After an exciting ALDS and NLDS, we look forward to the Championship Series. With two great matchups, you baseball lovers are in for a serious treat. Last night we saw Game 1 of the ALCS go to Kansas City after an incredible defensive performance by the Royals. By Oct. 25, at the latest, we’ll know who’s going to be facing off in the World Series. Here’s what each team has to do to make it there:
ALCS: Toronto Blue Jays v. Kansas City Royals
What The Blue Jays Have To Do To Win
Well, they’re already trailing one game after a great all-around performance by the Royals. The good news? David Price is on the mound next. He didn’t have a great ALDS performance, but the best players show up in the biggest moments, so look for Price to bounce back. On offense, it’s all up to the veterans: José Bautista, Troy Tulowitzki, and the hopefully-available duo of Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. There’s a lot of experience and power there.
What The Royals Have To Do To Win
Easy, keep playing the way they want to — small ball, inside pitching, and big-time hits. The big key for Kansas City will be the performance of the bullpen. The Royals have arguably the best defense of the remaining four teams, and if their deep bench of relief pitchers throw the way they did in the Game 1 shutout, KC will be looking at a second straight World Series appearance.
NLCS: Chicago Cubs v. New York Mets
What The Cubs Have To Do To Win
This recipe doesn’t change. Two things must continue to dominate: the power hitting, and the pieced-together bullpen. Chicago’s lineup is littered with potential home runs, so Kris Bryant and company will have to continue terrorizing pitchers, but that may not be so easy against the Mets’ rotation. On the flip side, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and the endless combination of relief pitchers have to come up big in clutch situations. The Cubs are 7-0 against the Mets this season, but it’s a clean slate now.
What The Mets Have To Do To Win
It all starts with Matt Harvey. He’ll set the tone for the whole series in Game 1. Will the Mets place any restrictions on him? Will we see him again if the series is extended? Who knows. For New York, this comes down to whether or not the likes of Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom can tame the young Chicago sluggers. There’s one big difference between this Mets team and the one that lost to Chicago seven times this season. Yoenis Cespedes. A monsterous bat like his could make all the difference, so he’ll have to be locked in.