Sports

MLB playoff matchups ensure thrilling October

The Major League Baseball playoff bracket is finally officially set. This is the most important part of the year for teams, as they are playing for what they spent the entire year preparing for.

The American League has the Boston Red Sox clinching homefield advantage through their route to the world series.

The Red Sox will be waiting for the completion of the AL Wild Card game, between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees, as the winner will then travel to Boston to take on the Sox in the AL Division Series.

The wild card game will be taking place in the Bronx, at Yankee Stadium, for the second straight year, where the Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 8-3 last year.

In the other division series, it hosts a matchup between Cleveland Indians and the defending World Series champion Houston Astros.

The AL is up for grabs, as there are three teams with more than 100 wins—the Red Sox, Astros and Yankees.

The Red Sox have been the best team all year but with concern for ace Chris Sale’s shoulder and their lack of true bullpen to get the ball to all-star Craig Kimbrel, they may not be at the same power as they have been.

Houston may be the all-around strongest team this year, as they have one of the best lineups in the game, but their strongest part is their starting rotation, led by Justin Verlander.

The Indians have a strong rotation, with a lineup with two MVP-caliber players, but they have questions in their bullpen.

The Yankees are all-around solid, but their biggest question is their starting pitching with Luis Severino starting the WC game for his second straight win.

The Athletics are a Cinderella story this season, as they came into the year not projected to be anywhere close to the playoffs, but they are here with one of the most powerful lineups and a strong bullpen.

However, their biggest question is their starting rotation.

The National League is set up with the Milwaukee Brewers as the number one seed.

They are waiting to play the winner of the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs, who are competing in the NL Wild Card game in the north side of Chicago at iconic Wrigley Field.

The other division series will go through Los Angeles, as the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers will compete against each other.

Like the AL, there is no real frontrunner to make it to the Fall Classic.

The Milwaukee Brewers made a splash during the offseason, by bolstering their outfield with Lorenzo Cain and potential 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich.

They hope their lineup and strong pitching staff will lead them through the playoffs.

The Dodgers starting off the year abysmal, after losing in the World Series last year.

However, as of late, they have been one of the hottest teams in the NL and hope to make their push again.

The Braves are in the same spot as the Athletics, as they are a very young team, that had little expectations coming into the year.

They went against all odds and have made it back to the postseason, with NL Rookie of the Year candidate Ronald Acuña Jr leading the way for the team.

The Chicago Cubs won the world series only two years ago, but they have major questions this year with very little starting pitching help and a weak bullpen.

The Rockies are in the wild card game for the second straight year, but with ace Kyle Freeland starting this year, they look to be able to move on to the ALDS against the Brewers.

This is the most exciting time of the year for MLB fans and these playoffs will be some of the best as there is no definite frontrunner from either league.

October 9, 2018

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Matteo Flamio


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