One division series is already in the books, and two more could end Monday in a loaded day of action in the MLB playoffs.

The Toronto Blue Jays were the first team to earn a spot in the American League Championship Series with their walk-off win over the Texas Rangers. The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, both up 2-0 in their respective series, have a chance to move on to the next round by the end of the night.

Only the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers are tied in their series as we head to Game 3.

Still, nothing is decided until the series are over, so make sure to tune in to the upcoming battles.



Nationals vs. Dodgers

The Nationals saw their best hitter on the season go 3-for-3, while an unlikely source had the biggest hit of the day. Backup catcher Jose Lobaton came through with a three-run home run in the fourth inning that ended up being the deciding factor in the game.

Joe Sheehan of Sports Illustrated summed up an unlucky day for the Dodgers:

Los Angeles only scored two runs but certainly had opportunities on the day. As ESPN Stats & Info noted, the missed chances were out of character for this squad:

From a long-term perspective, it’s a positive the Dodgers were getting so many runners on. It is only a matter of time before these turn into runs.

In reality, the game will likely be decided by Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez. The lefty is one of the most volatile starters in the league, capable of fantastic performances but also devastating starts that give his squad little chance of victory.

After posting a 7.43 ERA in five September starts, it’s difficult to trust him in the upcoming road battle.

Prediction: Dodgers 5, Nationals 3


Indians vs. Red Sox

Game 3 of the Indians vs. Red Sox was initially scheduled for Sunday but was rained out and rescheduled for Monday, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

In reality, it won’t matter when the game is played if the Boston Red Sox can’t get a better performance from the pitching staff. After Cy Young candidate Rick Porcello allowed five runs in Game 1, David Price followed up with five runs allowed in Game 2.

All of a sudden, Boston is forced to turn to Clay Buchholz, who had just a 4.78 ERA on the season while bouncing in and out of the starting rotation.

The Cleveland Indians have a deep lineup that ensures few easy matchups for Buchholz throughout the day. With the way Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez and others have performed to this point, it’s hard to imagine this offense is going to quiet down any time soon.

On the other side, the Red Sox offense is much better than it has shown so far in this series, with players such as David Ortiz and Mookie Betts barely making an impact. It seems like only a matter of time before this group explodes for a big outing.

Still, Josh Tomlin has pitched well for Cleveland down the stretch, holding opponents to two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts. The Red Sox could finally get on the board at home in Fenway Park, but it might not be enough to hang with the opposition to stay in the series.

Prediction: Indians 7, Red Sox 4


Cubs vs. Giants

It’s clear that the Chicago Cubs are the best team in baseball. They can win with pitching, they can win with hitting and they recently showed they can even win with hitting pitchers.

Travis Wood hit a home run in Game 2 as a reliever, helping the home team secure an ugly 5-2 win over the San Francisco Giants. 

While this isn’t something the squad will rely on each game, the Cubs can count on a long list of players to step up when needed.

“We’re a very deep team,” catcher David Ross said Saturday, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. “We have a group that [manager] Joe [Maddon] has utilized all year. We are not the typical best team in baseball that uses the same lineup every day.”

On the other hand, it might not matter what lineup the Cubs throw out Monday with a matchup against Madison Bumgarner.

Sporting News contributor Ryan Spaeder explained just how good the left-hander has been in big moments in his career:

This isn’t a winner-take-all game, but the Giants’ season is on the line down 0-2. Bumgarner also has a 1.94 ERA in his 15 career postseason appearances.

While Chicago is still in the driver’s seat in this series, one unstoppable pitcher will keep San Francisco’s hopes alive.

Prediction: Giants 2, Cubs 0


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