By Colten Hagadus
The 2017 Major League Baseball playoffs have begun and America’s National Pastime seems to have been revitalized with the emergence of young stars like Aaron Judge and Francisco Lindor. Judge has hit 52 home runs to this date while Lindor impresses with his defensive mentality, along with the ability to hit for a high average at .293 for his career. To kick it off, The New York Yankees won their winner take all wildcard game v.s. The Minnesota Twins. They then advanced to American League Divisional Round, where they also took care of the Cleveland Indians 3 wins to 2, in a 5 game series. This came as a surprise as the Yankees somehow found a way to defeat one of the best pitchers in the game, Corey Kluber, not 1 but 2 times. New York will face the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series, with the winner reaching the ultimate stage in the World Series. The Astros hope to counter the Yankees lineup with Ace Dallas Keuchel, but that may not be enough to stop the Yank’s hot lineup.
As for the National League, the Arizona Diamondbacks set the tone early with a win in the Wildcard Round v.s the Colorado Rockies. They then ran into the team with the best record in the MLB in the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers easily handled the D-Backs, sweeping them in the series 3 wins to none. They advanced to the National League Championship Series and will take on the defending champion Chicago Cubs. The Cubs may have struggled early in the year, but they are now back and better than ever being led by one of the best managers in baseball in Joe Maddon. The Dodgers have a great balance of young players like Yu Darvish and Corey Seager, as well as veteran players such as former Philadelphia Phillie, Chase Utley. This series shapes up to be one for the centuries. The four clubs remaining will battle it out for a shot at the game’s ultimate goal. You can catch the first pitch of the ALCS at 8:08 Eastern time on Fox Sports 1.