Not so easy to dodge

The MLB Race for the Pennant continues with some familiar faces and some new ones

Not so easy to dodge

Donovan Lee, Sports Editor / HTV Station Manager

“America’s Favorite Pastime” has continued its traditional “Hunt for October,” as the MLB season concludes and the World Series is on the horizon. The number of teams has dwindled week by week, bringing the remaining clubhouses one step closer to reaching the pinnacle of their sport.

Among those who have already been eliminated, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees. A few teams returned to the party for their first time in years, like the Cincinnati Reds, the Oakland Athletics, the Miami Marlins, and the season’s Cinderella team, the San Diego Padres.

In a season like none other, the MLB playoff format was expanded by adding more teams and more games. The field began with sixteen teams in a first-round, best of three Wild Card series, with the winner advancing to the divisional championship round for another possible three-game series. The continuation of the playoffs would be the same as in years’ past: two best of seven league championship series, with the winners advancing to the World Series.

After weeks of play and multiple eliminations, the matchups for the NL and AL championship series were set: the Atlanta Braves versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Houston Astros versus the Tampa Bay Rays, respectively.

The Dodgers and Astros have staked their claims as forces to be reckoned with in the postseason, as both clubs have appeared in or won a World Series within the previous five seasons, but both teams had their work cut out this go-round. The Astros staged a series comeback after being down 3-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays. However, Houston’s delayed takeoff took an immediate landing in a Game 7 loss that carried the Rays to their first World Series appearance since 2008 when they lost 4-1 to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Meanwhile, the NLCS saw a coast-to-coast clash between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. The Braves haven’t reached this round of the playoffs since 2001 when they lost the series 4-1 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Braves would take a commanding 3-1 series lead but suffered the agony of defeat as the Dodgers would complete the comeback and defeat the Brave 4-3 in Game 7.

The World Series starts on Oct. 20 and will be hosted at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX, home to the Texas Rangers. The series will be aired on FOX and will allow fans to attend in person.