That time of year has arrived again, where the best baseball to watch returns. All MLB teams have concluded their 162 game seasons and now the best of the best will get the opportunity to square off with one goal in mind, get to the World Series and win the Championship. Before that happens, the Wild Card games and the Division Series will commence as teams will look to advance to the Championship Series and then finally the World Series.
As the Dodgers sit back and wait to see who will win the NL Wild Card game, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves will face each other in one of the two NL Division Series.
For St. Louis, they managed to be atop the NL Central Division as the Cubs had a disastrous end to their season and the Brewers couldn’t pull it out in the end, which is why they fell to the Wild Card spot. The Cardinals starting pitching is all right-handed which falls right into the wheelhouse of Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Despite nursing an injury at the end of the season, Freeman has a .309/.416/.590 slash line against righties this season with 30 homers. Freeman is a veteran with the Braves but has been the leader of an Atlanta squad that has been rejuvenated in the last couple of years with a new wave of young talent.
With players such as Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Austin Riley, the Braves have regained the crown for NL East champs and will look to ride that new talent right to the World Series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had the best record among NL Division teams as they will wait to see who wins the NL Wild Card game to decide who they are playing. The Dodgers pitching staff was led by Hyun-Jin Ryu and Walker Buehler who were dominant at Dodger Stadium this year. You have to remember to the Dodgers also have an explosive line up with Cody Bellinger who can change a game with one swing.
The Dodgers will be looking to make it back to their third straight World Series and they have plenty of talent to do so. They just hope they won’t choke again if they get there.
On the American League side the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins will face off in the AL Division Series and expect a lot of baseballs to be flying out of the park. Both teams hit over 300 home runs and their lineups can do a lot of damage.
For New York, Aaron Boone deserves manager of the year. The Yankees motto of next man up this season has worked out tremendously and with all the injuries that occurred, Boone was still able to put a lineup out there and win.
Minnesota has a team that can destroy a pitching staff. Blasting 307 home runs this season the Twins hit one more than the Yankees for the number one spot and now hold the record for the most hit in a single season. For as small as Yankee Stadium is, we may see a slug fest between the two teams as a fly ball hit by both offenses has the potential to go over the fence.
Now the team that everyone in the AL will fear, the Houston Astros. The one thing that will put the Astros above all else is the three headed monster of a pitching staff with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke. As Houston waits to see who will win the Wild Card game, no team will want to face that rotation. Especially, in Houston where the Astros own the best home record this season going 60-21.
The baseball playoffs are always exciting and any team or game you tune into, it is sure to be a good one.