We’re into October, which means we get some playoff baseball on our hands. The big target this year is on the backs of the Chicago Cubs. For those who are unaware, this franchise has gone without a World Series Championship for the past 108 years. A popular internet fact (which is true) states that since Chicago last won in 1908, Arizona became a state, got a professional baseball team, and won a World Series of their own.
As true as that is, many experts claim that this is the year that the Cubs will end their drought and finish on top come November. Their 103-58 record would definitely seem to suggest dominance, when no other team has over 98 wins.
Aside from the Cubs, there’s a lot of history woven into the NL playoff field. The other top NL teams looking to win big when it counts include the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants. Combined, these five franchises have played over 500 seasons of professional baseball. That is to say, they hope to utilize their experience this fall.
The American League teams include the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, and Baltimore Orioles. Although none of them have been dominating in quite the same fashion, good baseball is good baseball, and these teams know how to play it.
The playoff games began on Oct. 4 officially, with Wild Card matchups of the Orioles-Blue Jays and Giants-Mets. After those single-game eliminations conclude, a best-of-five divisional series begins for each of the eight remaining teams. This is the followed by best-of-seven series for the League Championships and World Series.
As the four wild-card teams prepare to match up, the others in the field get some much-needed rest. Although some teams tend to rest star players in games where the stakes are low, it can be hard to rationalize not taking full advantage of excessive time off. If nothing else, then the delay between games allows for more replays and analysis of what’s in store.
I think that the Rangers will show why they won the most games in the AL and beat the Orioles to move onto the ALCS, where they meet up with the Boston Red Sox. Boston will then take the series in six games. From the NL, the Nationals suffer from too many injuries and fall short against the Dodgers. The Dodgers then proceed to chase the Cubs the majority of the five-game blowout that can be referred to as the NLCS.
In the final seven games, I predict we’ll see the Cubs do their best Golden State Warriors impersonation as they look to be in control of the series, but eventually lose, as they always will, on the biggest stage. But for sanity purposes, and to avoid a riot in Chicago, I hope they get swept in four.