Following a pair of Game 5’s that had their fair share of drama, the American League is down to just two teams while the National League awaits the winner of the Mets-Dodgers series to see who will take on the Chicago Cubs.

With a much greater sense of clarity now after a pair of close series, the Toronto Blue Jays are set to face off against the Kansas City Royals in a matchup between the two best teams in the American League for an elusive spot in the World Series.

On the other side of the bracket the Chicago Cubs dispatched the Cardinals in four games and are now watching to see who will win the hotly contested Mets-Dodgers series, which has its Game 5 Thursday night in Los Angeles at 8:07 p.m. ET.

Whoever comes out on top is that much closer to the game’s ultimate prize, and as the playoffs approach their latter stages, teams’ dreams are starting to come into focus as reality sets in. The World Series sits on the horizon, but first let’s take a look at the updated bracket after the Royals’ and Blue Jays’ ALDS victories.



NLDS: Mets vs. Dodgers

In what has been a drama-filled series that everyone has come to expect when teams from Los Angeles and New York face off against each other, the Mets and Dodgers have to do it one more time in Game 5 to decide who gets to take on the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS.

The Mets have been in charge of the series, with the Dodgers doing just enough at the right times—the eighth inning of Game 2 being the perfect example—to hold on and force a Game 5. But having squandered home-field advantage in New York, the Mets will need to dig deep to secure another road victory to claim the series and move on.

The Dodgers look to have the advantage, both home field and on the mound, with Zack Greinke facing off against Jacob deGrom. The latter is young and, while he won the first time around against Los Angeles, it is hard to expect a pitcher to win both of his first two starts in the playoffs.

But there is something about the Mets this postseason, and they have the bats and the emotions following the Chase Utley slide in Game 2 to pull off the shock win in Game 5 and advance to take on the Cubs.

Prediction: Mets 4, Dodgers 1


ALCS: Blue Jays vs. Royals

With a slew of recent underdogs making their way into the playoffs on the American League side of things, there was plenty to look forward to in the ALDS series and neither disappointed, both getting pushed to a decisive Game 5.

The Jays escaped a much tougher ALDS series against the Texas Rangers than anyone expected, with the underdogs forcing a Game 5 with the series and a berth in the ALCS on the line. But after three straight wins and one of the wildest single innings in postseason history, the Jays are on to another stiff test in the form of the Kansas City Royals.

Last year’s casual darling, the Royals have capitalized on their recent success with another playoff series win, this time against the upstart Houston Astros. Despite a hard-fought battle from Houston, Kansas City came back from an early 2-0 deficit in Game 5 to secure the victory.

With the top two records in the AL set to face off in the championship series, sparks should be expected to fly, especially with fanbases as passionate as those in Toronto and Kansas City, but the Blue Jays’ bats will be enough to take them to the World Series for the first time since 1993.

Prediction: Blue Jays win series 4-2


NLCS: Cubs vs. Mets

For most of the season, the Cubs were thought of as a year away from success on the biggest stage. With so much talent but most of it young, many expected Chicago to push for a playoff appearance but not much else.

But now after dispatching the dynasty that is the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in the NLDS and beating out the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Wild Card Game, the future might be now for the Cubs who are looking like the best team in the playoffs.

With the best pitcher in the National League in Jake Arrieta, some of the best hitters in the league in Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs look better than they have in years. There is always a reason to be doubtful when it comes to the Cubs, but things look better than they ever have for the franchise.

You can’t rule out the Mets, who will be riding high after their tight series win against and who were pretty similar to the Cubs statistically during the regular season, but without the Cardinals or the Giants it is anybody’s ballgame, and the safer bet would be the team that has more talent, however small the gap is.

It will be a tough series, but in the end Chicago’s young talent wins out and sends the team to the World Series for the first time since 1945.

Prediction: Cubs win series 4-2


World Series: Cubs vs. Blue Jays

The Cubs might have the magic to end their streak of missing out on the World Series since 1945, but in Toronto they face their undoing and won’t be able to get that elusive, curse-breaking title.

Neither team has postseason experience coursing through their veins, but while Chicago has the young talent and drive to get past the Mets, the Blue Jays are flat out the best team in baseball and have been since a string of acquisitions at the trade deadline.

Bringing in players like David Price and Troy Tulowitzki to the already loaded offense the Jays had become known for in recent years was an inspired move that turned the season around for Toronto. The only thing left for them to achieve is a title and end a long streak of their own.

Chicago might be the sentimental favorites of many and has the much brighter future with the crazy amount of youth on its roster, but this season has been all about the Blue Jays and they will claim a much-deserved World Series title.

Prediction: Blue Jays wins series 4-3

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