What's Your MLB.tv Hierachy?

Orel Miraculous

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When i'm not (a) watching the Sox, or (b) trying to be a real human being, I'm usually watching MLB.tv. I don't just tune in to any old game though, as I've recently realized that I have an ever evolving hierarchy of MLB.tv teams I want to watch.  The hierarchy doesn't always hold (sometimes you're just in a White Sox mood, you know?) but it more or less dictates what I want to watch on any given night.  
 
In thinking about it, I've realized that the hierarchy is essentially based on the following factors:
  • Nastiness. Pitching is the heart of the game, and there's nothing better than watching guys who mix up pitches, light up the radar gun, and buckle knees. 
  • Athleticism.  Billy Hamilton, Puig, Stanton, Machado.  You watch sports to be wowed, don't you?   
  • Ballpark/Atmosphere.  I would gladly sit in an empty Dodger Stadium just to do paperwork.    
  • Novelty. All things considered, an up-and-coming team is more exciting than an established contender, an NL team is more intriguing than a team I see the Sox play 19 teams a year, and Kris Bryant is a must-see because he could be the next Ryan Braun (even if I don't really make much of an effort to watch Ryan Bran anymore). 
So with those factors in mind, here's how I break down the MLB.tv buffet:
 
Appointment Viewing
 
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
This team aggressively ticks off everything on the list.  Kersaw's curveball is the single best pitch in the game (and Grienke, and Ryu, and Jensen...). Puig is simultaneously the most athletic and most exciting player on Earth. Dodger Stadium is a mid-century modern masterpiece that was suddenly turned into a classic old school ballpark by the 90s post-Camden building boom.  Oh, and VIN FUCKING SCULLY.
 
2. Nats
They have just about everything the Dodgers have: a pitching staff that can strikeout 10 on any given day, the East Coast's answer to Puig batting cleanup, and a lineup that can do damage from every spot.  The only thing they come up short on?  That ballpark.  It's boring in that generic, HOK way and the crowd is generally somnambulant.
 
3. Pirates
McCutchen, Marte, and Polanco are must see players on both sides of the ball, the ballpark is drop-dead gorgeous, and they still have that new team smell.  With Gerrit Cole they finally have the ace to go with it.
 
4. Royals
The last 5 innings of last years wild card game were the most memorable 5 innings of the entire 2014 season--and it was all because of the runnin' Royals. When it comes to aesthetically pleasing baseball, it's hard to beat a team that catches damn near every fly ball and always keeps you on the edge of your seat with the threat of a stolen base.  Ventura and Duffy have the nastiness factor well covered, Kaufman Stadium is the underrated ballpark gem of the American League, and their long-suffering fan base has that post-pennant race glow.
 
I'm Intrigued, But Show Me More
 
5. Padres
I've just always felt there was something exotic about the Padres, like they play in a different country or something.  When Petco was built I was firmly in the "this is way too cute, something needs to change" camp, but now I find it an aesthetically fascinating ballpark. And with Upton, Myers, Kemp, Cashner, and Ross, they've got the talent/athleticism/nastiness covered. I'm all in on the Friars this year.
 
6. Astros
Altuve, Springer, and Carter are all exciting and unique players.  Keuchel and McCugh don't have off-the-charts stuff but they work quickly and efficiently.  And hey, I love the new uniforms. This is a fun team right now.
 
7. Cubs
Watching a day game being played at Wrigley is always great.  Now that they have the most exciting young lineup in the league? Holy shit.  
 
8. Marlins
Stanton is on the shortlist of the Most Exciting Players on the Planet.  Sandwich him around Yelich, Ozuna, and Dee Gordon and you've got a young and dynamic offense.  And you know what?  I love that ballpark (the atmosphere aint much, but come on' it's got fucking fish behind the plate). When Fernandez comes back these guys are going to vault up the list.  Oh, and they've got Ichiro now, who might be the most fun player of the 21st century. 
 
9. Mets
On Harvey Day these guys are a top 3 team.  On DeGrom Day they're in the top 10.  Otherwise, meh.
 
I Get It Already, You're Good
 
10. Tigers
Much higher on this list when Verlander was still Verlander.  Regardless, Miggy is amazing, Cespedes and Iglesias are fun as hell, Price is elite, and the team is filled with talent just about everywhere else. 
 
11. Cardinals
Yes, they've been good for a while.  No, they don't have the most electric staff in the world. And yes, their fans are full of themselves.  But with Wong, Heyward, Yadi, Holiday, et al this is an interesting lineup and they play in a ballpark that's always full. (And you know what else? Cardinals fans are actually great. Maybe the "best fans in baseball" stuff has been taken too far, but if we were actually giving that title out, they'd make the final round.)
 
12. Orioles
I will never tire of watching a game played in Camden Yards.  Jones, Machado, and Davis are all must-sees in different ways.  What a mediocre pitching stuff, though. 
 
It;s Not You, It's Me
13. Mariners
I don't know what it is about this team.  Objectively, they have a lot of what I'm looking for:  Felix, Paxton, and Walker are all pitchers to watch, and Cano and Seager are great, but the rest of the team just seems filled with "sure, he's a nice player" type of guys. It could be that the Mariners will simply never again be as exciting as they were in the mid-90s, when they were the the undisputed coolest team in the league and Griffey was the Mickey Mantle of my childhood.  
 
14. Trout
There's just nothing else about the Angels that I care about.
 
Close, Really Close, But Flawed
15. Giants
When Lincecum was still Lincecuming and San Fran was filled with Panda hats this team was much higher on the list.  But now? It's a lineup of competent but boring hitters and a weird mish-mash pitching staff.  That ballpark, though. 
 
16. Rockies
Put Matt Harvey on this team and they might be top 5.  Tulo, Arenado, and CarGo?  Awesome.  Coors Field?  Gorgeous. But damn, that pitching . . . 
 
17. White Sox
Love Abreu, love Sale, and love the black and white.  Not much else there, though. 
 
18. Indians
With Salazar back up and punching out guys left and right I'll keep my on them a little bit more, and Kluber's fun to watch.  The lineup doesn't do much for me though, and that ballpark is usually empty.
 
Blame the Unbalanced Schedule
19. Jays
I think SkyDome is a fine place to watch a game in person (with the roof open, at least) but holy shit is it ugly on TV.  It's hard to beat that heart of the order though.
 
20. Rays
Diddo for the Trop on TV.  But I do love watching Chris Archer. 
 
21. Yankees
It's fun watching them get old and irrelevant. (Plus its actually fun watching Tanaka and A-Rod.) 
 
That's a Fun Little Ballpark
 
22. Reds
With Cueto going at home along the river, this is a beautiful team to watch.  Not so much under just about any other circumstance.
 
Like Major League Baseball, I Don't Really Know What to Do With the A's
23. A's
I respect the hell out of the franchise, but it's a terrible ballpark and a lineup filled with guys who are all on their fourth team. I can't really remember the last time I wanted to watch an A's game.  Loud and kind of zany fans in the outfield liven things up though. 
 
I Think I'll Actually Go Outside and Do Something
 
24. Rangers
It wasn't too long ago when this team was a contender for the top spot.  Darvish!  Peak Hamilton! The Texas state flags!  How the mighty have fallen.
 
25. Phillies
The ballpark plays well on TV and Philly fans can still get into it, even if their team can't. 
 
26. Braves
Simmons is one of my favorite players in the league, but its not like you can sit around and wait for web gems.  
 
27. Brewers
Oh to be 2008 again. 
 
28. Twins
I almost forget about them.
 
29. Diamondbacks
Uhhhh, Goldschmidt's good and the pool is kinda interesting? 
 
 
 

derekson

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I've been watching the Cubs and Dodgers a lot. The Cubs are a fun team with a lot of young players, plus guys like Lester and Rizzo that I already liked. And I've always been a big fan of Maddon. I like their current announcing team too.
 
The Dodgers are always great because they have 10 PM games I can watch for a while in bed before going to sleep, and I get to listen to Vin Scully. The Dodgers also have a lot of talented players that are enjoyable to watch.
 
I like to watch the Mets if they happen to be on because I really like their announcers. The Nationals are fun to watch but their announcers are terrible and IMO Matt Williams is a terrible manager.
 

bankshot1

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Orel
 
you might want to throw Mets/Matt Harvey starts into the mix.
 
I'm probably going to end up watching more Astros this year than I figured.
 

Orel Miraculous

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I mean, I got them in the top third and wrote that on Harvey Day they're a top 3 team--that counts as in the mix, right?  Unfortunately, their lineup lacks excitement of any kind, they play in what might be the most boring new ballpark in baseball, and I live in NYC so there isn't much novelty there for me.  Derekson's right about their announcing team, though, they might be the best in the game. 
 

Jnai

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Have you checked out MLB.tv redzone? Might be your kind of thing. :)
 

rembrat

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derekson said:
I like to watch the Mets if they happen to be on because I really like their announcers.
 
Totally agree. I wish MLB.tv did away with the local blackouts then I listen to their guys break down baseball. Their pace and insight are some of the best in the biz. That the Mets are finally watchable is the cherry on top. 
 

Orel Miraculous

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FTR, I think if I weren't a Sox fan, I'd slide them into the number 6 slot in between the Pads and Astros.  Like the Padres they have a couple of exciting free agent acquisitions, but the Sox lineup is considerably more exciting overall thanks two of the game's most exciting young players (Betts and Bogaerts) and two the game's most likeable badasses (Papi and Pedroia).  And Fenway, of course, is Fenway.  The pitching, however . . . .
 
The number of times that I'd be like "Oh sweet, the Sox are on!" only to immediately follow it up with "Damn it, Miley/Buchholtz/Masterson is pitching" would be off the charts. 
 

Skip

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Jul 19, 2012
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Nasty sliders. I'll be watching most Carlos Rondon starts now he's in the White Sox rotation. His slider is wow.

Like watching the Cubs mainly for Bryant and the Mets for the pitching. Nats are always fun.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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I've got a man-crush on Kris Bryant, so after the Sox it's the Cubs, Cubs and more Cubs. I'm also a fan of Soler and shed a tear every time I think about Rizzo in a Sox uniform. Plus being a prospect humper, the Cubs are one of the most exciting teams in the majors for that kind of thing.
 

Orel Miraculous

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Told myself that the #7 spot on my list was on the line tonight in the Mets-Cubs game, but even if Harvey closes them out, I don't think I'll be bumping the Cubbies down.  In fact, I think I'm moving them up.  It's just such a dynamic lineup filled with hitters who not only are good, but who look good being good (don't ask me to explain that, but I know it when I see it).  Congrats, CHC, you're up to #5.
 

ajml

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Whoever I have the most DFS exposure to. This means watching tons of Rockies games in Coors and generally watching terrible teams like the Astros!
 

Orel Miraculous

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ajml said:
Whoever I have the most DFS exposure to. This means watching tons of Rockies games in Coors and generally watching terrible teams like the Astros!
 
Are you unclear on the definition of the word terrible? It seems that it's either that or you're confusing the Astros with, like, the Houston Dash or something.