The AL/NL Championship Series

Well after a pretty thrilling divisional round where error played a big role with over 30 errors between all the teams. We saw the Red Sox continue to flounder in the postseason and the heavily favored Cleveland Indians fall to the New York Yankees in 5 games in the American League over in the National League  the Dodgers cruised to the Championship while the Nationals and Cubs play a fierce 5 game series complete with 2 shutouts, 2 no-hitters that turned into losses, and a mind blowing final game.

As for the Championship series we have some exciting games that are going to happen. It will be the first time that Houston has made it to this round since it moved to the American League and following their first series win since 2005 when they won the National League. They will face the Yankees who haven’t been here in 5 years when they were swept by the Tigers. The last time they met each other in the playoffs was the Wild Card game back in 2015. This was a while ago. The Astros had a long layover between their win in the ALDS and this first game of the ALCS so Houston will be well rested and the Yankees having gone 5 with Cleveland will be on a day rest. I’m not sure what’s better to be well rested or battle tested. It would be great if the Astros got to the series in the American League as they’d be the only team ever to have been for both leagues. However it could go to the Yankees.

In the National League it will be The Dodgers who were there last year but haven’t won an NL Pennant since 1988 when they also last won the World Series so there is that going on. Meanwhile the Cubs are in there again so it’s a rematch of last years NLCS, Let’s hope that the Dodgers can beat them this time around. I’m not sure with the extended drama that was the division series if either team (Cubs or Nationals) would have been a huge threat to LA but who know what will happen. Reading online it seems that the Dodgers thought that the Cubs would be a harder series to win but looking at the errors and lack of runs in the Division series, I’d say that’s not so now. So Dodgers seem like the team to win in the NL.

Advertisements

The AL and NL Division Series

Today the Baseball playoffs begin in earnest as the American League Division Series starts today at 4 PM on the Major League Baseball Network, it’s that time of year when we all search for the network, as the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros meet in Houston. This is the first time that these teams have ever met in the playoffs but they finished the season against each other during the regular season the home team won the series with Houston winning four last weekend in Houston while Boston took two of three in June. The night continues at 7:30 PM on Fox Sports 1, with the New York Yankees traveling to Cleveland to face the Indians. If history continues the Indians look to be favorites to win as the past two times they met in the division round playoffs Cleveland has come out on top, these past wins came in 1997 and 2007 in 98 they met in the Championship series and New York won.

Most pundits are having the Cleveland Indians make it through easily as well as the Houston Astros. Although if those other teams the Yankees and Red Sox made it that would be the series that people would want to watch. However it looks like the Indians will make it through and the rotation in Houston will be tough to play against, but they were just playing so either team could win.

On Friday we get a whole lot of baseball as the day begins at 2 PM when the ALDS continues then in the evening the National League Division Series begins at 7:30 PM on TBS as the Washington Nationals take on the Chicago Cubs in Washington. This is the first post season meeting between the two teams in the regular season Washington took the season series but the last time they played was back in early August. This game is followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks traveling to LA to face the Dodgers at around 10:30 PM and this looks like a tough series for the Dodgers as the past two series the D-backs swept the Dodgers.  It’s the first time that these two have met in the postseason. So who knows how this series is actually going to go.

Experts are pulling for the Nationals and the Dodgers for a rematch of last years epic NLDS. Although there are some that are saying that the Cubs might get by the Nationals since they have played more meaningful games lately. I’m pulling for the Nationals and D-backs to advance since that looks like an easier series to win, but as long as the Nationals get into the Championship series I’d be happy.

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 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.