The Californian

Four teams remain in MLB playoffs

Astros, Red Sox, Brewers and Dodgers vying for Fall Classic

Astros%E2%80%99+stars+Alex+Bregman+%282%29+and+Jose+Altuve+celebrate+during+their+7-2+win+over+the+Indians+in+Game+1+of+the+ALDS.
Astros’ stars Alex Bregman (2) and Jose Altuve celebrate during their 7-2 win over the Indians in Game 1 of the ALDS.

Astros’ stars Alex Bregman (2) and Jose Altuve celebrate during their 7-2 win over the Indians in Game 1 of the ALDS.

Astros’ stars Alex Bregman (2) and Jose Altuve celebrate during their 7-2 win over the Indians in Game 1 of the ALDS.

Andrew Sousa, Staff Writer

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It’s October, which means school is in full swing, just like the bats of MLB players trying to reach the biggest stage in baseball: the World Series. 

The baseball postseason is halfway in the books and the final four teams from the National and American leagues are fighting for a spot in the 2018 World Series later this month.

After two relatively mellow Wild Card games, the Astros and Brewers throttled the Indians and Rockies, respectively, with three-game sweeps.

The Dodgers and Red Sox only needed four games to dispatch to send the Braves and Yankees home.

So without further ado, let’s dig into the remaining postseason contenders and see which one has what it takes to win it all.

American League

Houston Astros: The defending champions picked up right where they left off, sweeping the Indians in convincing fashion. The offense exploded  in the series, averaging seven runs per game, including 11 in the decisive Game 3 at Cleveland. 

The Astros’ starting pitching looked stronger then ever, giving up less runs (6) in the entire series than the Astros scored in just Game 1 (7). The Astros are the most complete team remaining, so don’t be surprised if they repeat as champions.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox are still the safe bet to bring the trophy home. Despite having the best record in all of the majors, Boston showed some definite weaknesses in their series against the Yankees. 

David Price continued his tradition of being awful in the postseason, and the bullpen looked shaky at best, giving up three runs in the ninth inning alone during the course of the series. But the Red Sox have a dominant offense, which has two legitimate MVP candidates in right fielder Mookie Betts and designated hitter J.D. Martinez. 

Their resounding 16-1win over the Yankees in Game 3 spoke volumes about this team’s abilities. But expect the Sox to  have some issues against the Astros’ hitting and starting pitching.

National League

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers have gained some confidence after their four game series victory over the young and inexperienced Braves. Aside from Game 3, the Dodgers pitching staff looked great, with shutouts in Games 1 and 2. 

The offense looked solid as well, slugging a barrage of home runs. The Dodgers did almost everything right in their matchup against the Braves, but they have a much harder road ahead against the Brewers. Los Angeles should benefit from Miller Park being a homer happy ballpark, though. A high scoring series is anticipated.

Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers looked great in their return to the postseason for the first time since 2011. Behind their powerful offense, they slugged their way past the  Rockies into the NLCS. 

Their bullpen collapse in Game 1 was  a cause for concern, but in general the back end of the pitching staff has been a strength all season. 

Christian Yelich showed why he should be the NL MVP, getting timely hits and playing aggressive. Mike Moustakas had a great series, driving in the winning run with a Game 1 walk off single. 

The pitching also was good when in needed to be, shutting out the Rockies in Game 2 at home and Game 3 at Coors Field. Milwaukee gave up just two runs the entire series, both coming in the ninth inning of Game 1. Having home-field advantage will be huge for the Brewers. Expect a high scoring, exciting series.

As for the World Series, I predict that the Astros will face the Brewers. The Astros pitching will get through the tough American League, while the offense gives them necessary support. The Brewers will slug their way into the Fall Classic, taking advantage of  home field. 

Ultimately, the Astros dominant pitching will be what take the them over the Brewers.

The Astros will win in six games, defending their 2017 title in front of their fans. 

Play ball.

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Four teams remain in MLB playoffs