It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, happy October! Postseason baseball is finally among us. Whether you are grieving over the end of the 2017 regular season or you are making predictions as to who will win it all, the postseason brings all baseball fanatics together. The 2017 regular season was a crazy one in the respect that so many individual and team records have been broken.
Despite this excitement, the playoff race was not exactly riveting this year. Unlike past postseason races, this years lacked drama and suspense considering most division races were decided by early September (the Colorado Rockies being the lone exception). The wild card games themselves were exhilarating.
The New York Yankees took a 8-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the AL Wildcard game at Yankee Stadium in New York on Tuesday October 3rd. The Arizona Diamondbacks took a 11-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field in Phoenix on Wednesday October 4th. Both the Yankees and the Diamondbacks were victorious, proving that home field advantage really does have an affect on the outcome of the game.
Thus far in the American League Division Series, The Houston Astros have a remarkable 2-0 ALDS lead over the Boston Red Sox. In addition, the Cleveland Indians have a stellar 2-0 ALDS lead over the New York Yankees. In the National League Division Series, The Los Angeles Dodgers have an early 1-0 NLDS lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Also, the Chicago Cubs have a 1-0 NLDS lead over the Washington Nationals. Only time will tell which teams advance to the NLCS and which teams fall short and are sent home. Until then, here are 6, of many key players to keep your eyes on throughout the rest of the postseason.
Houston Astros second baseman, Jose Altuve hit three solo home runs in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox. He also became the ninth player in history to hit at least three home runs in a postseason game. In addition, only two players (Ichiro Suzuki (.405) and Barry Bonds (.381)) this century had a higher road batting average than Altuve's (.381).
Son of the former Yankees utilityman Clay Bellinger, Cody Bellenger ranked number 7 on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list this spring and made his debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 25th. He earned a place in the 2017 Home Run Derby and set an NL record with 39 homers while batting .267/.352/.581.
Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals has proven himself to be an impact player that is very important to the team. After being on the DL for approximately 46 games ,the Nationals scored 24.1 percent fewer runs per game.
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw is arguably the greatest pitcher of his generation. The left handed pitcher currently leads the Majors in ERA and has lowered his ERA for the ninth consecutive season. Though he has a bad postseason history, Kershaw is healthy after returning from the DL in September.
“Bronx Bomber”, Aaron Judge is anything but an ordinary. Judge hit .284/.422/.627 with 52 homers and 114 RBI as a rookie. He led the American league in runs, home runs, walks and strikeouts. Though he is only a rookie, he is already very well known and has been continuing to lead the New York Yankees to success.
Cleveland Indians's starting pitcher has a 1.62 ERA going back to June 1 which is the best among qualified pitchers by 0.86. The right handed pitcher did not allow more than 3 runs earned after May 2nd this season.