The reigning champion Houston Astros celebrate a victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Photo courtesy of David Dermer The Associated Press

Is baseball getting the attention it deserves?

October 11, 2018

We are currently just about two weeks into October, which means that the Major League Baseball playoffs are now underway. Even though neither Chicago team, the Cubs or the White Sox, remain in contention for the World Series, playoff baseball is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year although, it tends to get overshadowed by the kickoff of both professional and college football. That being said, whether your favorite team remains in the playoffs or not, this MLB season has been one full of excitement and deserves your attention during a time in which all four major sports are underway.

As the regular season concluded on September 30th, it marked a milestone in which it was the first time two divisions ended in ties for first place. Both of these ties occurred in the National League, where out West, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies finished the year at 91-71 each. And in the Central division it was the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers who each wrapped the year up at 95-67. In order to determine the playoff bracket, each tie was to be settled with a tiebreaker game, where the winner would take the division title. Previously, there had only been 14 instances in which a tiebreaker was necessary, the first one dates back all the way back to 1946, but never had it occurred multiple times in one season.

Photo courtesy of David Dermer The Associated Press
The reigning champion Houston Astros celebrate a victory over the Cleveland Indians.

On October 1st, the following day after the season had concluded, both matchups were set and the two winning teams would be given a division crown and time off before their next postseason matchup. While the losers would face off in a win-or-go-home wild card game, where the winner of that game would face the number one seed in the National League. Confusing? Sure. But this gave baseball fans exciting, down to the wire baseball on a daily basis. The Dodgers and Brewers ending up winning their respective divisions, giving Milwaukee the top seed and Los Angeles the second seed in the National League. The Cubs would go on to lose to the Rockies 2-1 at home, therefore putting an end to their season and allow for series play to begin.

With all of this excitement happening in the National League, the American League excitement is just beginning. The New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics faced off in the wild card game, where New York proved they were the much better team, handing Oakland a 7-2 loss. This meant the next matchup for the Yankees would be against their longtime enemy, and top seeded Boston Red Sox team who ended up with a record of 108-54, the best in their team history. Both teams have a hatred that has been occurring since the beginning of baseball and with their seasons on the line, the two 100+ win teams faced off in a best of five game series. The first two games took place at Fenway Park in Boston, in which each team took one game apiece. But once the series headed back to New York, the Red Sox blew away the Yankees with two wins, 16-1 and 4-3, putting them in the semifinals against the reigning champion Houston Astros.

Photo courtesy of SB Nation
Red Sox first baseman Steven Pearce celebrates scoring a run with teammate Xander Bogaerts.

This weekend, the conference championships will kick off with Los Angeles heading into Milwaukee and Houston going into Boston with a world series appearance on the line. So, whether you’re watching your favorite college football team this Saturday or watching the Bears take on Miami on Sunday, you might want to check in on the MLB playoffs. Based on the way the season has been going, you’re bound to catch a lot of action.

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