MLB Playoff Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need to Know!

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October is here!! Time to bring the Halloween decorations out ….if they aren’t already ;)

For most of us, October means picking pumpkins and apples on the weekends and enjoying the last month of nice weather before it gets really cold. But for baseball fans, October means PLAYOFFSSS!

Even if you haven’t watched a single baseball game this summer, October is the time to start. The playoffs are so exciting – each pitch means a team is one step closer to going home empty-handed or making it to the World Series!

I watch the Phillies on ESPN during the regular season – usually just the highlights or to find out the scores. But when playoffs come, I stay up late to watch every inning and root for my team. I even skip watching Modern Family, or Grey’s Anatomy to watch the game. (Ok, so I don’t exactly “skip” my shows – but I do owe a big thank-you to whoever invented the DVR.)

I may not know everything about baseball, but I certainly become a super-fan in October. So if you want to join in the fun, here is my MLB Playoff Cheat Sheet. It will help you know a little bit about what that baseball fan in your life is talking about!!!

MLB PLAYOFFS 101

All the teams in Major League Baseball are divided into two leagues: the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). These leagues each have three divisions (East, Central and West)

  • 8 baseball teams make the playoffs
  • 6 of those 8 teams are the winners of the six different divisions (AL East, AL Central, AL West, NL East, NL Central, NL West)
  • The other 2 are Wild Card Teams (The team with the best record but not the division winner – basically the best second place team – from the AL and from the NL)

Who Made It In This Year?

American League (AL)

  • New York Yankees (AL East) – With 27 world series wins already under their belt, this team definitely has experience in the post-season. Let’s hope that Alex Rodriguez (who just broke up with actress Cameron Diaz) isn’t too heartbroken to stay focused at bat.

 

  • Detroit Tigers (AL Central) – A solid team, but also in a somewhat weak division.  Pitcher Justin Verlander is the key to this team getting deep in the playoffs.

 

  • Texas Rangers (AL West) – They were in the World Series last year, and are looking to come back to WIN it this year.

 

  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Wild Card) – Down seven games behind the Boston Red Sox to make it into the playoffs, the Rays squeaked a last-second win from the Yankees to make the cut.

 

National League (NL)

  • Philadelphia Phillies!!!!!!!! (NL East) – Maybe I’m a little bit biased, but this is my pick for who is going to win the World Series! The Phillies have it ALL: strong pitching, big hitters and they ended the regular season with the best record in baseball.

 

  • Milwaukee Brewers (NL Central) – Never won the World Series; last playoff appearance was in 2008. If you like to root for the underdog, the Brewers are your team!!!

 

  • Arizona Diamondbacks (NL West) –  This young team has outfielder Justin Upton who is only 24. He’s sharing the with his brother B.J. Upton who plays for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They’re only brothers in the MLB to be ranked first and second in the first-round draft, and now they’re both in the playoffs!

 

  • St. Louis Cardinals (Wild Card) – Another Wild Card team who made a big comeback, the Cardinals were trailing 10 and a half games behind the Atlanta Braves. Their recent win streak makes them a HOT team going into the playoffs. Watch for veteran pitcher Chris Carpenter to try and help the Cardinals get past the Phillies in the first round.

If you don’t have a favorite baseball team, just pick a team to root for based on uniform colors, a favorite city, or that cute player (Chase Utley!) and enjoy watching playoff baseball, starting this weekend!

For game times, check out the MLB Playoff Schedule

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