The MLB postseason has arrived. Some melancholy over the end of the regular season is understandable (especially if your team's season is over), but the excitement of the playoffs should turn that frown upside down.
Making the National League postseason more compelling is the emergence of a team that could be a contender for years to come. The Washington Nationals accelerated their development and won the NL East perhaps a year earlier than expected.
But really, most of the NL playoff field has a new look to it. Last year's pennant winners and World Series champions made the postseason as a Wild Card. However, the St. Louis Cardinals are not expected to repeat last season's success.
While the Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves may be familiar playoff participants, all three teams missed the postseason last year and have different rosters than their 2010 incarnations.
The NL playoff field looks wide open, with any of the five teams (well, maybe four of the five) capable of making a run to the World Series. With no clear favorite, this could be one of the most exciting postseasons in recent memory.
But who appears to be the best of the NL playoff teams? We rank each of them in several categories to try and determine who should be in the World Series.