While the excitement of NBA basketball and NFL football has begun to heat up, the
Major League Baseball season is coming to a close, but with even more excitement and
anticipation. The MLB playoffs are held in October every year and have five teams from both
the National League and the American League make the playoffs. The first round of the playoffs
is the Wild Card games for both leagues.
This game is between the two teams in each league that have the best overall record,
but did not win their respective divisions. The Wild Card game is a winner take all game while
the other rounds are a best-of-5 or a best-of-7 series. The Oakland Athletics vs. the New York
Yankees and the Colorado Rockies vs. the Chicago Cubs were the two exciting Wild Card games
played this year with the Yankees and Rockies coming out on top.
The next round is the Division Series, where teams play a best-of-5 game series with the
winner moving on to the Championship Series. For the first time since 2013, the Atlanta Braves
made the playoffs by winning their division. The Braves were filled with young talent giving
Braves fans something to cheer for in the upcoming seasons.
Ronald Acuña lead the team in their first round against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Acuña’s grand slam lead the Braves to their first win of the series. The Braves eventually lost 3-1
to the Dodgers in the NLDS, but many experts believe that Acuña, Ozzie Albies, and Freddie
Freeman will lead the Braves team back to the playoffs in the upcoming years with all the cap
space the Braves have.
Arguably, the most attention-grabbing story of the playoffs came in the American
League Divisional Series, opposed to the World Series. The Boston Red Sox and the New York
Yankees went head-to-head in the ALDS after the Red Sox won the division and the season
series against the Yankees 10-9. These two teams came from the same division and both have
strong pitching and hitting, but the Red Sox ended up winning the series 3-1 by dominating the
Yankees’ pitching while scoring 27 runs over four games.
“The Red Sox have the best lineup by far out of all the teams in the postseason.” said
junior, Franklin Brannen. “Their pitching could be better, but their unstoppable lineup will win
them the World Series.” The Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Milwaukee Brewers
also advanced to the Championship Series. The Houston Astros came into the American League
Championship Series as defending World Series champions. Lead by the 2017 World Series
MVP, George Springer, the Astros headed into a tough series against the Boston powerhouse.
Although the Red Sox may had more experience and talent, the Astros’ young team gives many
baseball fans confidence in their strength.
“The Astros are a very good team because of all their young talent like, Jose Altuve,
Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman.” said freshman, Austin Reiner. “I think that the young guys
will carry the team and win some more World Series’ in the future if they don’t win this year.”
Just like the Red Sox, the Astros had a deep pitching staff lead by veteran, Justin Verlander, who
has won an MVP, Cy Young Award, and a World Series already in his career. After five hard
fought games, the Red Sox prevailed and advanced to the World Series for the first time since
2013, when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals for the title.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers faced off in the National League
Championship Series. The Milwaukee Brewers came into the 2018 season as underdogs with
just a 25% chance to make the playoffs, but potential NL MVP Christian Yelich lead the Brewers
to the NLCS. The Dodgers on the other hand, came into the season with a 13% chance to win
the World Series, which is good for the third highest in all of the MLB. The biggest addition to
the Dodgers team is shortstop Manny Machado, who was traded from the Baltimore Orioles on
July 18 th . Manny Machado’s bat has been hot recently but his temper flared up when he ran
into Brewers’ 1 st baseman Jesus Aguilar’s foot as he ran through first base in the NLCS. Machado
was fined an undisclosed amount of money by the MLB, but also received hate from other
players and fans calling him a dirty player.
“I’m very interested to see how the Manny Machado situation evolves throughout the
playoffs.” said sophomore, Andrew Mao. “It will be really interesting to see if his attitude will
change and if there will be any retaliation by the Brewers or any other team if they advance to
the World Series.” The Dodgers-Brewers series played out to be the most intriguing series by
far despite the hype surrounding the Red Sox-Yankees ALDS, going to the final game of the
series, with the Dodgers winning 4-3 advancing to play the Red Sox in the World Series.
The Dodgers and Red Sox meeting in the World Series doesn’t surprise many because
they are two of the three teams in the MLB with the highest payroll, both totaling about $200
million each. The high payroll gives the two teams the opportunity to go out and sign superstar
players that will help them to get to the World Series, which is a huge advantage over other
teams like the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, who have the lowest payroll in baseball.
The two teams arise an interesting matchup with stellar pitching and an almost unstoppable
“Whoever has the best starting pitching will win the World Series.” said Mao. “As long
as the starters can stay in for five or six innings, then the bullpen can come and close out the
game without getting too tired and being able to save pitching for the next games.” The Boston
Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers suit up for an exciting matchup beginning on October 23
through October 31 at the latest.