In honor of the Astros / Dodgers series this week, we wanted to take a look at each of the major league’s best four historical rivalries, in ascending order.
This is one that has been around for decades – they still fight over Tug McGraw – but it has taken on a different color in the last 20 years, when both teams were excellent for long periods. (Remember how Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley irritated Mets fans?). It seems to have gotten cold lately, but that probably shouldn’t be the case: After all, they are 1-2 in the NL East and will meet a ton of times down the stretch.
There is a large gap between places 1, 2 and 3 in this quartet and the order of the top three tends to alternate. Both teams are going through a bad year in 2021 and the Cubs appear to be starting from scratch. But for the past 10 years, this has been a fascinating rivalry. The Cardinals dominated the Cubs for many years, but the past decade was Chicago’s time, culminating in their win over St. Louis in the 2015 Division Series and, of course, their 2016 World Series win. Here are two of the historic Major League Baseball franchises, eternally linked.
This season could end up being a new peak in the battle of more than 100 years between these two franchises, which as you know began their rivalry in New York. They might as well be the best two teams in the majors right now, but only one can win the division. The Dodgers have owned the NL West for quite some time, but no Giants fan will let you forget that they have three titles this century, to one in Los Angeles.
Sure, we haven’t had a classic battle with both teams at their best for several years, which means that it has easily gone from being the best rivalry to just comfortably the best rivalry. It may never again reach the heights of those years 2003-2004, when it seemed like some kind of historical battle… but it will always be a show that no one wants to miss, even if neither of you is well at any given time. Don’t worry, though: They are almost always good.