The 2016 MLB playoffs commenced in grand fashion Tuesday when the Toronto Blue Jays knocked off the Baltimore Orioles in extra innings in the American League Wild Card Game, but there are several more intriguing matchups on tap moving forward.

On Wednesday, it will be decided who advances to the National League Division Series when the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets clash in what promises to be a pitchers’ duel. Also, the AL Division Series is set, with the Blue Jays taking on the Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox meeting the Cleveland Indians.

Ahead of the NL Wild Card Game and the start of the ALDS, here is a full rundown of the schedule and a look at where you can view every game.


NL Wild Card and ALDS Schedule


Giants vs. Mets

Following an AL Wild Card Game between the Jays and Orioles that went down to the wire, expectations are high for Wednesday night’s battle between the Giants and Mets.

The Mets reached the World Series in surprising fashion last season, while the Giants tend to win the World Series every other year, and the calendar suggests they are due in 2016.

While timely hitting will be key, the main matchup to watch is undoubtedly that of Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard attempting to go pitch for pitch at Citi Field.

Bumgarner and Syndergaard were two of the National League’s best hurlers during the regular season, and hits figure to be difficult to come by with them on the mound.

While Syndergaard had a better ERA this season than Bumgarner (2.60 compared to 2.74), Bumgarner seemingly has the advantage because of his incredible playoff success.

Bumgarner was named the World Series MVP in 2014, and as Mike Puma of the New York Post pointed out, his recent postseason numbers and career numbers at Citi Field are astounding:

At the same time, Bumgarner isn’t in ideal form entering the playoffs, according to Jerry Recco of WFAN:

Neither Bumgarner nor Syndergaard makes many mistakes, so Wednesday’s game figures to come down to which offense is able to take advantage of the few opportunities it receives. 

Syndergaard proved last year that the postseason stage wasn’t too big for him, but Bumgarner has been nearly unhittable in that atmosphere, which is why San Francisco enters the game with a leg up.


Blue Jays vs. Rangers

Perhaps no rivalry in baseball has been more intense than that of the Blue Jays and Rangers over the past year, so it was undoubtedly fitting when Toronto dispatched the Orioles in the AL Wild Card Game by virtue of a walk-off home run by Edwin Encarnacion.

That set the stage for an ALDS rematch from last season that saw Toronto outlast Texas in five games. Plenty of bad blood was produced in that series, most notably because of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista‘s demonstrative bat flip.

The tension carried over to 2016, as Bautista and Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor engaged in a brawl after Bautista slid hard into second base during the regular season.

CBS Sports provided a reminder of the incident on Twitter:

Despite the obvious tension between the two teams, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary with regard to the upcoming series, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

It’ll be talked about a ton. I think it’ll dominate or at least be one of the top story lines nationally and locally. I think that the fan bases will be loud and the crowd. Beyond that, I don’t expect much.

I think this time of year everybody’s so focused on what they want to do, everybody wants to win so badly. … I don’t think you’re going to see any silly stuff because teams have too much to lose this time of year. I expect our fans will boo their guys and their fans will boo our guys and the game will go on.

Even if the Blue Jays and Rangers players decide to keep it clean, the respective fanbases promise to create raucous environments perfect for postseason baseball.

In terms of entertainment value, the Jays and Rangers figure to offer plenty of bang for the buck because of the hatred between them and the fact that they are among the most explosive offensive teams baseball has to offer.


Red Sox vs. Indians

Terry Francona will always have a special place in Red Sox history, as he managed them to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007, but the ALDS will see him attempting to stop Boston in its tracks as manager of the Indians.

Francona is in the midst of his fourth season as Cleveland’s manager, and he has the team in the ALDS for the first time as the No. 2 seed in the American League.

While his tenure with the Red Sox didn’t end on ideal terms in 2011, Francona harbors no ill will toward the organization, especially since Red Sox manager John Farrell is his close friend, according to Paul Hoynes of “I’m extremely proud of what John has done this year. And it’s tough to compete against one of your best friends. That’s actually kind of hard, but I’m so proud and happy for him, what he’s accomplished. I kind of consider it an honor to actually compete against him.”

In addition to the storyline of Francona going up against the Sox, the ALDS marks what could be the final postseason series of Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz’s illustrious career.

While Big Papi is 40 years of age, he is coming off a regular season that saw him hit .315 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI. Because of that, Francona joked that he wished Ortiz would step away a bit sooner than planned, per’s Jordan Bastian:

Both the Red Sox and Indians are well-equipped to make a World Series run. Boston boasts the deepest and most dangerous lineup in baseball, while Cleveland has the type of pitching needed for postseason success.

While the Chicago Cubs are the favorites to win it all, the winner of the ALDS between the Sox and Tribe could potentially stake claim to that distinction.


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