While the 2020 season will be extremely shortened, the new schedule does put an increased importance on winning divisional games. That often means needing to beat a team’s biggest rival.
During Rivalry Week, SB Nation Reacts asked baseball fans who specifically they saw as their favorite team’s biggest rival. There were a few teams that clearly draw that kind of attention from many teams.
Yankees fans specifically, believe the team’s biggest rival is the Boston Red Sox, followed by the Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros and New York Mets. This makes sense. The Red Sox are in the division, and they’re the historical rivals. The Rays, meanwhile, represent the largest threat, as a young and powerful team capable of making things difficult in the Eastern Division.
There are many different kinds of rivalries. For some teams, that rivalry includes begrudging respect. That respect, however, is not universal. When fans were asked what team they disliked the most, results clearly changed.
Yankees fans felt a little differently when it comes to which teams they dislike the most. While the Red Sox were still the top choice, the Astros have earned their own attention. When a team eliminates you from the playoffs three times in five years, having cheated in the final two, then yeah, they build up quite a bit of animosity.
Many different things can contribute to the creation of a rivalry. But when it comes to what most fans dislike about their rival, the answer is clear.
If the MLB schedule is able to reach the playoffs and conclude as planned, the winner of these rivalries will shape the season. More than that, it will give fans additional bragging rights.
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