To stay away from the NFL and for travel reasons, there are no MLB playoff games scheduled for Sunday this weekend. At most, there will be just one MLB game on Saturday and that was only due to a postponement on Friday. Here’s a look at where we are entering the weekend.
How to Bet MLB postseasonWhile the better-seeded team had home-field advantage in the Wild-Card round, the rest of the postseason will be held at neutral sites in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and San Diego.
For the ALDS, one series will take place in San Diego (Rays vs. Yankees) and the other (Astros vs. TBA) will take place in Los Angeles. For the NLDS, one series will take place in Houston (Braves vs. Cubs/Marlins) and the other (Dodgers vs. TBA) will take place in Arlington/Dallas.
Both best-of-five ALDS will be scheduled for Monday, Oct. 5 through Friday, Oct. 9. Both best-of-five NLDS will be scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Saturday, Oct. 10.
The Atlanta Braves suddenly look like legitimate threats to the top-seeded and World Series-favored Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL. The Braves can hit, that much we knew. Their pitching staff was in question entering the playoffs largely because of injury, but Atlanta swept out the Cincinnati Reds without allowing a single run in the two games.
It was Atlanta’s first postseason series win in 19 years. The Reds were the team in MLB postseason history to be eliminated without a run (excluding Wild Card Games). Cincinnati also set an MLB record for most consecutive scoreless innings to begin a postseason with 22. The previous record was 20, set by the New York Giants in 1921. The Reds offense was 8 for 73 (.110) in the series. Their five walks and one hit batsman run them up to a .177 on-base percentage. The slugging was .181
Ace Max Fried was brilliant in Game 1, and then rookie Ian Anderson was equally as good in Game 2. Anderson struck out nine batters over six scoreless innings as the Braves beat the Reds 5-0 to advance. Anderson tied Steve Avery in Game 2 of the 1991 NLCS for the most strikeouts by a Braves pitcher in his postseason debut. He threw 17 first-pitch strikes to the 22 batters he faced, but he wasn’t just pounding fastballs. Of those 22 first pitches, nine were four-seam fastballs, 12 were curveballs and one was a changeup.
The 22-year-old Anderson delivered a 1.95 ERA over his first 32 1/3 major league innings (six starts) during the regular season and carried that brilliance over into Thursday’s series-clinching outing, scattering two hits. Fried and Anderson look like a formidable one-two punch and they have a deep bullpen to chew up innings when the back of the rotation does start.
Atlanta will be a favorite in the NLDS against either the Miami Marlins or Chicago Cubs. That series will begin early next week in Houston. The Marlins and Cubs play Game 2 of their series on Friday – it was postponed on Thursday – and then a Game 3 if needed on Saturday.
The Braves didn’t play the Cubs in this unusual regular season and were 6-4 vs. the NL East rival Marlins. The lone playoff matchup between the Braves and Marlins was the 1997 NLCS won by the Marlins 4-2. Atlanta played the Cubs last in postseason in the 2003 NLDS and the Cubbies won in five.
San Diego will then host the AL Championship Series, which will begin on Sunday, Oct. 11. The NL Championship Series will begin in Arlington/Dallas on Monday, Oct. 12. The World Series will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
As of now, there will not be fans allowed an any ALDS or NLDS game. However, MLB has announced that a limited number of tickets (around 11,500 per game) will be available for NLCS and World Series games at Globe Life Field in Arlington/Dallas. Texas is in Phase 3 of its reopening plan, which allows open-air stadiums to admit up to 50 percent capacity. Globe Life Field seats 40,300 and has a retractable roof.
Because the Dodgers finished with the best record in the majors, they have theoretical home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. That means they would bat last in three of the five NLDS games (if necessary) and four of the seven NLCS and World Series games (if necessary). Tampa Bay is the AL top seed and thus would bat last in three of the five in the ALDS (if necessary) and four of the seven in the ALCS (if necessary).
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