The MLB postseason has been filled with drama throughout October, but that wasn’t the case on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays won the two respective games by a combined total of 11-1, but Los Angeles is in a much more favorable position than the Blue Jays moving forward. The Dodgers lead the Chicago Cubs 2-1 in the National League Championship Series, while the Cleveland Indians still hold a 3-1 advantage in the American League Championship Series.

With that in mind, here is a look at an updated bracket, recap of what happened and look ahead to the next games with spots in the World Series on the line.


Updated Bracket

American League

Wild Card Division Series Championship Series
  Texas Rangers 0  
Toronto Blue Jays 1 Toronto Blue Jays 3 Toronto Blue Jays 1
Baltimore Orioles 0    
  Cleveland Indians 3 Cleveland Indians 3
  Boston Red Sox 0  


National League

Wild Card Division Series Championship Series
  Chicago Cubs 3  
San Francisco Giants 1 San Francisco Giants 1 Chicago Cubs 1
New York Mets 0    
  Washington Nationals 2 Los Angeles Dodgers 2
  Los Angeles Dodgers 3  


Tuesday’s Results

American League

The Blue Jays kept their season alive with a 5-1 victory thanks to the Josh Donaldson show.

The third baseman started the scoring with a solo home run in the third inning that woke up a slumbering offense, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports noted:

Donaldson didn’t just do damage with his bat. Cleveland’s Roberto Perez trimmed the deficit to 2-1 with an RBI double in the fifth, and Carlos Santana appeared to find a hole on a potential game-tying hit, but Donaldson caught it with a full-extension dive and fired to first base to end the threat.

Heidi Watney of MLB Network pointed out he was happier with the defense than offense:

That fifth inning was the last legitimate scoring chance for the Indians throughout the game, while Toronto added insurance in the seventh and the eighth. The Blue Jays loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh, and Edwin Encarnacion made Cleveland pay for an intentional walk of Donaldson with a two-RBI single.

Kevin Pillar added an RBI in the eighth with a sacrifice fly. 

The Blue Jays received six innings of one-run baseball from starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez and three shutout innings from the bullpen. As for Sanchez’s counterpart, Corey Kluber allowed two earned runs, four hits and two walks in five innings on short rest.


National League

If it was the Donaldson show in the American League, it was the Rich Hill show in the National League.

The southpaw cruised through six shutout innings against the Cubs and gave the Dodgers the 2-1 lead in the series. He allowed just two hits and struck out six against his former team and overcame a slow start in the second inning when things seemed to be slipping away.

Hill walked Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler, and the two runners eventually ended up on second and third after a Rizzo steal and a passed ball. However, Hill struck out Addison Russell and induced a groundout from Miguel Montero to stifle the threat.

He praised his catcher, Yasmani Grandal, for helping him keep his cool, per Dodger Insider: “Yas did a great job of getting me back on track.”

That wasn’t all Grandal did, as he drilled a two-run homer against Jake Arrieta. Justin Turner also took Chicago’s starter and last year’s National League Cy Young winner deep, and Corey Seager spearheaded much of the offense with three hits and an RBI.


Looking Ahead

American League

Regardless of what happens, Wednesday’s Game 5 will be the final contest in Toronto for the entire ALCS.

According to, the Blue Jays will turn toward starting pitcher Marco Estrada, while the Indians will counter with rookie Ryan Merritt. The 24-year-old Merritt appeared in just four games all season—one of which was a start—but he is taking the ball on Wednesday almost out of necessity.

Danny Salazar hasn’t appeared in a game since Sept. 9 because of a forearm injury, and Carlos Carrasco is out for the year with a hand ailment.

Despite the injury woes, Merritt’s small-sample-size stats are head-turning in just 11 innings. He allowed two earned runs, six hits and zero walks for a 1.64 ERA and 0.55 WHIP. However, pitching in front of a raucous Rogers Centre crowd with their team’s season hanging in the balance will be a different story.

Look for the Toronto offense to continue its momentum from Tuesday’s win against an unprepared Merritt while Estrada pitches six solid innings. The Blue Jays will do enough to shift the series back to Cleveland.

Game 5 prediction: Blue Jays 5, Indians 3


National League

The Cubs won 103 games during the regular season, which was the best mark in all of baseball. Still, their backs are officially against the wall after failing to score in two straight games against the Dodgers following an eight-run outburst in Game 1.

A major part of the concern from Chicago’s point of view comes from the lack of production from three of its key pieces. Season-long MVP candidate Anthony Rizzo is an abysmal 2-for-26 in the playoffs, while Addison Russell is 1-for-24 and Jason Heyward is 2-for-19.

If that threesome continues to struggle, the Cubs’ season will likely end in the NLCS for the second straight year.

They will take their cracks at 20-year-old Julio Urias in Wednesday’s Game 4. While the rookie doesn’t have a postseason start on his resume, he did finish the 2016 campaign with a solid 3.39 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.

The Cubs will send the furthest thing from a rookie they have on their staff to the mound—37-year-old John Lackey. He has 24 playoff appearances in his career with a 3.22 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in those games.

While the Dodgers still have a great chance to ultimately win this series with Clayton Kershaw to unleash in later contests, experience will triumph over youth in Wednesday’s game. Lackey has pitched in big moments throughout his career, so the pressure surrounding this start will be nothing new.

A Chicago offense that finished third in the league with 808 runs will eventually snap out of its slump. Look for it to come against the rookie in a critical Game 4.

Game 4 Prediction: Cubs 6, Dodgers 3

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