Your MLB guide to choosing a Premier League team
The English Premier League -- the world's top soccer league -- is kicking off on Saturday, and with a new TV deal in place, the matches will be more visible in America than ever before.
Here's a helpful (and completely aribitrary) guide on how to select a team to cheer for, based on your current MLB team of choice:
New York Yankees -- Manchester United
Manchester United have won the Premier League more seasons than they haven't won the Premier League. That's basically all you need to know.
Boston Red Sox -- Liverpool F.C.
John W. Henry owns both the Red Sox and Liverpool. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool's captain and star midfielder) led one of the most historic comebacks in the history of the sport. Sound familiar?
Baltimore Orioles -- Everton F.C.
Crosstown rivals with Liverpool, Everton has a deep and wonderful history, with their last title coming in the 1980s. They're a gritty club, able to compete with teams with much higher payrolls and larger media attention.
Tampa Bay Rays -- Swansea City
Swansea City are an iconoclastic team punching far above their weight by bringing about new innovations to the league. Their budget is significantly smaller than the other EPL teams, but find success without breaking the bank.
Toronto Blue Jays -- Cardiff City
The Blue Jays are MLBs only non-American team, and Cardiff is one of only two Welsh teams in the EPL. On top of that, their nickname is "The Bluebirds."
Chicago White Sox -- Stoke City
Stoke are the oldest team in the Premier League and one of the oldest teams in soccer. Addiionally, they are the current home of 6'7" foward Peter Crouch -- a very rough Chris Sale analogue.
Cleveland Indians -- Southampton
Southampton is tremendous at discovering and developing young talent, with star Premier League players Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott hailing from the club before moving elsewhere. While not one of the big hitters in financial terms, they're wonderfully smart with a great young core.
Detroit Tigers -- Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea is one of the best clubs in the world, and they expect to compete for the league title this season. Midfielder Juan Mata is their Miguel Cabrera and goalkeeper Peter Cech is their Justin Verlander.
Kansas City Royals -- Aston Villa
Villa are one of the more well-respected teams in the league, with a wonderful history and an equally wonderful, Kaufmann-esque stadium.
Minnesota Twins -- Fulham
American soccer star Brian McBride was a fan favorite during his time with the club and was a cornerstone on the US World Cup squads in 1998, 2002 and 2006 -- very much a Justin Morneau type. Current striker Dimitar Berbatov is the team's best goalscorer and a good Joe Mauer analogue.
Houston Astros -- Crystal Palace
Much like the Astros, Crystal Palace are starting their season in a new league -- moving from an older league a newer league. English soccer uses a system where the worst three teams from the Premier League and the best three teams from the top minor league swap places, and Crystal Palace are one of the teams to make the leap to the top tier.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -- Tottenham Hotspur
Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur's 24-year-old midfielder, is one of the best players in the Premier League and a young star trying to lead his team to the promised land. The Trout comparison is very, very accurate.
Oakland Athletics -- Arsenal
Firstly, Billy Beane has a relationship with the management at Arsenal, calling current manager Arsene Wenger his idol. Beyond that, Arsenal have been very successful in the league despite refusing to try and outspend rival clubs Manchester United and Chelsea.
Seattle Mariners -- West Bromwich Albion
Texas Rangers -- Manchester City
Atlanta Braves -- Arsenal
Miami Marlins -- Hull City
New York Mets -- Sunderland
Philadelphia Phillies -- Newcastle United
Washington Nationals -- Tottenham Hotspur
Chicago Cubs -- Everton F.C.
Cincinnati Reds -- Arsenal
Milwaukee Brewers -- Liverpool F.C.
Pittsburgh Pirates -- Norwich City
St. Louis Cardinals -- Manchester United
Arizona Diamondbacks -- Tottenham Hotspur
Colorado Rockies -- West Ham United
Los Angeles Dodgers -- Manchester City
San Diego Padres -- Aston Villa
San Francisco Giants -- Chelsea F.C.