The majority of the postseason drama in the division series came from the National League this year, but the American League has two teams that are a combined 7-0 in the playoffs set on a collision course with a spot in the World Series hanging in the balance.

The Toronto Blue Jays stunned the Baltimore Orioles in 11 innings in the American League Wild Card Game then proceeded to sweep the Texas Rangers in the next round. The Cleveland Indians swept the Boston Red Sox and will square off with Toronto in the American League Championship Series.

The winner will face the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals or Los Angeles Dodgers in the Fall Classic.

The Cubs ended the San Francisco Giants’ even-year magic by scoring four runs in the ninth inning of Game 4 of their series the day after San Francisco won a 13-inning thriller, while the Dodgers and Nationals will play a do-or-die Game 5 on Thursday.

With that in mind, here is a look at the updated postseason bracket, remaining schedule (courtesy of and predictions for which teams will clash in the World Series.


American League Bracket

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


National League Bracket

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


Postseason Schedule


World Series Prediction

The American League representative in the World Series is more of a straightforward prediction at this point because the Cubs don’t yet know their opponent in the National League Championship Series.

Cleveland was impressive against Boston, but its starting rotation injuries will prove costly in the ALCS. Mike Axisa of noted Danny Salazar has been out since Sept. 9 because of a forearm injury, while Carlos Carrasco is done for the season with a hand injury.

While Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported Salazar threw a bullpen session and could pitch out of the pen against Toronto, that will still put plenty of pressure on Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin as the three starters.

They were able to carry the load in the short series with the Red Sox, but Toronto’s loaded lineup will get to them early and tax a bullpen that relies heavily on Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. 

Toronto leads the postseason in runs and finished fourth in the regular season with 221 home runs. Edwin Encarnacion (42 homers), Josh Donaldson (37), Troy Tulowitzki (24), Michael Saunders (24), Jose Bautista (22) and Russell Martin (20) all blasted at least 20 long balls during the regular season, and Bautista and Encarnacion have combined for five in just four playoff games.

What’s more, Encarnacion, Bautista, Donaldson, Martin and Tulowitzki are all right-handed hitters, which limits the impact the southpaw Miller will have late in the game.

Indians outfielder Coco Crisp still isn’t intimidated, per Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun: “When it comes to beating Toronto, just like Boston we’re going to have to come out there and relax and play our game.”

Despite the confidence, Toronto will wear out Cleveland’s pitching over the course of the longer series. 

There is also something to be said for experience, and the Blue Jays reached the ALCS last year and eventually lost to the Kansas City Royals. That won’t be the case this time around against Cleveland.

As for the National League, the Cubs’ dramatic comeback win on Tuesday was important for more than just the victory itself. Chicago earned three days of rest in between series to reset a formidable starting rotation that led all of baseball with a 2.96 ERA. 

That will prove crucial against the Dodgers, who pitched Clayton Kershaw on short rest Tuesday, or the Nationals, who will pitch Max Scherzer on Thursday.

The Cubs have a deep rotation with Jon Lester (2.44 ERA, 1.02 WHIP), Kyle Hendricks (2.13 ERA, 0.98 WHIP), Jake Arrieta (3.10 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) and John Lackey (3.35 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) that gives them a chance to win any given matchup. It says something about Chicago’s pitching that Arrieta won the National League Cy Young last year and is the No. 3 starter this season.

They also have a strong bullpen that can close the door behind the starters with fireballers Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman.

The lineup includes likely National League MVP Kris Bryant—who slashed .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI—Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Dexter Fowler and dynamic youngsters such as Javier Baez and Willson Contreras.

That group doesn’t have to score a ton of runs with the pitching and the best defense in baseball. According to FanGraphs, the Cubs defense was responsible for 82 total defensive runs saved above average this season, which was a full 31 above the second-place Houston Astros.

Chris Emma of 670 The Score in Chicago pointed out the bullpen and versatile defense are a perfect fit for manager Joe Maddon:

The opponent doesn’t matter—the Cubs have the formula to win in October.


World Series prediction: Chicago Cubs vs. Toronto Blue Jays

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