Baseball Playoffs 2017

Well they begin on Tuesday night with the American League Wild Card Game but all the teams are set and most of the matchups have been made. In the AL we’ve got Cleveland, Houston, Boston, New York and Minnesota while in the NL there are Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Arizona and Colorado. This year has some interesting things that can happen in both leagues we know for sure that the NLDS will have a rematch of two NL West teams as the Dodgers will face either the Diamondbacks or Rockies in one there is also a chance that in the AL the same thing could happen with the Indians possibly playing the Twins rivals in the AL Central.

The Twins became the first team to make the playoffs after losing 100 game in the previous season.  It is a pretty unique group of teams as so many have wait for so long to win a World Series with only the Yankees, Red Sox and Cub winning in the past decade.

In the Wild Card games we’ve got the Twins and Yankees playing for the right to battle the Indians in the American League while the Diamondback and Rockies see who is going to travel to LA for a couple of games.  It would be cool if the Twins won since I think it would be a very unique series if they played Cleveland one more time this season. and because think of the storyline if they and the Nationals made it to the World Series the last team from Washington (The Senators in 1924) to win the World Series being the team the Nationals have to get over to win the World Series. In the Arizona and Colorado game they know each other fairly well and both have done well against the Dodgers this year so either team will make for an exciting series. It’s a coin toss in the NL. However this is only a one game series so anybody could win either game.

In the Division Series in the American League there are the Cleveland Indians playing either Twins or Yankees while Boston and Houston match up against each other and these two team have just seem each other facing off in the last series of the season. Over in the National League the LA Dodgers  will play either the Rockies or Diamondbacks while the Nationals and Cubs will be facing off in what most were predicting would have been last years NLCS. More on these games on Thursday.


MLB Players Weekend

This sounds like a cool idea and I think that Major League Baseball is doing a wonderful thing here with this. Over the weekend of August 25-27 the players get to wear special uniforms with nicknames on the back instead of their names. The names were chosen by the players. If this would continue it would be nice to see like fan got a chance to give some input as to what the nicknames were going to be on their teams uniforms. Yet this is only a little bit of the fun since on the 20th the previous Sunday the biggest game of the week will take place in Williamsport, PA home of the Little League World Series. The game will be between the Pirates and Cardinals and hopefully most of the crowd will be the kids participating in this year World Series as it is great that the players now can inspire the players of the future to continue to play and get better because who know how long it might be before they are called up to the Big league. The other aspect of this Players weekend is that they all will be wearing a patch of who has inspired/help them get to where they are today.

Baseball at mid-season

First off this upcoming Tuesday is the All-Star game and once again it is a meaningless game as home field advantage will no longer be tied to who wins the game. Now the American League has been on a fairly long streak winning the past four games and having won 22 of the past 29 games. The game is in Miami so don’t expect many home runs, with Miami hosting it make Tampa Bay as the only current city who has not hosted an All-Star game and I believe they are going to need a new Stadium before that happens. Tampa Bay to Montreal?

Back before the season I made some blanket predictions with  Boston, Cleveland, the Astros as well as perhaps the Rangers, Mariners or Blue Jays making the playoffs in the American League. As well as the Cubs, Nationals, Dodgers, Giants with perhaps the Mets or the Cardinals making the playoffs in the National League. Currently I’m sticking with the division winners in the AL but those wild cards teams not so much. The Yankees with Aaron Judge, presumptive AL Rookie of the Year, have become a contender to challenge the Red Sox as the season winds down along and the Tampa Bay Rays are keeping pace as well. The Indians also have some work to do as the Twins and Royals have been at their heels all season. In the NL it seems that the Nationals and Dodgers are the odd on favorites to win their divisions, yet the NL Central is a division anyone could win Brewers, Cubs, Cardinals even the Pirates and Reds have a chance to win it. However if the season ended today Arizona and Colorado would be playing in the Wild Card game. There is still so much more of the season left and anything could happen.

Baseball Opening Day Predictions

As the new Baseball season begins it is time for some really early predictions about this upcoming season.

Forget the formalities as most people are picking roughly the same teams to make the playoffs as last year. In the American League two teams Boston and Cleveland are highly favored to win their divisions.  Then we have the AL West which is a bit tighter the Astros are favored but there are a couple spoilers sitting there in the Rangers and the surprising Mariners.  Those might be the wild card teams as well but I’d put in the Blue Jays since they been in the playoffs the past two years. The story is the same in the National League with the Cubs, Nationals, Dodgers, Giants making the playoffs with perhaps the Mets or the Cardinals scoring the wild cards.

Now all these guys are the usual suspects and surely there will be some surprise team that makes itself known or injuries will hurt some team. It’s the time of possibilities it seems like all the predictions out there for the season have it ending exactly like last year with the Cubs and Indians meeting in the World Series but you have to go back to 1978 for the last time that the World Series was a rematch of the previous World Series.  This however seems very unlikely.

Baseball back in Montreal?

This is a great article which is about how Montreal is ready for baseball once again. Now the Expos have/had one of the coolest logos in all sports and I hope that when a team comes it becomes the Expos and retains all the history of the team. Sure the strike in 1994 sort of killed the team which eventually moved to Washington, for that I am thankful,  but it is always somewhat sad for a team to leave for a new location. The article notes that the Commissioner Manfred has expressed a hope of adding two team to make scheduling easier as 16 teams in a league are easier to do than 15. However before this can happen stadium deals need to be made in Oakland for the A’s and Tampa Bay for the Rays. Whenever Montreal finally gets their team back I wonder where the other team would go and what else would change with Major League Baseball.

World Baseball Classic 2017 Championship

For the first time in the World Baseball Classic the United States is in the Championship game. This is huge as to get there they took down the previous winners of the Classic in Japan (06,09) and the Dominican Republic (13). This means some other nation will bring home the trophy after the game tonight and it will be an interesting game between the United States and Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico hasn’t lost a game yet this go around and placed second four years ago. The US hasn’t gotten this far yet, they’ve placed fourth in 2009 and the team is completely different from that time. Currently the second ranked team in the world perhaps the United States will have the advantage over the twelfth ranked team Puerto Rico, but who knows it will be an exciting game to watch. If you have some time tomorrow take a look at this game to get ready for the beginning of baseball season.

World Baseball Classic 2017

The fourth World Baseball Classic begins in about a month and they have just released the rosters for all the teams. This time around there will be teams from Israel and Columbia for the first time. Now for a sport that originated in the US it is puzzling that the United States has only managed to finish 4th in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, which currently is the biggest Baseball tournament in the world. Sure Baseball is coming back at the 2020 Olympics but the US Baseball team hasn’t done well in these international competitions and I hope that at some point they can turn this around  and at least be competitive in baseball since Japan and other Asian nations (South Korea, Taiwan) have strong baseball roots. Just look at the Little League World Series where Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) and Japan have combined for 27 championships. Hopefully this will be able to whet my appetite for this upcoming season.

World Series 2016

History has happened after a very long time we finally have a Championship title for the Chicago Cubs it has been 108 years. Raise the White Flag. It was a well played game on both sides who would have thought we’d get a tied game in the ninth, a rain delay and extra innings baseball. It was fitting for the gravity of this game. Come April 3(10), 2017 the Anno Catulorum “In the Year of the Cubs” will read AC000000 for the first time ever. It was a tremendous game and a wonderful game for all involved it looked like the Cubs had it wrapped up early but Cleveland put up a fight and evened it up.  The game was a nail biter for sure and it seemed like it might not end this way or even go longer as in the bottom of the tenth, after the Cubs went up two runs in the top, Cleveland had the winning run up at bat but grounded out to end the game. This result is the opposite of what happened in the NBA Championship where Cleveland came back from a 3-1 deficit. The best part of this is that both team seems to have a young core that if they stay healthy can be dominate for years to come. Already, the Cubs are favorites to win the series in 2017. Opening day is only in a short five months away can I am sure that fans can’t wait for baseball to start again.

World Series 2016

This Tuesday begins a match up a half-century in the making as the Chicago Cubs will be playing in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945 against the Cleveland Indians who hope to win for the first time since 1948. These are the two longest droughts in Major League Baseball (besides Washington which although hasn’t been since like ’33 didn’t have baseball for 30-something years) So by and large the Cubs are the Favorites and everyone is saying it is their year finally. Looking back over the year The Cubs went 15-5 against AL teams while Cleveland went 13-7 against NL teams yet just looking at this makes it rather difficult pick as they did not face each other at all this season in interleague play. The rematch will take place in 2018 at the earliest going by the existing scheduling rules when the same division face off between leagues.

The game is set and Tuesday can’t come soon enough for many fans. Either way this series goes it will be historic with an end to a historic World Series drought or the most improbable playoff upset since June when the record setting 73 win Golden State Warriors lost to the Cleveland Cavilers in seven games. Finally the and games will be broadcast on over the air network, FOX. I really hope that Chicago can win out this year.

Championship series

Well the Divisional round is finally over and before we have time to catch our breath the ALCS and NLCS are about to begin. The best thing is that whoever win will blue and white will win the day, also who ever make it to the World Series will breaking long droughts in ranging from 22 to 107 years.

In the American League it was pretty quick with the Toronto Blue Jays as well as the Cleveland Indians swept the series. The Blue Jays made easy work of the Texas Rangers and Cleveland bid the Red Sox a quick exit. So, Toronto will face Cleveland with Cleveland being the higher seed Toronto play in the ALCS last year where they lost to the Royals. This year the Indians won the season series 4-3. They have never met in the Postseason but the basketball teams in their respective cities met in NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Could this be the year for Cleveland to win in Baseball for the first time since 1948, the city has already won quite a bit this year. I think that Toronto will have the best chance to get through this series as they played in it last year and

In the National League it took a little longer to see who would make the Championship series. The Chicago Cubs are back in the Championship game with hopes of making their way to the World Series, they overcome the legacy of the San Francisco Giants who had won every World Series in an even year this decade. The Los Angeles Dodgers barely survived the Washington Nationals to get the chance to make it to the Championship they were last there in 2013 and no one is expecting them to advance. Washington once again failed to make it out of the first round a common thread in DC sports over the past decade. Anyway it seems only logical that the well rested Cubs will have the upper hand in this upcoming series.