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MLB Postseason: Who has lived up to the expectations and who has the best chance going forward?

The MLB postseason has been quite the experience with high scoring games to walk-offs. According to an article by SportsNaut, Game 5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants amounted 6.5 million viewers for TBS. This was the largest amount since a 2018 match up between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. With all of that being said, this postseason was what fans wanted after a year of limited fan amounts due to COVID-19. However, what they may not have wanted was their favorite team to leave the playoffs so early. With that in mind, and the MLB postseason coming to a close, the three of us, Kira Farooqui, Jake Dickerson, and Brady Monahan, take a look back and review who met expectations and who surprisingly fell. 

Kira Farooqui: I have, and always will be, a Chicago fan. So, naturally, I was met with both disappointment and pleasant surprise when I saw that the White Sox had an opportunity to play in the World Series. Even though (let’s face it) the White Sox have never really been the best team in the league, I still wanted to hold out hope that they would progress enough. Unfortunately, the South Side practically got slaughtered by the Houston Astros in the fourth American League game, so my expectations quickly plummeted. So then I decided to force myself to look for another team to root for: St. Louis was out of the question (Chicago fans would understand), the Blue Jays and Red Sox I never really cared for, and I knew that the Brewers were decent, as well as the Braves. I have never liked the Astros due to their controversy at the 2017 World Series. As for the Giants and Yankees, two of my favorite former Cubs players had been traded to those teams, so I was secretly hoping for a Yankees win, because I knew Anthony Rizzo would not disappoint. However, the Yankees quickly dropped out of the question after a hard loss. I soon moved back to focusing on the Dodgers—Cody Bellinger is one of my favorite players in the entire league. He was doing great around 2019, but like most MLB players, he hasn’t been doing as well as he could be. In relation to how the playoffs are going, I’m quite surprised the Red Sox have lasted this long. However, I have some decently high hopes for the Dodgers to advance to the World Series.

Jake Dickerson: The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to win the World Series. I have always been a Max Scherzer fan, ever since he was a Detroit Tiger. I love his style of pitching, and he is so fun to watch. Scherzer has been precise with his pitches all season, and he’s hot right now going into the National League Championship Series. And that’s not all the Dodgers have going for them; the Dodgers bats have been on fire. With Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, and Trea Turner you can always expect an explosive offense by the Dodgers. And don’t forget about Albert “The Machine” Pujols; you can never count out the 41 year old. When you need him most, he’s there to hit a bomb.

Brady Monahan: After the whole season shaped up, personally being a St. Louis Cardinals fan, I thought they had a great chance after coming off a 17-game win streak. However, those hopes were lost when they met the Los Angeles Dodgers and lost 3-1, and now have to rebuild with a new manager (which many did not expect). 

The Rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox has always been a show to watch, and the AL Wild Card game between the two did not disappoint, unless you are from New York. 

After the Wild Card games came the ALDS and NLDS. First, the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox met with high expectations both coming off of great years. However, the Astros bats were hot and amounted a total of 31 runs in a matter of 4 games. While this did raise some skepticism due to past behaviors from the program, they should be respected as a major contender this year. 

The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox was the series a lot had their eye on due to the Rays coming off of their trip to the world series last year. After shutting down the Red Sox 5-0 in the first game, the Red Sox answered with 26 runs over the next three games to take the series. Close games was the theme of that series and was also the theme of the match up of the two best records in baseball, those being the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. 

This series, being the rivalry of California and the two best teams in baseball, left a lot on the line. The five-game series experienced a team trying to win back-to-back World Series and the other coming off of winning the division. After 4 close games the series was tied 2-2 and it all came down to a game 5 to decide who is better: a team who has won 107 games or 106? The Dodgers ended up winning in a very low scoring 2-1 victory in a game where the margin for error was slim. The Giants were sent home having had a great year and should be on the lookout for next year. 

The other NLDS was between the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers, and being a Cardinal fan, it would have been nice to see another NL Central division team to advance. However, what felt like the series covered up by all the popularity of all the other series did not disappoint, unless you are from Milwaukee. The Braves took the series in pretty dominant fashion ending the series in four games, having won the last three, and looked to carry that momentum with them.

Then there were four. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves square off and the Boston Red Sox take on the Houston Astros. The Atlanta Braves looked strong in their series against the Dodgers. They were able to win two of their first three against the Dodgers where the games were decided by one run. However, in game four, they were able to open it up and win 9-2 in dominant fashion. This game motivated them to take the series and advance to the World Series. The Astros dominated throughout the Postseason and it was not surprising to see them win the series against the Red Sox. The Astros have been able to put up a lot of runs on the board and continue to look solid in every game.

With the Braves’s weapons in Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, and Freddie Freeman, and the Astros’s weapons in Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and Yordan Alvarez, it will be a high-scoring and intense match up in this year’s World Series. The two teams both have proven why they deserve to be here, and the fans have supported them all the way. The fans will play a big part in the World Series due to the games being played at either team’s home stadium. However, when it comes to baseball, it matters who limits the most amount of damage. The damage being runs, errors and runners left on base. The Astros with an average earned run average (ERA) of 3.76 and the Braves with an average ERA of 3.88, as well as the Astros being able to put up a lot of runs as they have shown us so far, I believe the Houston Astros will be the 2021 World Series Champions. However, good luck to everyone!

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