Fandom is a difficult concept to explain, or understand, especially in such a big league like MLB.
How do we measure fandom?
How can we know that X team has more fans than Y?
Sometimes, we have to go with our gut feeling, a social construct that has been built with what we see and perceive in the streets, in conversations with our circles, and on one of today’s most powerful tools: social media.
We can also have an idea about which teams have the most followers around the country by how much merchandise about them is being offered and sold in different national markets.
Why bring this up now?
Well, we have only a handful of teams still standing, in contention for a ticket to the World Series.
It’s easy to wonder which World Series matchup would be the one preferred by most fans around the country, out of the current possibilities.
Five Candidates Still Stand
Let’s start by saying that all five teams standing as of Thursday afternoon have lots of fans around the country and are obviously extremely popular in their own respective markets.
The San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, and Boston Red Sox, additionally, have a recent history of winning.
The Giants won have three World Series since 2010, the Dodgers one, the Astros also one, and the Red Sox have taken four trophies since the turn of the millennium.
Even though the Braves haven’t won since 1995, they are continually in decisive stages of the postseason.
So which World Series would be the favorite of fans?
As much as the Astros have achieved on the field and in the front office in recent years (they have advanced to the ALCS five straight years), the memory of the 2017 sign-stealing scandal is still fresh and most neutrals don’t want them to win, even though a sizable portion of fans are slowly, but surely leaving the whole thing behind.
So, Which World Series Matchup Would Be The Most Attractive?
The rankings are available on these links: the Yankees lead both.
The Braves are widely respected around the league, but it’s clear that both the Giants and Dodgers play in a bigger market and have more fans.
The numbers also back that up, although Atlanta is third on the demand for hats list ahead of the 10th-placed Giants.
In any case, the Dodgers are acclaimed as one of the best and most consistent organizations in the last few years.
They won in 2020, and if they can get over the tough Giants, they could represent the most attractive World Series matchup if they get a rematch against the Red Sox.
Both teams faced each other in the Fall Classic in 2018, with a victory for Boston.
MLB fans will surely be in for a treat if both organizations meet again for a rematch.
With no disrespect to the Braves, Giants, and Astros, the Dodgers – Red Sox World Series would be the most attractive for MLB fans.
If we get a Dodgers/Red Sox matchup for the World Series I’m joining the circus
— Javier Herbert Reyes (@Javiipeno) October 14, 2021
On the other hand, and seeing how passionate both fan bases are, a Giants – Red Sox series would also be amazing.
I don’t have much confidence in it happening but a Red Sox vs Giants World Series would be my favorite matchup. Beyond the teams’ respective histories, they’ve had the two best crowds out of all the playoff teams. It would be an amazing atmosphere
— Anthony Joseph (AJ) Gullotta II 🇮🇹 (@AJGullotta) October 11, 2021
The answer is extremely subjective and will obviously depend on each individual opinion, but the numbers suggest that Los Angeles versus Boston would be the most-viewed World Series in 2021.