October Baseball. This is what it's all about. Playing in the postseason to have a chance at winning a World Series Championship. You have the Wild Card round that is decided by a 1-game playoff, and you even had 2 tie-breaking 1-game playoffs to decide who wins divisions and to avoid those 1-game playoffs. Major League Baseball Playoffs can be the most unpredictable, which is the beauty of it. Now that we are down to the final 8 teams, let us now have a look at the match-ups as well as my predictions on who wins in how many games:
Boston Red Sox (108-54) vs WC New York Yankees (100-62)
And here we go. Battle of the super-powers that everyone wanted to see, and now you got it. For the first time since the unforgettable 2004 ALCS which saw the Red Sox come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win in 7 games for the first time in MLB history, these two monsters will play each other in the postseason. This also will mark the first time they play each other in a best-of-5 Division Series, as the system prior to having the 2nd Wild Card in 2012 did not allow teams in their own division to play each other in this round. No question AL East champs Boston has the edge in starting pitching, as the Yankees were the highest scoring team in the majors this year and broke the all-time record for home runs in a season. This should be fun to watch and will be a long series, but as the old saying goes (as old as this rivalry) - "good pitching will always beat good hitting".
RED SOX IN 5
2. Houston Astros (103-59) vs 3. Cleveland Indians (91-71)
This is a battle of the last 2 American League Champions, with the Astros winning the AL West again and entering this postseason as defending World Series Champions. The Indians win the AL Central again and like the other series above, it is criminal to see one of these teams bounced before the ALCS. Both teams have stacked starting pitching and hitting lineups, so this one could come down to the bench, bullpen and who has better execution. It says here that it goes the distance and give the final game to the home team.
ASTROS IN 5
Milwaukee Brewers (96-67) vs Colorado Rockies (91-72)
These are indeed the 2 teams that got through the Cubs at Wrigley to get here. Both squads are powered by deep meat-of-the-order-offenses, with starting pitching that has no clear ace but solid all around. The Brewers are the hottest team going into this playoff round, having won 8 straight. The Rockies had an 8-game winning streak themselves that was snapped during the final weekend of the regular season last weekend. This one is a tossup but look for Roc-Tober to carry their momentum through the "Brew-Crew" with a slight edge up and down their roster.
ROCKIES IN 4
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (92-71) vs Atlanta Braves (90-72)
The defending National League champion Dodgers might have just broken through the scare they needed - getting by the Colorado Rockies in a 1-game playoff to decide the NL West and now face the upstart Braves, who came out of nowhere this year to take the NL East and will play the role of underdog no matter how far they go. In an era where starting pitchers are rarely revealed for an entire series and instead they get announced on a daily basis, there is no secret that after he starts Game 2 you will see Clayton Kershaw start Game 5 if needed. Between these 2 squads he will be the difference-maker as the Boys in Dodger Blue look to make another deep postseason run.
DODGERS IN 4