Inside the MLB Playoffs
It’s October, which means it’s time for the Major League Baseball playoffs. One of my favorite times of the year.
Mlb and Playoff Basics
The Mlb is split up into the American and National leagues. Each league has an East, Central and West divisions each with 5 teams. In each league 5 teams make the playoffs, the winner of each division and two wild card teams, the teams with the best records that didn’t win their division. The two wild card teams in each league play a one game playoff established last year. Then the winner of the wild card game plays the team with the best record in the league in a best of 5 game playoff, called the division series, first to 3 wins heads to the league championship series. There is a another division series where the other two division winners play each other. The division series winners then play in a best of seven league championship series the winners of which go to the coveted world series a best of a seven championship.
The Wild Card Games
This year the playoffs started off with the american league wild card game between the Oakland A’s and the Kansas City Royals. Oakland is a small market team that was the subject of the sabermetric revolution book and then movie starring Brad Pitt. Kansas City had the longest playoff drought of any team, spanning 29 years back to 1985. The Royals won in 12 innings advancing them to the next round.
The National League game featured the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Giants have won the world series two times in the last 4 years in 2010 and 2012. The Pirates in 2012 broke a 18 year streak of seasons where they lost at least half of their games. The longest streak in professional sports. The Giants won that game.
The first ALDS series was between series was between the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers. The Orioles have not been to the world series since 1983 while the Tigers haven’t been to the world series since way back in 2012. The Orioles swept the series, winning the first three games to head to the championship series.
The other series was between the Wild Card game winning Royals and the Los Angeles Angels. The Royals won in three games, the first two were in extra innings.
The first series was between the St Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals are filled with tradition they made it to the World Series last year and they won it in 2011. The Dodgers are part owned by basketball great Magic Johnson and they have a lot of money. They are lead by stars like pitcher Clayton Kershaw, and outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. The Cardinals won the series 3 games to one.
The other NL series was between the Washington Nationals and the Giants. The Giants won the first game and then they won the second game in 18 innings, tied for the longest game in playoff history. The Nationals won the third game but the Giants finished the series off with a win in the fourth game.
The Championship Series
The two championship series’ are still going on so the final tallies are not in yet but this is accurate up to the end of October 12th’s games. The AL series is between Baltimore and Kansas City. Kansas City has won the first two games.
The NL series is between the Giants and the Cardinals, these two teams have provided the NL’s participant in the World Series for the last 4 years, winning 3 times. The series is currently tied at one game apiece.