MLB Playoffs 2016
It’s October, which means the baseball playoffs have begun! Playoff baseball games are won or lost by a single play. It could be an error, hit, or amazing catch. This is the time of year that players make a name for themselves and heroes are born.
The American League (AL) starts off the World series this year. A one gameplay, wild card game, took place on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. The Toronto Blue Jays took on the Baltimore Orioles and the winner advanced. The game was tied 2-2 going into the eleventh inning when Edwin Encarnacion hit a game walk-off three-run home run. Toronto is now heading off to face the Rangers in an emotional matchup after the brawl they had earlier in the year.
The Rangers have never won a World Series but finished their regular season as the best team in the American league. In the World Series, they were quickly tested with a hot Toronto lineup. The Blue Jays took momentum on their home field with their hot hitting and won the first two games. Game three was close with a lot of back and forth action. In the end, however, the Toronto offense was too much for the Rangers and the Blue Jays advanced to ALCS (American League Championship Series).
Another interesting ALDS (American League Division Series) matchup was the Boston Red Sox vs. the Cleveland Indians. In the first half of the season, the Red Sox excellent pitching helped them win. Some key moves were having David Price and Craig Kimbrel on the team. The Red Sox are led by David Ortiz and Mookie Betts. It is David Oritz’s last season but he is still ending the regular season with a 127 RBI (runs batted in). For an RBI, the batter hits the ball and the person on base scores.
The Indians had some of their best pitching this year but injuries to Salazer and Carrasco hindered the team. Corey Kluber is now leading the way as pitcher. The offense is missing pieces but still packs a punch with Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor. The Red Sox tried to come back but the Indians won the series three games to zero and advanced to the ALCS.
The San Fransisco Giants have won every even year since 2010, which includes 2012 and 2014. So far this year, they’ve won the NL wild card game against the New York Mets on October 5, 2016. After beating the Mets, they faced the best team in baseball: the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have young hitters, solid pitching, and they seem to be the favorite in winning it all this year. The Giants won game three but the Cubs won game four and won the series. They advance to the NLCS (National League Championship Series). The only question is, who will they play? The Nationals or the Dodgers?
The other NLDS (National League Division Series) playoff matchup is the LA Dodgers vs. the Washington Nationals. Both teams have a good lineup and pitching. However, the Nationals have home field advantage and the Dodgers ended the year by getting swept by their rival, the Giants. Nationals have some key injuries to overcome if they want to beat the Dodgers. The series is currently tied 2-2 going back to Washington. The winner of game five will advance to play the Cubs in the NLCS.
Is it finally the Cubs year to break the curse? Will Cleveland win two championships this year? Who will take it all and go down in baseball history? Watch the playoff unfold to find out!