With four teams remaining in each league, there are 16 possible matchups for the World Series. We could wait and see who makes it, but what fun is that?
Here’s a list of every possible World Series matchup this year — and why each of them would be interesting. They’re listed in descending order of probability, according to figures from Fangraphs.com at the start of play Thursday.
BLUE JAYS vs. DODGERS (12 percent)
Baseball’s highest-scoring team goes up against Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and Toronto gets a chance to avenge one of the city’s toughest defeats — a seven-game loss by the Maple Leafs to Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings in the 1993 Campbell Conference finals.
ASTROS vs. DODGERS (10 percent)
These former NL West rivals have met once in the postseason. The Dodgers prevailed in a best-of-five series in 1981, beating Nolan Ryan in the finale.
ROYALS vs. DODGERS (9 percent)
Greinke spent his first seven seasons with Kansas City. Since leaving, he’s pitched against the Royals three times and hasn’t won.
BLUE JAYS vs. CUBS (8 percent)
Bonus points to anyone who manages to watch this series from the Rogers Centre hotel AND the Wrigley rooftops.
ASTROS vs. CUBS (7 percent)
Purists, cover your eyes. This series would include the No. 2 wild card from each league.
RANGERS vs. DODGERS (7 percent)
Plenty of people remember that Adrian Beltre began his big league career with the Dodgers, but how many recall the 59 games Adrian Gonzalez played for Texas a decade ago?
BLUE JAYS vs. CARDINALS (6 percent)
A fascinating World Series for bird aficionados. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny once played for the Blue Jays.
BLUE JAYS vs. METS (6 percent)
After winning the NL Cy Young Award in 2012, R.A. Dickey was traded from the Mets to Toronto. The move has paid dividends for New York, which got Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud in the deal.
ROYALS vs. CUBS (6 percent)
When the Cubs and Royals played in May, Kansas City scored four runs off Jake Arrieta. Maybe the Royals should be crowned champions just for that.
ASTROS vs. CARDINALS (5 percent)
Just your typical World Series matchup between two former division rivals, one of which became the subject of a federal investigation over allegations of hacking into the other’s computer database.
ASTROS vs. METS (5 percent)
Wilmer Flores and the Mets vs. Carlos Gomez and the Astros. There IS crying in baseball. Also a rematch of an epic NL Championship Series in 1986, when New York won the pennant with a 16-inning victory in Game 6.
ROYALS vs. CARDINALS (4 percent)
The Royals have been waiting 30 years for another World Series title. The Cardinals have been waiting 30 years for . another shot at the Royals. Kansas City beat St. Louis in a seven-game World Series in 1985, best remembered for a missed call in the ninth inning of Game 6 that helped the Royals rally against their I-70 Missouri rivals.
RANGERS vs. CUBS (4 percent)
After the 1988 season, the Cubs traded Rafael Palmeiro to Texas in a deal that also included Mitch Williams and a young(ish) Jamie Moyer. Not Chicago’s finest baseball memory.
ROYALS vs. METS (4 percent)
The Royals open NEXT season by hosting the Mets on April 4, so if those teams play in the World Series this year, baseball will have stumbled into quite an opening day matchup for 2016.
RANGERS vs. CARDINALS (3 percent)
Four years ago, St. Louis beat Texas in a seven-game World Series, and although Josh Hamilton and the Rangers might love another chance to face the Cardinals, the St. Louis roster looks a lot different now. Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman and Chris Carpenter all played key roles for the Cardinals in that Series, and none of them are on the team anymore. Good news for the Rangers: David Freese doesn’t play for St. Louis anymore, either.
RANGERS vs. METS (3 percent)
Call this one the Bobby Valentine Series. He managed the Rangers from 1985-92 and the Mets from 1996-2002.