Mets vs. Dodgers
By Michael Thompson, Deputy Sports Editor
Call it hometown bias, but no series captures my attention more than the NLDS between the Mets and Dodgers. With memorable series between the two in 1988 and 2006 — and a half-century long bitterness from when the Dodgers jettisoned Brooklyn for LA — this one is sure to be exciting. The fantastic pitching duo of Dodgers’ Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, against Mets’ Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard will be must see TV. And who can forget Matt Harvey, third in the Mets’ playoff rotation? Will innings be a factor? Will the Mets high powered offense resurrect itself in time? These two big markets are sure to put on one heck of a series.
Astros/Yankees vs. Royals
By Grace Halio, Deputy Features Editor
After falling to the Diamondbacks, the Astros will head north to play the Yankees for the AL Wildcard on Tuesday. Aside from this game, I’m looking forward to game one of the AL Division Series on Thursday when the Kansas City Royals will face off against the Yankees or Astros. This would be a particularly interesting game if the Yankees pull through because they would be up against former teammate Joba Chamberlain. Kansas City has a record comparable to that of Toronto, who challenged the Yankees this entire season.
Blue Jays v. Texas Rangers
By Alex Bazeley, News Editor
Forget the Royals – the most interesting shades of blue this postseason come from the Toronto Blue Jays, who have been the hottest team of the second half, and the Texas Rangers, who somehow stumbled their way into the postseason. Jays starter David Price has nudged himself into the AL Cy Young race, while third baseman Josh Donaldson has remained the leading candidate for MVP the entire year. On the other side of the diamond, Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton, whose rise and fall from grace has been well-documented in the media, is the perfect underdog story that everyone wants to see succeed. Third baseman Adrian Beltre, nearing the end of a Hall of Fame-worthy career, will vie for his first ring this postseason. The two teams face off on Thursday, and while the Jays come in as clear favorites, the five game series is sure to provide a rollercoaster of excitement.
Pirates/Cubs vs. Cardinals
By Bobby Wagner, Sports Editor
Personally, as a diehard Amazin’ fan, I’ll be watching the Mets and Dodgers closest. But, as that’s chronicled above, I’ll speak objectively and choose the battle of the NL Central. It’s criminal that two of the three best teams in baseball will be ousted after the Divisional series, especially since it will be at the hand of a division rival. The Cardinals have stayed strong as the best team in baseball all year, and their solid core of players that most people don’t talk about will await two teams loaded with World Series potential for years to come. Pittsburgh has been consistently the second best team in baseball, and with a post All-Star from the Cubs, it will be a delight to watch this series unfold. Either way, St. Louis will have a decided advantage since they won’t have to face Jake Arrieta of the Cubs or Gerrit Cole of the Pirates in Game 1.
Astros/Yankees vs. Royals
By Tony Schwab, Contributing Writer
Kansas City begins its quest to repeat as AL champs against one of three teams that have been very on and off this year. The Yankees have been a .500 team since the summer. Houston has pulled it together a bit of late after having a terrible September, which allowed the Angels to make the race for the second wild card spot very close. It will be interesting to see whether the long playoff push makes the wild card winner better prepared or just exhausted.
A version of this article appeared in the Oct. 5 print edition. Email the sports staff at [email protected]