MLB Postseason Is Finally Here

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It’s that time of year again. Time for some October, playoff baseball.

Sunday marked the final day of Major League Baseball’s regular season. Entering the day, home field in the National League Wild Card game was not official, and the West division in the American League, along with the final AL Wild Card spot, still needed to be determined.

With the Pittsburgh Pirates defeating the Cincinnati Reds, the Texas Rangers defeating the Los Angeles Angels, and the Houston Astros losing in Arizona, the playoff bracket was determined.

Tuesday the Astros will travel to New York to play the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game, and then on Wednesday, Gerrit Cole and the Pirates host the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.

First pitch for both of those games is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Houston sends the 20-game winner Dallas Kuechel to the mound to face Masahiro Tanaka in Yankee Stadium.

The two teams met on two separate occasions during the regular season, with the Astros winning four of the seven games. The Astros outscored New York 36-17 in the two series, including seven runs off Ivan Nova in a 15-1 victory on Aug. 25.

Kuechel pitched in both series against the Bronx Bombers, however, in both games he pitched he made the Yankee lineup look foolish. He struck out 12 batters in a complete-game shutout in June, and then exactly one month later, fanned another nine batters in seven innings of work.

Tanaka on the other hand gave up six runs on seven hits in a no decision in his lone outing .

Wednesday’s NL game is between two teams who know each other very well. The Cubs and Pirates played one another 19 times this year, with Chicago winning the season series 11 games to eight.

The two pitchers who square off in the Wild Card game, each pitched against the division rival a hand full of times during the regular season.

Jake Arrieta started four games against the Buccos, going 3-1 and striking out a combined 24 batters. Cole was equally as impressive in his three starts, going 1-1 while also striking out 24 hitters.

Both pitchers had great seasons, so it will be interesting to see if both can keep up their strong efforts, or if one will have a start to forget in the teams’ biggest game of the year to date.

Thursday begins the AL Division Series between the Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays, and between the Kansas City Royals and the winner of the AL Wild Card game winner.

The NLDS begins on Friday. The New York Mets take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in LA, and the St. Louis Cardinals host the winner between the Cubs and Pirates.

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