As summer begins to wind down, the Major League Baseball season starts to heat up. Which teams will make a playoff run with a shot to win the World Series? Which will fall off and have fans muttering the all-too-painful phrase, “We’ll be back next year?”
No matter which part of the season we’re in, it’s always a good time for pizza. As the baseball season enters its final stretch, here is a look at each MLB team as represented by types of pizza.
Baltimore Orioles: Crab pizza. Nothing says Baltimore — and the rest of Maryland, for that matter — like crabs. While tasty, crab pizza isn’t necessarily a popular style, just as the Orioles have not been known for playing quality baseball in recent decades. In the 34 years since Baltimore last won the World Series, the team has made just five playoff appearances. They did reach the ALCS in 2014, but the Kansas City Royals swept them 4-0.
Boston Red Sox: New England Greek-style. The Red Sox are New England’s team, and the pizza style of choice in many parts of the region is New England Greek. This pizza typically includes a well-oiled crust, giving the bottom an almost deep-fried crispiness. Some say the quality of New England Greek-style pizza can be inconsistent, but that’s certainly not true about the Red Sox. The team has made the playoffs in eight of the past 13 seasons, including three World Series championships.
New York Yankees: New York-Style thin crust. The Yankees are iconic in the sports world, and New York-style thin crust is iconic in the pizza world. In fact, unless you’ve experienced the true joy of Chi-Town’s much thicker delights, New York-style thin crust is probably the first thing you think about when you hear the word “pizza.” It’s a legendary style, just as the Yankees are a legendary team — they’ve made 52 postseason appearances in their history, winning the World Series 27 times.
Tampa Bay Rays: Breakfast pizza. The Tampa area is consistently voted one of the best cities in the nation to retire, and you know just how much our aging population loves to wake up early. That means breakfast pizza. Speaking of retirement, the team formerly known as the Devil Rays typically retires early each season. They’ve made it to the World Series just once in its history, losing to the Phillies in 2008.
Toronto Blue Jays: Poutine pizza. The Montreal Expos are now a part of ancient baseball history, leaving the Jays as the last Canadian team standing in MLB. Canada is proud of poutine — its dish consisting of French fries, gravy and cheese curds — and yes, that combination can be added to a pizza. For most, this pizza is likely only good every so often, which is similar to the Jays. The team won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, but has since made only two playoff appearances.
Houston Astros: Grilled pizza. Folks in Houston like to cook on the grill, and that can even include pizza. It includes the best of the pizza and grilling worlds — plenty of melty cheese covering a crispy grilled crust. As for the Astros, they’re also on fire this season. The team has by far the best record in the American League, and is among the favorites to represent the AL in the World Series.
Los Angeles Angels: Sushi pizza. Los Angeles is known for one of the best sushi scenes in the U.S., and even one of the best in the world outside of Japan. Sushi can be a somewhat trendy food, and the Angels were trendy in the early 2000s. Between 2002 and 2009, the team made an impressive six playoff appearances, including one World Series championship.
Oakland Athletics: Vegetarian pizza. Oakland is often overlooked by its Bay-Area counterpart, San Francisco, but it’s really a town for young, self-proclaimed hipsters. This group of innovators is just as unique and cultured as their varieties of meatless pizzas. Unfortunately, hipsters don’t seem to be into the A’s brand of baseball. The team is averaging just 18,682 fans per game this season, second-worst in the majors. Oakland also finished No. 29 during the 2016 season.
Seattle Mariners: Vegan pizza. Yes, vegan pizza is a thing. In fact, Seattle has several shops specializing in vegan pies. While some may prefer a bit of meat on their pizza, Mariners fans would like a little more meat in the heart of their team’s lineup. Despite launching the careers of hall-of-famers such as Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Ichiro, the M’s have made the postseason just four times and never reached the World Series in its 40-year history.
Texas Rangers: Texas-style pizza. Everything is bigger in Texas, and that could include a hearty Texas-style barbecue brisket pizza. It’s a great way to use some of that leftover brisket, a meat staple on many grills across Texas. In their history, the Rangers have not been as legendary as Texas BBQ, but the team has come on in recent years, with five postseason appearances in seven seasons.
Chicago White Sox: Deep-dish pizza. Anyone who knows anything about pizza knows Chicago is the home of deep-dish pizza. We can’t say as much about the White Sox, but we do remember the breakout season of 2005 that ended in a World Series title.
Cleveland Indians: Ohio Valley-style pizza. Ohio Valley-style pizza is all about squares. It’s cooked in a square pan, then cut into square pieces. Pizza snobs may say, “That’s not really pizza,” just as anyone who has seen the movie Major League knows the Indians have a long reputation for not really playing baseball. They did reach the World Series in 2016, but we all know how that ended.
Detroit Tigers: Detroit-style pizza. Detroit-style pizza is also a square variety, although it has a bit of a deeper crust, along with typical traditional toppings such as pepperoni. The history of Detroit-style pizza goes back to 1946, a year after the Tigers won their second World Series championship. The team has since won two more, in 1968 and 1984.
Kansas City Royals: Barbecue chicken pizza. Kansas City is another town known for its delicious barbecue, and on a pie, it takes the form of a barbecue chicken pizza. It may not be considered a favorite across the country, but it can be a winner, just as the Royals were in the 2015 World Series.
Minnesota Twins: Coal-fired pizza. The weather in the Twin Cities gets a bad reputation for always being cold, as it does get very hot in the summer. That said, there are plenty of chilly nights for baseball in early April or late September, making a hot slice of coal-fired pizza a good option.
Atlanta Braves: White pizza. Shrimp is a staple in the Southeast U.S., and it’s a tasty addition to a white pizza that skips the red sauce and includes a healthy dose of garlic. It may not be a first choice, but it can be a good one, just as the Braves were in the late ’90s and early 2000s. The team made the playoffs in 14 of 15 seasons ending in 2005, one of the best stretches of excellence in recent baseball history.
Miami Marlins: Anchovy pizza. The Marlins are often referred to as “the Fish,” and no fish is more popular on pizza than anchovies. Anchovies on pizza can be hit-or-miss, much like the Marlins in the team’s 25-year history. They’ve only made the postseason twice in that quarter-century, but they brought home the World Series trophy both times: 1997 and 2003.
New York Mets: Bagel pizza. Mini bagel pizzas can be a tasty snack, but in New York, they’ll always be overshadowed by New York-style thin crust. That must be how the Mets feel in the shadow of the cross-town Yankees. The Mets don’t have nearly the history of the Yankees, but they do have World Series titles in 1969 and 1986.
Philadelphia Phillies: Calzone. Philly is known as a working-class and historically Italian city, and working-class Italian food gets no better than the calzone. Speaking of history, it’s one of the Phillies’ greatest assets. The team is one of the oldest in baseball, starting as the Philadelphia Quakers in 1883. Unfortunately for fans in Philly, the team has only two World Series championships in those 134 years.
Washington Nationals: Hawaiian pizza. Hawaiian pizza wasn’t born in D.C., but it can be just as polarizing as the nation’s capital. If you do order a slice of Hawaiian pizza in Washington, make sure it’s a D.C. jumbo slice. In terms of baseball, since the team moved from Montreal in 2005, the Nationals haven’t been nearly as polarizing as their home city. The team has made the postseason three times, losing in the Division Series each time.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Southwest pizza. Just about everything in Arizona has a touch of Southwestern flair, and that can include its pizza. Think traditional pizza, but with ingredients commonly used in Southwestern-style cooking, such as chilies, black beans, avocado and Monterey Jack cheese. The D-Backs haven’t played with much flair in the years since their 2001 World Series title. The team has only made it as far as the NLCS once in that span, and on that occasion, they were swept by the Colorado Rockies.
Colorado Rockies: Stuffed-crust pizza. Many Coloradans pay detailed attention to the outer crust of their pizza, and a stuffed crust is one way to do that. The idea is to enjoy it until the very end, which isn’t something Rockies fans are accustomed to. The team has made the World Series just once since joining the Majors in 1993, getting swept by the Red Sox in 2007.
Los Angeles Dodgers: California-style pizza. The Dodgers are a Southern California icon, perhaps even more so than California-style pizza. Both have New York roots — the Dodgers come from Brooklyn, and California pizza typically employs a NY-style thin crust loaded with toppings from the California cuisine world. This style of pizza is relatively new compared to the Dodgers’ rich history. Since moving from Brooklyn in 1958, the team has five World Series wins.
San Diego Padres: Taco pizza. San Diego is one market in the U.S. known for its Hispanic food scene, and that can be extended to pizza using taco toppings. Unfortunately, most Padres teams end up going south as well. The team has made the World Series just twice in its 48-year history, losing both times.
San Francisco Giants: Pizza cone. There is no city in the U.S. known more for innovation and change in the technology industry than San Francisco. The invention of the pizza cone brought that disruptor mentality to the flat pizza world. It will be hard for the pizza cone to be as successful as the Giants have in recent years. The team has won three World Series titles since 2010.
Cincinnati Reds: Meat lovers’ pizza. Pizza eaters all over the country enjoy a bit of meat on their pie, but no team in baseball serves up more meatballs to opposing batters than the Cincinnati Reds. Through 99 games this season, the team has allowed 171 home runs, 20 more than the second-worst team in baseball — Seattle, with 151.
Milwaukee Brewers: Leftover cold pizza. Milwaukee has a reputation as a beer town, and while many things go well with beer, a cold slice of leftover pizza tops the list. You could consider the Brewers baseball leftovers as well. The team has made it to the World Series just once in its history, losing a seven-game heartbreaker to the Cardinals in 1982.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Pierogi pizza. Pittsburgh is known for many things, but when it comes to food, pierogies are near the top of the list. A pierogi pizza has mini versions of the potato dumpling, along with traditional fixings such as cheese, bacon and green onions. That’s a novel concept, but one that’s not likely to enjoy the history of Pittsburgh’s baseball team. The Pirates have been around since 1882, winning the World Series five times in team history.
St. Louis Cardinals: St. Louis-style pizza. A St. Louis-style pizza is ultra-thin, cut into square pieces and often includes a layer of processed cheese. While some may question that method, there is no questioning the success the Cardinals have had in recent years. The team has made the postseason 12 times since 2000, and it has won the World Series twice in that span.
Chicago Cubs: Stuffed deep-dish pizza. Yes, we saved the best for last on two fronts. We mentioned Chicago is synonymous with deep-dish pizza, and there is none better than our legendary stuffed pizza. Our recipe has evolved over 200 years, first brought to the masses on the south side of Chicago in 1974. As for the Cubs, the reigning World Series champs gave us our share of heartaches over the years — OK, decades — but it only made last season’s World Series win that much sweeter. There’s no telling where the team will end up this season, but just as Chicago is a deep-dish town, it will always be a Cubs town.