MLB Week in Review (October 5-11)

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The Championships Series are about to get underway and the two series are looking like the most interesting matchups the MLB could have hoped for.

In the American League, the Boston Red Sox will take on the Houston Astros in a matchup of powerhouses.

The result of the Boston-New York series was always going to produce a powerhouse as it featured two of the teams with 100+ wins this season.

The Yankees were powered by the most powerful middle of the lineup in baseball with two hitters capable of hitting 50+ home runs in a season.

That home run heavy lineup wasn’t necessarily the best for their matchup against the best team in baseball this year.

Although the Yankees put up a fight against their long-time rivals the Red Sox were able to get the series win.

The Sox are a team built to win in multiple ways with the 9th most home runs to go along with the most runs scored and the best average.

The Red Sox also had the 8th best team ERA and 9th best team WHIP in the league making their defence a formidable group.

For Boston, the 108 wins they earned this season was the best by any Red Sox team and they have been the best team throughout the season.

Their win gave them a birth into the ALCS where they take on the second-best team in the league this regular season.

The Houston Astros avoided the World Series hangover as they were able to get 103 wins this season.

They are among the top ten teams in most offensive categories but the Astros have been successful this year with their league-leading team ERA.

So often teams that have taken a championship take a step back due to losing players who take advantage of the fact that they now have “World Series winner” in front of their names.

That didn’t happen to the Astros as they may have just been better this year and now they are sitting four wins away from returning to the World Series and eight wins away from a repeat.

The ALCS is a series that will pit the best against the best in what should be a competitive series.

That is what the postseason is about as the best teams should be there ready to play important games where the smallest lapse could change everything.

While the ALCS provides a matchup of two juggernauts of the season the NLCS provides a different storyline.

The Los Angeles Dodgers could be added to that group along with the Red Sox and Yankees as a legendary team.

They have also been one of the most successful teams in the last few years constantly in the running for the World Series.

With the second largest payroll, the Dodgers have been shelling out mass amounts of money in an attempt to take their first title since 1988.

They have been getting closer every year with their first World Series appearance since 1988 coming last year against the Astros.baseball-sidebar

This is the juggernaut of the National League as they are the team that spends to get stars and expects to win with the commitment they have made to the players they have.

They will look to make good on the progress they have made by taking that elusive World Series title.

To do that they have to get through an underdog as the Milwaukee Brewers have been rising over the last few years but still seem like a surprise.

In a postseason that is full of what seem like giants in the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Astros and Chicago Cubs the Brewers have been a forgotten team.

They did beat those Cubs to take the NL Central though and were able to take out the Colorado Rockies in a three-game sweep.

They aren’t a team that will score a lot as they are outside of the top ten in team average and runs but they do hit home runs at a good pace.

They also have a good pitching group with the 5th best team ERA and have still snuck up on a lot of people.

They take on a giant in the Dodgers but this is a classic David versus Goliath matchup where the winner takes on another giant in the World Series.

The Championship Series are two completely different stories but they are also a culmination of the season.

The American League has been the league with some of the best teams and two will face-off for a chance at the World Series.

The National League has been a league with a tighter battle and not many teams that really pulled away.

In one series two of the best in the league face off while in the other a tighter matchup with a potential upset is the focus.

 

Extra Innings

Umpire Controversy

There will always be complaints about umpires in baseball, it is just the nature of sports that those with some power to change a game are going to be criticized. Most of the criticism is unwarranted coming from anger of a team losing rather than legitimate reasons. Every now and then though there are some real reasons for the criticism like in the ALDS. That is where Angel Hernandez saw three of his calls overturned showing that he was wrong three separate times in an important series. That type of performance leads to a lot of questions about what might not have been caught and as a result, he won’t likely see the field again this postseason.

Faith in the Skipper

The Tampa Bay Rays were not supposed to be any good this season as they were in the middle of a rebuild that would eventually pay dividends. That is why their 90-win season was so surprising as they made a legitimate run at the postseason despite the thoughts about where they were headed. They have become a team to watch with a number of prospects coming into their own and ready to give them a boost in the near future. For that performance, the Rays are rewarding their manager as Kevin Cash helped the team to those 90 wins and for that will continue his role through 2024 after signing an extension.

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