If the MLB postseason follows the same course the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles traveled Tuesday night, October will be a month to remember.

The Blue Jays picked up a 5-2 win in the one-game American League Wild Card Round at the Rogers Centre when slugger Edwin Encarnacion slammed a three-run homer off Ubaldo Jimenez in the bottom of the 11th inning, sending the home team into the American League Division Series against the AL West champion Texas Rangers.

That best-of-five series will get underway Thursday in Texas, with the Rangers holding home-field advantage.

The other American League series will feature the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox won the AL East, outlasting the Blue Jays and Orioles thanks to an 11-game winning streak in September that saw them leave their two competitors behind.

The Indians gained control of the AL Central in the middle of the season thanks to a solid pitching staff and the sharp managing of Terry Francona. The Indians have home-field advantage in the series that also gets underway Thursday.

The two ALDS winners will meet in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series in mid-October, and the winner of that series will represent the Junior Circuit in the World Series.

The American League representative will have home-field advantage in the World Series, thanks to the American League’s 4-2 victory in the All-Star Game in July.

The National League Wild Card Game has a chance to join the American League game as a true classic. The San Francisco Giants may have slumped throughout the second half of the season, but they survived and will face the New York Mets at Citi Field in New York Wednesday night.

The Giants will send postseason ace Madison Bumgarner to the mound against Noah Syndergaard, and this should turn into a pitcher’s duel of epic proportions. 

But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes a classic pitcher’s duel becomes a slugfest, and that could happen if neither pitcher is at his best.

The winner will earn the right to play the powerful Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series.

The Cubs won 103 regular-season games, and this is supposed to be their year. However, the best regular-season team doesn’t always win, and when a team carries the burden of not having won a World Series since 1908, it may not be an easy run to the title that long-suffering Cubs fans are waiting to see.

The other National League series will feature the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the Washington Nationals. Manager Dusty Baker’s Nats have home-field advantage in that one.

If the Cubs beat the wild-card winner, they will host the National League Championship Series against the Nats or Dodgers. If the Cubs fall short, the Los Angeles-Washington winner will have the home-field edge against the wild-card winner.



The Red Sox had an indifferent final week of the season that saw them lose five of their final six games, which cost them home field against the Indians.

However, the Red Sox have the much more potent lineup, and they also have the healthier starting pitching. Look for Mookie Betts, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia to lead the Red Sox to a four-game win over the Indians.

The Blue Jays and Rangers engaged in a nasty playoff series a year ago, with the Blue Jays emerging victorious in five games. Look for the Rangers to win the series this year, also in five games.

The Red Sox will outlast Texas in six games in the ALCS, as Ortiz and Betts outslug the dangerous Rangers.

In the National League, the Giants and Bumgarner will outduel the Mets and Syndergaard. That will give San Francisco a chance to exercise its postseason muscle against the Cubs, but after Chicago nervously loses the first two games of the series at home, manager Joe Maddon’s team finds its stride and wins three straight.

The Dodgers will use their pitching edge to punish the Nats and win that series in four games. The Dodgers will push the Cubs hard, but Chicago will overcome past demons and win the NL pennant in seven games.

That will lead to a classic World Series between the Red Sox and the Cubs. The Red Sox used to be the team that couldn’t win the big one, but that has changed with three World Series titles since 2004.

They will use the motivation of Big Papi’s last stand to win the World Series in seven games and break hearts all over Chicago.

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