the recent success of Sean McVay, young offensive masterminds such as Kingsbury are in high demand. In an NFL era where elite offenses are all the rage, Kliff Kingsbury is the perfect hire for a young NFL team on the rise.
The Cincinnati Bengals are an organization who seem to always be hanging around in January. Although the past three seasons for the Bengals have been a disappointment to many fans, people forget that the Cincinnati Bengals have been in the playoffs five out of the past eight seasons. The past couple seasons for the Bengals have embodied mediocrity, but this year that will change. The Bengals just relieved Marvin Lewis of his coaching duties. Lewis was successful with the Bengals considering he led the team to seven playoff appearances, but he never was able to win a playoff game. Recently, the Bengals announced that offensive-guru Zac Taylor will be their next head coach. Zac Taylor, the former quarterback’s coach for the Los Angeles Rams, will come into Cincinnati with a big task at hand, but the right pieces around him. Taylor will work with a roster that has a lot of potential. This Bengals roster is not up to par with the average AFC team right now, but in a couple years the Bengals may be a powerhouse in the AFC.
Coming in at number 10 in FanWide’s Top 10 Baseball Teams competition is the Cleveland Indians. An important part of the recent Cleveland sports renaissance, the Indians have been one of the best teams in baseball over the past few season, with three straight AL central titles. Led by an elite pitching staff and an impressive lineup, the Indians look poised to have another strong season in 2019. Despite a smaller market size, Indians fans remain steadfast in their commitment to the team, earning them the tenth spot in the competition.
Teams were evaluated in 9 different categories (visit this blog post to see the methodology). The Indians graded out as follows: