As the 2017 MLB regular season is winding down, 10 teams look to continue their play in the postseason. Hypothetically, if the season ended today, the teams that would be in the playoffs are the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, and Cleveland Indians representing the American League. In addition, the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Los Angeles Dodgers would be representing the National League.
The two best teams in both divisions are the Indians and the Dodgers. Since they both have the best records in their division, they are both the number one seed. Being the number one seed gives you a big advantage because you get to play the lowest seed, or the team with the worst record in the playoffs giving you the best chances of winning that series.
On the other hand, the two lowest seeds have a play-in game, called the Wildcard game, to see who plays the one seed. This game is a do-or-die scenario. If you lose, you’re out of the running. In the American League, the Yankees and Twins will be playing each other in the Wildcard game as of now. However, there are still other teams that are fighting to play in that game. The winner of this game will move on to play the Indians in the American League Division Series.
In the National League, the two teams that are playing in the wildcard game are the Diamondbacks and the Rockies. Whoever wins this game will move on to play the Dodgers in the National League Division Series.
Since there are two more teams in each division, that means there are two more series being played, with one more in the American League and another in the National League. In the AL the two other teams that are playing in the ALDS are the Astros and the Red Sox. In the National League, the Nationals and the Cubs are facing off against each other.
The formatting for the MLB playoffs are a bit different than other major sports. Baseball is the only sport that has a one play-in game. Also, the Division series is best of five, while the other two series, the championship series in each division followed by the World Series, are best of seven. Other major sports, such as basketball and hockey, have a seven game series throughout the entire playoffs.
The 2017 MLB Playoffs begin on October 3, starting with the Wildcard game between the Yankees and most likely the Twins. Considering the contenders that are in the running to play, these games will not be ones to miss.