PREVIEW: 2018 Major League Baseball playoffs: Red Sox, Astros, Dodgers and Brewers headline Divisional series

Joshua Evans, Contributing Writer

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As the weather begins to cool and most other major American sports are starting their seasons, Major League Baseball is heating up and beginning their post-season. After six months and 162 games, except for the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies who played 163 games to decide division tie breakers, the regular season ends.

A total of ten teams, five from the American League and five teams from the National League, will compete in the MLB playoffs attempting to capture the coveted Commissioner’s Trophy, which is given to the World Series Champion every year. This year marks the 114th year of the World series.

 The format is simple, the winner of each of the three divisions automatically goes to the divisional round. The next two teams with the best record in their respective league that did not win the division make it to the wild card game where they will play a “winner takes all” single elimination game to determine which of those two teams will advance to the divisional round.

 It was a very tight race for these final spots in fact, some divisions even needed an extra regular season game to decide a winner. In the battle for the National League Central division, the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 in their final game to clinch their division title. The NL West also needed a tie breaker in which the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 at home giving them the division title for the sixth straight year.

The Rockies defeated the Cubs on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field by a score of 3-1 in the National League Wild Card game, which gives the Rockies the right to play the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Divisional Series (NLDS). The Atlanta Braves will play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the divisional round starting Thursday, October 4th in a best of five game series.  

In the American League, the New York Yankees will play at home against the Oakland Athletics for the American League Wild Card game on Wednesday, October 3rd. The winner of that game will play the number one seed, Boston Red Sox, who finished the regular season with the best record in all of baseball (108-54).

 The Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros will start their divisional round series Friday October 5th. The Astros are looking to repeat last year’s postseason performance and defend their World Series title, while the Indians are looking to end their nearly 70 year championship drought, which is the longest active drought in the major leagues.  

The divisional round is a best of five series, the two winners will advance to the Championship Series of their respective league, which is a best of seven series. The two league champions then will compete in the World Series in another seven-game series.

Even though most of the Major League Baseball season is played during the spring and summer, October is where legends are made. Hall of famers like Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson, appropriately nicknamed “Mr. October,” thrived in high pressure situations during this time of year. They are two out of only four players ever to hit three homeruns in a single World Series game.

Many people agree that the playoffs are the best time of the MLB season. This upcoming baseball postseason is full of talented teams that all are capable of making deep runs into the playoffs, but only one team can be crowned World Champions.