Six Teams You Don't Want to Face in the Playoffs - by Johan Keri (GRANTLAND)
...To identify the sleeper team no one wants to face in October, we need to establish parameters.
First, we need a team with a real chance to play spoiler. Fifty Sixty years and three days ago, the New York Giants trailed the Brooklyn Dodgers by 13 games with 47 games to play. We know how that ended. But there's a reason the Shot Heard 'Round the World is regarded as the most dramatic, unlikely moment in baseball history. You don't bet on miracles.
All of which means we can safely rule out the following teams: Houston, Baltimore, Kansas City, Seattle, Oakland, Minnesota, Toronto, Washington, Florida, San Diego, Colorado, the Dodgers, the Cubs, and the Mets.
Second, a favorite can't be a spoiler. A spoiler should be a team with a low payroll, or merely an outside shot at winning the whole thing, that screws up another team's run. That means the Phillies and Red Sox, the best teams in their respective leagues, are out. If the playoffs started today, the Yankees would be a wild card, but they're a wild card on a 99-win pace with a $207 million payroll. They're out, too. The Giants aren't even in first place, but they're the defending champs. They're out. The Rangers might finish with a worse record than either league's wild card — but they also won the AL pennant last year, dealt for two elite relief pitchers at the deadline, and convinced plenty of smart people that they're a great bet to get back to the World Series this year. They're out, too.
With all of those teams out of the picture, here are the six clubs with the best chance to go Z-Bo on the rest of the league...