After the chaos caused by a pair of Game 163s, the postseason is set to begin.
For the first time in history, the American League boasts three 100-win teams. Although the National League doesn’t own the same type of regular-season titans, the parity in the Senior Circuit should lead to some compelling, and lengthy, playoff series.
In order to prepare you for what should be a memorable month, here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 postseason:
NL wild-card game
Cubs vs. Rockies
Despite finishing with the second-best record in the NL, the Cubs will feature in the wild-card game for a second time in the last four seasons. The Cubs and Rockies couldn’t have played each other any closer this year, as the two teams each scored 33 runs en route to splitting the season series 3-3, though they haven’t met since early May. Chicago should have a significant advantage playing at Wrigley Field, where they posted an NL-best 51 wins. Colorado, meanwhile, was just seven games over .500 on the road and has to fly in from Los Angeles the night before the game.
How to watch
Where: Wrigley Field
When: Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN, Sportsnet
|LHP Jon Lester (3.32 ERA)||LHP Kyle Freeland (2.85 ERA)|
AL wild-card game
Yankees vs. Athletics
For a third time in four seasons, the Yankees will play in the wild-card game. Advancing to the ALDS for a date with the Red Sox won’t come easy as the surprising Athletics aim to win their first postseason game since 2013. The two teams split the season series 3-3 and are both built to succeed in a one-game playoff, each boasting a top-5 offense and armed with a number of elite relievers.
How to watch
Where: Yankee Stadium
When: Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: TBS, Sportsnet
AL Division Series
Indians vs. Astros
The Astros took four of seven games against the Indians this season, but the two teams look different since they last played each other in May. Houston enters the postseason red hot, going 21-6 over the final month, and enter the series as the favorite. Cleveland has never really gone on an extended roll this season, but with the addition of Josh Donaldson to the lineup, the Indians have plenty of offensive power to knock off the defending World Series champs.
|1||Oct.5||TBD||Minute Maid Park||TBS|
|2||Oct.6||TBD||Minute Maid Park||TBS|
|5*||Oct.11||TBD||Minute Maid Park||TBS|
Red Sox vs. Athletics/Yankees
After finishing the regular season with the best record in the majors, the Red Sox secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason. It’s World Series or bust for a Red Sox team that posted a franchise-best 108 wins. Boston is the 19th team to win at least 106 games, and of those, 11 went on to win it all. Armed with AL MVP candidates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, along with AL Cy Young contender Chris Sale, the Red Sox have the pieces for a deep playoff run, as long as their bullpen holds up.
|3||Oct.8||TBD||Yankee Stadium/Oakland Coliseum||TBS|
|4*||Oct.9||TBD||Yankee Stadium/Oakland Coliseum||TBS|
NL Division Series
Braves vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers eeked out a division title after winning their tiebreaker game Monday, but the reigning National League champs should be considered favorites against the surprising Braves. Atlanta is back in the postseason for the first time since 2013 and it remains to be seen how its young core will handle the pressures of October. The Dodgers won five of seven games against the Braves this season.
|1||Oct.4||TBD||Dodger Stadium||FS1 or MLBN|
|2||Oct.5||TBD||Dodger Stadium||FS1 or MLBN|
|3||Oct.7||TBD||SunTrust Park||FS1 or MLBN|
|4*||Oct.8||TBD||SunTrust Park||FS1 or MLBN|
|5*||Oct.10||TBD||Dodger Stadium||FS1 or MLBN|
Brewers vs. Rockies/Cubs
The Brewers won a dramatic Game 163 to clinch the NL Central for the first time since 2011, giving them the NL’s best record and ensuring home-field advantage through the Championship Series. Milwaukee has a high-powered offense led by likely NL MVP Christian Yelich and one of the best bullpens in the majors. The Brewers will face either the Cubs or Rockies in the NLDS, beginning Wednesday at Miller Park. Milwaukee went 5-2 against Colorado this season, and are 9-11 against the Cubs, though they did knock them off in the tiebreaker game at Wrigley Field.
|1||Oct.4||TBD||Miller Park||FS1 or MLBN|
|2||Oct.5||TBD||Miller Park||FS1 or MLBN|
|3||Oct.7||TBD||Coors Field/Wrigley Field||FS1 or MLBN|
|4*||Oct.8||TBD||Coors Field/Wrigley FIeld||FS1 or MLBN|
|5*||Oct.10||TBD||Miller Park||FS1 or MLBN|
|Oct.12||NLCS Game 1||FOX or FS1|
|Oct.13||NLCS Game 2||FOX or FS1|
|Oct.13||ALCS Game 1||TBS|
|Oct.14||ALCS Game 2||TBS|
|Oct.15||NLCS Game 3||FOX or FS1|
|Oct.16||NLCS Game 4||FOX or FS1|
|Oct.16||ALCS Game 3||TBS|
|Oct.17||ALCS Game 4||TBS|
|Oct.17||NLCS Game 5*||FOX or FS1|
|Oct.18||ALCS Game 5*||TBS|
|Oct.19||NLCS Game 6*||FOX or FS1|
|Oct.20||NLCS Game 7*||FOX or FS1|
|Oct.20||ALCS Game 6*||TBS|
|Oct.21||ALCS Game 7*||TBS|