By: Robert Bishop
Back again, and on Monday night, Patrick Mahomes put on a show while leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 34-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens. As is often the case, Mahomes displayed incredible poise under pressure and an innate ability to extend plays. Russell Wilson may be the NFL’s MVP through three weeks, but Mahomes continues to be the league’s top quarterback. The Chiefs will look to remain undefeated on Sunday in a hotly-anticipated showdown against the New England Patriots.
Baseball’s postseason began on Tuesday with a four-game slate of American League action. In the most exciting match-up, the New York Yankees erupted for 12 runs against the Cleveland Indians in a game started by AL Cy Young front-runner Shane Bieber. Gleyber Torres reached base five times to lead the offense, and superstar right-hander Gerrit Cole racked up 13 strikeouts across seven innings on the mound. The Yankees are up 1-0 in the series, and New York will look to move to the second round today. Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound for the Yankees, and Carlos Carrasco of the Indians will counter him.
Tampa Bay won a hard-fought game against the Blue Jays to take a 1-0 lead in its opening postseason match-up. Blake Snell worked into the sixth inning without allowing a run, striking out nine. The Rays entered the postseason atop the American League standings, but Tampa Bay is far from the favorite to emerge from the pack with a World Series berth. It will be a match-up of aces today as the Rays look to move on behind young star Tyler Glasnow. Toronto will counter with veteran left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Lucas Giolito flirted with a perfect game during his postseason debut with the White Sox on Tuesday afternoon, but the star had to settle for a merely dominating turn in a Game 1 win over the Oakland A’s. Giolito allowed two hits across seven innings of work, and the White Sox hit three home runs to take a 1-0 series lead. Oakland was arguably the best team in the AL for much of the season, but the A’s enter today’s tilt staring at an early playoff exit. Chris Bassitt, who was excellent during September, will take the mound for Oakland in a match-up against Chicago’s Dallas Keuchel.
Rounding out the AL field, the Houston Astros handed the Minnesota Twins a record 17th-consecutive playoff loss. The game was tied heading into the ninth, but Minnesota’s bullpen allowed three runs following an error on a would-be inning-ending force out. The Twins will look to end its incredible streak of futility today. Jose Berrios is slated for the start for Minnesota, while Houston has yet to officially confirm its Game 2 starter.
Four National League series will begin today, with the early game being a must-watch showdown between the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves. Though the Braves are the better team, Cincinnati is built for a three-game playoff series due to the presence of three legitimate aces in its rotation. Trevor Bauer will take the mound today, and given his tendency for dominance, the Braves could enter Thursday trailing.
Miami, a shocking addition to the playoff field, will take on the NL Central-winning Chicago Cubs. On paper, the Cubs are obvious favorites in the series, but anything can happen in a single game. In a ridiculous statistic, the Marlins franchise has never lost a playoff series. Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres will face the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals squeaked into the playoffs on the final day of the season, while the Padres have been arguably the second-best team in baseball all season. San Diego is building a long-term winner, and it will be great exposure for the franchise to showcase its roster to a national audience.
Lastly, the Los Angeles Dodgers will host the Milwaukee Brewers. The Dodgers are baseball’s best team, have been on the precipice of a championship for three years, and boast baseball’s most talented roster. As difficult as it is to cheer for the Dodgers, Los Angeles deserves to win a championship. However, the Brewers are not going to concede anything. Even heavily-favored, the Dodgers cannot assume anything. The randomness of baseball makes this a must-watch series.