Home Sports 2023 MLB Postseason: What to know concerning the Division Sequence matchups

2023 MLB Postseason: What to know concerning the Division Sequence matchups

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After which there have been eight.

The Wild Card Sequence have come and gone, and the Division Sequence, all 4 of them, will kick off on Saturday within the traditional 2-2-1 format.

The schedules are a bit funky – the American League will solely be off for journey days (Oct. 9 and Oct. 12), whereas the Nationwide League groups can have an off day between Video games 1 and a pair of (Oct. 8), along with their journey days (Oct. 10, Oct. 13).

Each sequence within the Nationwide League characteristic division rivals, whereas the trail nonetheless runs via the kings of the American League, who’ve been perennial postseason contenders for years.

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The MLB’s Postseason brand is seen previous to Recreation One of many Wild Card Sequence between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Minnesota Twins at Goal Subject on Oct. 3, 2023, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Stephen Maturen/Getty Photographs)

With that, this is a deep dive into all 4 sequence:

No. 1 Atlanta Braves vs. No. 5 Philadelphia Phillies

The Atlanta Braves earned the bye after profitable 104 video games and their sixth consecutive NL East title – main them to be the primary staff to clinch a postseason spot. They beat the staff they’re going through on this sequence to earn their bid, and at that time, they led the Phillies by a whopping 17 video games.

Atlanta led the majors in nearly each offensive class: batting common (.276), on-base share (.344), slugging share (.501 – an MLB document), dwelling runs (one other MLB document at 307), and runs (947). They’re led by seemingly NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr., who based the 40-70 membership, and MLB dwelling run chief Matt Olson, who hit 54 dingers this season. Atlanta is rightfully the favourite to not solely win this sequence, however the entire darn factor.

However make no mistake, the Philadelphia Phillies aren’t a cakewalk. The defending NL champs took down the Braves in final 12 months’s NLDS and appeared like a Cinderella story to win all of it till they bumped into the Houston Astros. Other than Kyle Schwarber’s 47 homers, the staff would not have any eye-popping numbers on offense, however their benefit comes within the rotation, notably with co-aces Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola who simply mowed down the Miami Marlins within the wild card spherical.

Atlanta went 8-5 in opposition to Philadelphia within the common season and is definitely hungry for revenge after final season, but when Philly is ready to steal one in Georgia, Residents Financial institution Park is a nightmare for any customer.

Bryson Stott celebrates home run

Bryson Stott #5 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after hitting a one-run RBI single in the course of the fourth inning in opposition to the Miami Marlins in Recreation One of many Wild Card Sequence at Residents Financial institution Park on Oct. 3, 2023 in Philadelphia. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Photographs)

No. 2 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. No. 6 Arizona Diamondbacks

Regardless of dropping Trea Turner within the offseason and taking a again seat via the commerce deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers nonetheless gained the NL West and 100 video games. 

Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts, who bolstered OPS’s of .976 and .987, respectively, are two of the very best gamers in baseball and have put up MVP-type seasons. In flip, they’ve two different 30-plus dwelling run hitters in Max Muncy and J.D. Martinez.

Their rotation has taken hit after hit this season: Dustin Might was misplaced for the season with an damage and Julio Urias skilled troubling allegations of home violence that price him his 2023 marketing campaign. In addition they did not have Walker Buehler all 12 months, however nonetheless managed a 3.42 ERA out of the bullpen – probably the greatest out of remaining postseason groups, so Dave Roberts will not be afraid to go there one bit. Oh, and Clayton Kershaw remains to be dominant when he pitches, posting a 2.46 ERA in 24 begins this 12 months for his sixteenth season.

As for the Arizona Diamondbacks, not many anticipated them to be right here, however Cy Younger Award candidate Zac Gallen, seemingly Rookie of the 12 months Corbin Carroll, and league veteran Ketel Marte carried them to October. The D-Backs rank round league-average in nearly each class, they usually truly had a -15 run differential this season, however have gone 29-19 courting again to Aug. 12. Typically it is all about getting scorching on the proper time.

Los Angeles went 8-5 within the season sequence, together with profitable every of the final 5.

Mookie Betts after hitting a double

Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after hitting a double in the course of the eighth inning in opposition to the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Subject on July 21 in Arlington, Texas.  (Sam Hodde/Getty Photographs)

No. 1 Baltimore Orioles vs. No. 5 Texas Rangers

Everybody knew the Baltimore Orioles had been on the come up, but it surely’s exhausting to search out anyone who had them profitable 101 video games and the AL East after the previous 4 seasons the place they misplaced 79, 115, 108 and 110 video games, respectively.

In his rookie season, Gunnar Henderson’s .814 OPS was the very best on the staff, and his 82 RBIs had been second. Baltimore’s offense is not overpowering, however everyone is a tricky out. Jorge Mateo has Gold Glove expertise at quick, and as a unit, the Orioles are probably the greatest defensive groups in baseball.

They will want that in opposition to a stout Texas Rangers offense that hit .263 as a staff, the second-highest mark within the majors, and slugged .455, the third-best in baseball. If Shohei Ohtani did not exist, Corey Seager would most likely win the AL MVP. Adolis Garcia added 39 homers and 107 RBIs, whereas Marcus Semien belted 29 of his personal round-trippers and drove in 100 runs.

Jordan Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi mowed down the Tampa Bay Rays within the wild card spherical, and if they’ll get Max Scherzer again, that’s one scary three-headed monster. Nevertheless, their rotation should give them size: their bullpen’s 4.77 ERA was the seventh-worst in baseball and is the very best mark out of all remaining postseason groups.

Each groups misplaced 100-plus video games two years in the past. Now, they’ll battle for a visit to be part of the ultimate 4 after splitting the season sequence within the common season.

Gunnar Henderson, Austin Hays celebrate

Gunnar Henderson #2 and Austin Hays #21 of the Baltimore Orioles rejoice a 2-1 win in opposition to the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Subject on Sept. 23 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Ron Schwane/Getty Photographs)

No. 2 Houston Astros vs. No. 3 Minnesota Twins

The Houston Astros are aiming for his or her second straight World Sequence title, their third straight look within the Fall Traditional, and their seventh-consecutive ALCS. Every thing concerning the Astros speaks for itself – they’ve Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, their dominant bullpen, and nearly everyone else from final 12 months’s championship-winning squad. Even in a down 12 months, they nonetheless gained the AL West, and given their postseason expertise, no one ought to be stunned in the event that they go back-to-back, contemplating the second won’t ever be too large for these guys.

However, one thing is brewing in Minnesota. Possibly it is too early to explain it as a magic carpet trip, however the Twins simply gained their first postseason sequence in 21 years – their Recreation 1 victory snapped an 18-game postseason dropping streak that stretched all the way in which again to 2004.

The Twins have pop, as they hit the third-most dwelling runs within the majors, however they do strike out a ton. They went down on strikes in 26.6% of their plate appearances within the common season (essentially the most in baseball) and we all know what elite pitching does to strikeout-prone groups. Whereas it is lengthy been confirmed that dwelling runs win (sorry, small ball lovers, but it surely’s the reality), Minnesota should shorten up once they do not precisely want a homer.

Talking of elite pitching, the Twins have it. Their starters posted a mixed 3.82 ERA, the second-best in baseball and lowest amongst postseason groups.

Minnesota Twins celebrate win

The Minnesota Twins rejoice within the locker room after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in Recreation Two to win the Wild Card Sequence at Goal Subject on Oct. 4 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (David Berding/Getty Photographs)

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And talking of the massive second, are the Twins prepared for it? They certain appeared it once they swept the Toronto Blue Jays within the wild card, who appeared to crumble below stress. However Houston is a unique animal.

Minnesota gained 4 of the six matchups in the course of the season, so that they’ll be seeking to preserve that up.

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