The Major League Baseball Playoffs are here

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Cubs, Cardinals series highlights the start of 2015 playoffs

Jace Patrick | Sports writer |@JaceAnytime

Fall time to some is a time to get out the rake and take in picturesque scenes of nature in its ever changing wonder. But to the rest of us, it’s time for the Major League Baseball playoffs. It is the time of year when everyone seems to have a favorite baseball team, whether they are wearing a broken brim on the decade old rally cap, or a fresh flat brim from lids. It’s that special time of year when strangers can get together to cheer their teams on in triumph and victory with the hopes of playing in November.

The Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees Tuesday 3-0 to clinch the wildcard for the American League and will face the Kansas City Royals Thursday in Game 1 of the ALDS. Meanwhile the Texas Rangers hope to utilize Prince Fielder against the Toronto Blue Jays in the DH slot with a season average of .378 even though his last 12 trips to the plate have left him at an average of .167. The Jays will be starting David Price on the mound with a 2.45 ERA and 225 strikeouts.

The Chicago Cubs sunk the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday 4-0 sealing a spot in the National League Divisional Series. The Cubs will travel to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in the best-of-five series starting this Friday. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the Dodgers will square off against the New York Mets, and both teams would love to win early to claim game 1 of the NLDS.

The Cardinals are going to need their best hitter Matt Carpenter to continue on his path of having the best regular-season record to get the edge in this series against the Cubs. Jon Lester takes the mound on Friday for the Cubs. Lester has an ERA of 3.34 and 207 strikeouts and hopes to keep the Cardinals and 3rd baseman Carpenter, with 4 HR at his last 14 AB, in check.

The Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is putting three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw on the mound for game 1 of the NLDS. Kershaw, with a 2.13 ERA, will try to improve his postseason ERA that is well over five in 11 postseason games. Kershaw will need to be on top of his game Thursday with hitters like Yoenis Cespedes stepping up to the plate. Cespedes, who is known as a streaky hitter, had a hot final month of the season. From Aug. 13 through Sept. 11, Cespedes had a .333 average with 24 extra bases and more than 30 RBIs. He will need to have similar numbers to help his team clinch the series.

Winners of the American League Division will start a best-of-seven series starting on Friday October 16 and the National League Division Series winners are set to play Game 1 of their best-of-seven series on Saturday October 17 with the winners of those series squaring off October 27 for Game 1 of the 2015 Major League World Series.