The two league championships series are underway, but there is clearly a long way to go for any of the teams to clinch a spot in the World Series.

The Cleveland Indians are obviously in the best shape after their two wins over the Toronto Blue Jays, but they will have to find a way to keep it up when they go on the road. Considering the impact of the Rogers Centre in the postseason, this will not be easy.

In the National League, the Chicago Cubs got a big momentum boost when Miguel Montero hit a game-winning, pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning of an eventual 8-4 win. Still, this was just one win of four needed before knocking out the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

The rest of both series will be worth watching regardless of your rooting interests.



This series was supposed to feature a lot of scoring and plenty of home runs, but that hasn’t been the case through the first two games. Instead, the Indians were able to jump out to a 2-0 lead thanks mostly to their pitching.

Zack Meisel of noted just how good the pitchers have been in the postseason:

Josh Tomlin keyed a 2-1 win in Game 2 after Corey Kluber was the star in a 2-0 Game 1 victory. Of course, the bullpen has also been a major part of the success. According to Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs, Cleveland’s relievers have combined for a 1.10 ERA while allowing a .473 on-base plus slugging percentage and earning strikeouts at a 44 percent rate.

Andrew Miller has been the real star of the show so far in the ALCS, pitching 3.2 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts and just one hit allowed. He really mowed down the batters in Game 2:

If he and Cody Allen can keep up their strong play out of the bullpen, it will be a challenge for the Blue Jays to get any runs in this series.

Still, Toronto will not go down without a fight. Manager John Gibbons discussed the urgency down 0-2, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet:

The Blue Jays are hitting .212 as a team with zero home runs in the first two games. This came after hitting eight home runs in three games in the ALDS. Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion are still getting hits, but it isn’t enough.

While the pitchers have held their end of the bargain for the most part, the offense has clearly been disappointing so far.

They now have a chance to turn things around against Trevor Bauer, who had a 4.26 ERA during the regular season and failed to get out of the fifth inning in his only postseason start. The right-hander allowed two home runs in that game and 20 during the year, which could put him in danger against Toronto.

With the crowd likely to inspire the Blue Jays players throughout the game, look for the squad to try to turn things around in Game 3 Monday.



The big story after Game 1 was undoubtedly the big swing by Montero. The catcher came up to the plate in a 3-3 game and took an 0-2 pitch off Joe Blanton and sent it deep into the bleachers.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports didn’t mince words with his thoughts on the play:

Montero didn’t have a single hit in the NLDS while going 0-for-4, but he is now batting 1.000 in the NLCS, and that is all fans care about right now.

While the home run was clearly the biggest moment of the game, the Cubs showed a lot of ability throughout the nine innings.

Jon Lester was impressive as a starter with six innings of one-run ball. Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant and Javy Baez each had two hits. Baez even found a way to steal home for the team’s third run of the game.

Add in some incredible defense all around, and Chicago truly has all the tools necessary to keep winning. It’s not a surprise this group won 103 games during the regular season.

While there is concern over Aroldis Chapman, who suffered his second blown save of the playoffs, the 1.55 regular-season ERA and the lights-out fastball should allow Cubs fans to rest easier.

On the other hand, the Dodgers had an uphill battle in this game to start. The pitching staff was short-handed after a dramatic Game 5 win against the Washington Nationals two days earlier and still needs a little bit of time to recover.

With ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound in Game 2, Los Angeles should have plenty of confidence in its ability to even the series.


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