Last week’s College Baseball Super Regionals, oops, MLB Wild Card round pared 16 playoff teams down to 8 through a best of 3 format. Today kicks off the Divisional Round and a return to a more normal MLB playoff format.
Get used to expanded playoffs as Manfred and the owners see broadcast dollar signs but expect the number of teams to be 14 with the top seeds in each league receiving a first round bye. I do wonder if time off is an advantage in baseball.
The A’s and Astros have set their game 1 and 2 starters. One fascinating story line in the making is the likelihood of Mike Fiers, the whistleblower on the trash can scandal, taking the mound against his former squad. Fiers did not start in any of the 10 games Oakland played against Houston this year. The A’s deny avoiding the match up during the regular season and say they’d be fine with Fiers take the mound this series. Dusty Baker says Fiers name hasn’t come up all year in Houston, which is hard to believe.
San Diego vs. LA has the potential to be another great interdivision series. Little brother is coming for big brother, who doesn’t want to get toppled. Mike Clevinger’s availability could swing a game and the series. And he just might be ready to go.
There’s another genuine rivalry on tap in Rays vs. Yankees. Bean balls, scuffles, close games…..and now they share the same hotel.
In other news, the legendary Bob Gibson passed away Friday night. He faced the trials of racism that sadly still resonate in society today.
Oh yeah, this is an Angels site. ESPN lays out the obvious on what the Angels need to do to build a winner around Mike Trout. The great news is there’s plenty of what the Angels need available on the free agent market. More arms than likely contenders buying them, and some likely difference makers.
Enjoy the playoffs with your friends here at CtPG. We’ll have game threads each day there are games. And I have an interview on top. I’ll give you a hint, we share initials.