Okay, today is the last day before we dive into the postseason. And while the Yankees aren’t in it, baseball continues on, and so must we.
Here’s the basic picture:
Tomorrow, the AL Wild Card game will be the Orioles against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Wednesday, the NL Wild Card game will be the Giants and Mets in New York.
Then Thursday begins the AL Division Series. The winner of the AL Wild Card game will go play 2 games in Arlington against the AL leaders, the Rangers, while the Red Sox and Indians battle their first 2 games in Cleveland. The third game will switch back to the Wild Card winner and Boston, where they will continue until one team in each series wins 3 of the 5 games.
On Friday, the NL Division Series starts following the same 2-3 location pattern, just a day later (mostly for broadcasting reasons). The Dodgers will face the Nationals in D.C. to start their series, and the winner of the NL Wild Card will play the Cubs first in Chicago.
Looking ahead, the winners of the ALDS will play off in the ALCS beginning October 14, and the winners of the NLDS play off in their NLCS starting October 15. And the winners of each of those best-of-7 games will meet in the World Series, which begins October 25.
Now, I’ve been having lots of conversations about my own predictions for this postseason. This is a bit difficult because most of the teams are pretty even in their potential to win this month. But I’m pretty sure I have a predicted winner, begrudgingly, I’ll admit. (But complete honesty here: when it’s not the Yankees, it’s always “begrudgingly”.) Before I jump too far ahead, we’re going to do this a series at a time.
So, for the one-off Wild Card games (which I still have mixed feeling about the concept, though I understand the profitability and transitional emotions between the regular and post seasons), I am making these predictions:
- AL Wild Card: Orioles over Blue Jays
- NL Wild Card: Mets over Giants
I say this every year, but these are just my own predictions, based on what kind of team I think these teams are both overall this season and where they are at this point. I’ve been really right, and I’ve been really wrong. And oddly, I’m okay with being wrong. It’s just personal opinion based on my observations (and often my own bias). And baseball is anything but predictable.
So watch out, Chicago! You may have the only 100+ game wins in the league, but there are lot of games between now and that ring. There’s not one team that’s playing October baseball that’s going to let you have it so easily. And isn’t that how it should be anyway?