Major League Baseball started its revised playoff schedule this week. The American League Divisional Series are set with the Tampa Bay Rays versus the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics versus the Houston Astros. Both of these series’ will have plenty of intrigue.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees
Well, here we go again. The Yankees and Rays will renew their AL East rivalry in this years’ ALDS. Back in August, the series got a little heated with a few batters getting hit and Aroldis Chapman throwing several 95-plus mph pitches around the heads of some Rays’ hitters. This has turned up the heat between the two teams. To make things even more interesting, the Rays won the season series 8-2. If the Rays’ pitching can handle the Yankee hitters, the Rays should win this series, but expect the series to go the distance.
Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros
If there was ever a series that should take place this year, this would be the series. During the offseason, Oakland starter Mike Fiers opened the lid on the Astros’ cheating in the playoffs. If the blood wasn’t bad enough between the teams, during a series earlier in the year, A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano, after being hit for the third time in the series, charged the Astros’ dugout, resulting in multiple suspensions. Oakland won the season series 7-3. The Astros made it look easy in the Wildcard round against the Twins; however, don’t forget that Minnesota has now lost 18 straight playoff games. Don’t look too deep into those results. Oakland should take this series in 5.
Regardless of who wins these series, the ALDS should be exciting. Game 1s begin on Monday, October 5. The Yankees-Rays will be playing in San Diego, while the A’s-Astros will be playing in Dodger Stadium.