After what has certainly been wild divisional series play in Major League Baseball, the Championship Series are now decided as the Chicago Cubs face the New York Mets in the NLCS while the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS to decide what teams will play in the World Series.
The journey to get to these match ups has not been an easy one as three out of four of the battles came down to a decisive Game 5 which sparked some fireworks. In the ALDS it came with the seventh inning madness between Toronto and Texas and in the NLDS the Cubs clinched their first ever playoff series at home against division rival St. Louis in a game that had four home runs.
Game 1 for the Cubs- Mets match up is set for Saturday in Queens with Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and Cubs pitcher Jon Lester set to start. The Mets having a slight advantage with Harvey having an season ERA of 2.71 as opposed to Lester’s 3.34. Harvey also has two more wins and four less losses under his belt.
The Mets finished off five games better than the Cubs in the regular season. Lucas Duda led the team in home runs during the regular season with 27 while Daniel Murphy is leading the team in homers in the postseason with three and is tied with Yoenis Cespedes for postseason hits with seven. They also set the franchise record for most postseason runs in a game with 13 in Game 3 of their series against the Dodgers.
South Florida native Anthony Rizzo had the big bat for Chicago and led the team in homers and hits in the regular season. But in the postseason, Kyle Schwarber has taken over in both categories for the team. Schwarber especially shined in the series clinching performance against the Cardinals. Perhaps this will be he first time in 75 years the Cubs make it to the World Series, or even the first time in 107 years they win it.
“With all the talent we had and all the talent we were building everyone knew the Cubs were coming,” said Rizzo. “And we’re here and hopefully we can keep this thing going.”
During the regular season, the Cubs won all seven meetings with the Mets.
Game 1 for the Blue Jays- Royals series will be tonight at 8 o’clock in Kansas City. The starting pitchers set are Marco Estrada for Toronto and Edinson Volquez for the Royals. No pitcher has a clear advantage as they both have 13 wins but Estrada has a better ERA by .almost half a run per game.
The Blue Jays have lost two more games in the regular season than the Royals. Josh Donaldson led the team in home runs and hits. But in the post season he’s tied with Jose Bautista in homers (one of which was accompanied by one of the coolest bat-flips ever), and the post season hitting leaders for the team are Ben Revere and Kevin Pillar.
The Blue Jays have won the ALDS against the Texas Rangers and they seem confident.
“We proved something to ourselves,” said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. “We’re confident, and we’ll see what happens.”
Kansas City has two players with over 25 stolen bases in Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson. They also have five different players with over 150 hits in the regular season, and have Ben Zobrist and Alcides Escobar tied for the most hits in the postseason. They are coming off a tough NLDS win against the Astros.