The regular season of Big leagues ends this Wednesday and both teams managed to advance to the postseason as division champions.
But they do it in different circumstances. Initial predictions may not come true. The playoffs they will start this October 7th and it will be interesting to take a look at each series.
The American League wild-card series will feature the Cleveland Guardians-Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays-Seattle Mariners.
In Seattle they celebrate their first postseason classification in 21 years and with Haniger injured, their chances of beating the Blue Jays of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and company depend on what rookie Julio Rodríguez can do. The Mariners beat Toronto 5-2 in the series this year, but the Canadian squad has more experience and will advance to the division series.
For their part, the Guardians dominated the Rays 4-2 in the regular season and although Tampa Bay has better pitching and knows how to play these instances, Cleveland starts with an advantage.
In the National League, the disputes between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies will be seen, where Albert Pujols’ team is expected to prevail, and in the other contest will be the New York Mets and the San Diego Padres. On paper, the Mets have the better team to advance to the division series.
Houston Astros and New York Yankees will wait at home for their rivals. No matter which rival they face between the Blue Jays and Mariners, those led by veteran Dusty Baker have the pitching and offense to advance to their sixth consecutive American League Championship Series.
In New York they cross their fingers so that Cleveland is the one who advances. Although they won the particular series against both teams (5-1 against the Guardians and 11-8 against the Rays), Tampa Bay has always been a difficult rival for the Bronx. In any case, if the Yankees’ pitching responds, they will advance to the ALCS.
In the National the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers not only finished as division champions, they also aim to be the ones who win the ticket to the Championship Series.
Atlanta won 4-3 against the Cardinals in the regular round and 11-8 over the Phillies, and from the look of Brian Snitker’s team there seems to be no way they will lose the division series this year.
With the Dodgers there is no possible discussion: after winning 110 games this year, with Julio Urías in a stellar plan and the lethal combination of Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman they do not seem to have rivals, especially with the ups and downs of the Mets.
The Astros are aiming for another World Series unless the Yankees’ offense finds a way to crack Dusty Baker’s solid pitching and Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino and Néstor Cortés Jr. are ruthless from the mound. In the National, the Dodgers have all the tools to overcome the inspired players from Atlanta.
Once again, the table seems set for a new Dave Roberts title with the Dodgers, although the fighting power of the ever-dangerous Astros cannot be underestimated.
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