Tag Archives: Mia Barahona

2022 World Series Preview & Prediction

By MLB Correspondent Mia Barahona

After a rapid thrilling Championship Series, the World Series is finally here! This year’s “Fall Classic” features the American League pennant winner, the Houston Astros, and the National League pennant winner, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Astros appear in their fourth World Series since 2017 while the Phillies are appearing for the first time since 2009. The previous meeting of both teams occurred in the 1980 NLCS when the Phillies won 3 games over the Astros 2 games, before Houston made the switch from National League to American League in 2013.

American League Championship Series Recap

The Houston Astros completed a four game sweep over the always heavily-favored New York Yankees. The series matchup between the Astros and Yankees marked the third time both teams have met each other in the Championship Series previously in an infamous 2017 ALCS and 2019 ALCS. This meeting marked the first postseason meeting since the reveal of the sign stealing scandal used for Houston during the 2017 season and an infamous Jose Altuve walk-off home run off of the Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman during the 2019 ALCS.

National League Championship Series recap

The Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres came into the postseason as massive underdogs with little to none expectations of competing for the National League pennant. Against all odds, the Phillies defeated the fan favorite Cardinals and defending champion Braves to advance; the Padres defeated the Mets and the profound 111-win Dodgers to advance.

The Phillies defeated the Padres 4 games to 1. Game 2 marked the first time that brothers have played against each other in a postseason game as a pitcher and batter: Phillies’ pitcher Aaron Nola against his older brother, Padres’ catcher Austin Nola.

American League Championship MVP: Jeremy Peña

Jeremy Peña came into the season as a rookie with big shoes to fill in after longtime Astros shortstop, Carlos Correa, signed a 3-year-contract worth $105.3 million this past offseason.

Peña not only helped the Astros win the American League pennant, but he ended his championship series campaign with a batting average of .353, slugging percentage of .824, and an ops percentage of 1.176. He hit a then game-tying 3-run home run off of Yankees’ starter Nestor Cortes in game 4 that led the Astros in route of a 6-5 win.

National League Championship MVP: Bryce Harper

When Bryce Harper debuted for the Washington Nationals in 2012 at the age of 19, he quickly gained a reputation of being a “five-tool” player with an arrogant attitude problem. After reaching free agency during the 2018-2019 offseason, Harper signed a then record contract of 13 years worth $330 million. In a 2019 MLB Poll, written by The Athletic, Bryce Harper was voted most overrated player gaining 62% of votes.

Harper finished his Championship Series campaign with a batting average of .400, hitting 2 home runs, 3 doubles, 5 runs batted in, and scoring 4 runs in a span of the series. With his campaign, he helped the Phillies win their first National League pennant since 2009.

Why each team will win

The Astros had one of the best bullpens and starting rotations this year. Their pitching was good during the regular season, but when it came down to postseason, they were lights out. Their pitching needs to continue their form to win the World Series.

The Phillies had no expectations to go this far in the postseason, but they went as far as making the World Series. Their success starts with their offense led by NLCS MVP Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, and Alec Bohm to just name a few. Their offense needs to score runs at every chance they get to win the World Series.

Why each team won’t win

The Astros’ offense is a force to be reckoned with the many talents of Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, and a rising star Jeremy Peña. But what about longtime Astros second baseman Jose Altuve? Altuve is currently in the midst of a huge slump this postseason while having a batting average of .094 and an OPS of .296. The Astros need him to start performing if they want to win with their calculated offense.

It is no surprise to anyone that the Phillies have two great starting pitchers on their pitching staff with Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Starting pitching will be a determining factor if the Phillies want to win. But, the Phillies need more from their starting pitching other than the obvious 1-2 punch of Nola and Wheeler.

Steal a base, steal a taco

Since 2015 and 3 times before then, Taco Bell has created a promotion that gives fans the opportunity to win a free taco when a base is stolen during the World Series. To collect your free taco, participants must be registered with the Taco Bell Rewards program while downloading the free Taco Bell app. To download the app, please visit your app store. To sign up for the rewards and learn more information, please visit tacobell.com. Enjoy your free taco!

World Series Schedule

All games on FOX

  • Game 1: Friday, October 28
  • Game 2: Saturday, October 29
  • Game 3: Monday, October 31
  • Game 4: Tuesday, November 1
  • Game 5: Wednesday, November 2*
  • Game 6: Friday, November 4*
  • Game 7: Saturday, November 5*

*If necessary (Best-of-7 series)

World Series Predictions

Who will win the World Series: the favored Astros or the postseason underdog Phillies?

Prediction: Astros in 6 games

MLB 2022: Championship Series

Division Series Recaps and Predictions for the Pennant

By MLB Correspondent Mia Barahona

Ironically, the Division Series featured three matchups of division rivals out of the four matchups. The highly anticipated matchups provided upsets from the lower seeds against the higher seeds, the first inside-the-park home run by a catcher in postseason history, extra innings heroics, and a lucky goose to remember.

Division Series Recap

NL: #1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. #5 San Diego Padres

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers
Winner: San Diego Padres

The Dodgers won 111 regular season games and had a huge advantage when it came to playing their NL West rival, the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers won the season series 14 games to San Diego’s 5 games and had a divisional lead of 22 games between the first place Dodgers and second place Padres in the NL West. The Padres and their lucky goose won the series causing an upset over the favored Dodgers.

In game 1, Dodgers’ starter Julio Urias made his first career game 1 postseason start, allowing 3 runs in 5 innings pitched while striking out 6 batters. The Dodgers started their scoring with a Trea Turner home run in the bottom of the first inning. The Dodgers added 3 more runs in the bottom of the third inning chasing Padres’ starter Mike Clevinger out, having only pitched 2.2 innings while allowing 4 runs on 6 hits. The Padres’ Wil Myers tried to start a comeback in the top of the fifth inning hitting a solo home run. The comeback wasn’t enough as the Dodgers won the game, 5-3.

In game 2, Padres’ Manny Machado started the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the first inning. Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning and Max Muncy hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The Padres regained the lead in the top of the third inning with a Manny Machado double and Jake Cronenworth groundout. The Dodgers soon tied in the bottom of the third inning with a Trea Turner solo home run. What should’ve been an inning double play in the top of the second inning, Dodger’s Trea Turner made an error allowing 2 San Diego runners on base that eventually scored a run from Padres’ Jurickson Profar RBI single. Jake Cronenworth added on a solo home run to seal a Padres win 5-3.

In game 3, Padres’ Jake Cronenworth hit an RBI single driving in Juan Soto that gave the Padres a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Dodgers’ starter Tony Gonsolin was shaky and left the game after pitching only 1.1 innings allowing reliever Andrew Heaney to give up a solo home run to Padres’ Trent Grisham. A Mookie Betts’ sac fly in the top of the fifth inning cut the Padres lead to 2-1. The Dodgers offense had many opportunities to score more runs, including a bases loaded jam in the top of the third inning, but failed to capitalize as they went 0 for 9 in runners on scoring position. The Padres eventually won the game 2-1, their first postseason win at home since 2006.

In game 4, after a 31-minute rain delay, San Diego native and Padres’ pitcher Joe Musgrove gave up a 2-run double to the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman in the top of the third inning to put the Dodgers up 2-0 in their elimination game. The Dodgers then added another run in the top of the seventh inning hoping that they could get 9 more outs and force a game 5 in Los Angeles. Other plans happened as the Padres’ Austin Nola started a 5 run comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning that completed the comeback and upset as the Padres defeated the Dodgers 5-3; The Padres earned a championship berth, their first since 1998. With the Dodgers defeat, they became the second team to lose a playoff series to an opponent with 22 less wins as the first was the Chicago White Sox over the Chicago Cubs in the 1906 World Series.

NL: #2 Atlanta Braves vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Prediction: Atlanta Braves
Winner: Philadelphia Phillies

The defending 2021 World Series Champions, the Atlanta Braves, have the highest expectations to repeat as champions once again. The last repeat champions were the ‘98-’00 New York Yankees and the Braves hoped to return back to the World Series starting off with a divisional series against their NL East rival, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves look to have had an easy series win but the Phillies got hot at the right time when it mattered and caused an upset as the Braves would not be looking to repeat as champions.

In game 1, the Phillies’ offense got off to a hot start when Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm hit RBI singles in the top of the first inning to put the Phillies up 2-0. Braves’ Travis d’Arnaud hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning to cut the deficit to 2-1. The Phillies added 4 more runs between the top of the third inning to the top of the fifth inning to extend their lead to 7-1. In a last hope of sparking a ninth inning comeback, Braves’ Matt Olson hit a 3-run home run to put the Braves within a run but ultimately fell short 7-6.

In game 2, a rain delay of 2 hours and 55 minutes didn’t stop Braves’ starter Kyle Wright from pitching 6 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and walking 1 while striking out 6 batters. A struggling Braves offense came to life during the bottom of the sixth inning as they scored 3 runs. The Braves 3 runs was enough to win the game and tie the series a game apart heading back to Philadelphia.

In game 3, the game remained scoreless until the Phillies’ offense exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the third inning that started with a Bryson Stott RBI double, a Rhys Hoskins bat slam for a 3-run home run and ended with a solo home run from Bryce Harper. The Phillies’ offense wasn’t done scoring as they scored 3 more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning that led them to a 9-1 victory.

In game 4, Phillies’ Brandon Marsh hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the second inning followed by an inside-the-park home run by J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto’s home run made him the first catcher ever to hit an inside-the-park home run in the postseason. The Phillies’ opened the scoring with a 3 run bottom of the sixth inning. The Braves’ solo home run efforts weren’t enough to tie as the Phillies added another run with a Bryce Harper solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning that propelled them to a 8-3 win earning a championship series berth, their first since 2010.

AL: #1 Houston Astros vs. #5 Seattle Mariners

Prediction: Houston Astros
Winner: Houston Astros

Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that the Houston Astros are a force to be reckoned with. Their offense is explosive and their pitching is fantastic. Arguably one of the favorites to win the World Series, the Astros will do anything to win and forget about the troubled sign stealing scandal.

In game 1, in his first postseason game since 2019, Astros’ starter Justin Verlander pitched a disappointing 4 innings allowing 6 runs on 10 hits. The Mariners had a substantial lead coming into the bottom of the ninth inning 7-5. Instead of Astros’ Yordan Alvarez being walked with 2 outs, Mariners’ Robbie Ray allowed a walk-off 3-run home run hit by Alvarez as the Astros won 8-7.

In game 2, Astros’ Kyle Tucker started the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. The Mariners quickly tied and regained a 1 run lead in the top of the fourth inning. As if Yordan Alvarez already hadn’t saved the Astros before in the prior game, he did it again. Yordan Alvarez hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning and it was enough to help the Astros win, again, 4-2.

In game 3, a new postseason record was set as this was the first postseason game in Seattle in 21 years. For seventeen innings, the game remained scoreless surpassing the previous record of fifteen innings between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Guardians in  the 2022 American League Wild Card Series game 2. Astros’ rookie Jeremy Pena hits a solo home run in the top of the eighteenth inning to give the Astros a much needed 1-0 lead. The Mariners couldn’t come back to tie and walk-off the game, sending the Astros to the championship series in six consecutive seasons with their win.

AL: #2 New York Yankees vs. #3 Cleveland Guardians

Prediction: New York Yankees
Winner: New York Yankees

The Yankees are one of the best franchises, not only in baseball, but in other sports from around the world. Their 27 championships are a record within the MLB, but the team always strives for greatness and a 28th championship. Their last championship came in 2009, and have struggled to meet the expectations since then. This year, slugger Aaron Judge had a phenomenal season to remember with 62 home runs, 131 RBI’s and a .311 avg. that could possibly win him the MVP and a championship back to New York.

In game 1, Gerrit Cole made his first postseason start at Yankee Stadium since becoming a member of the team in 2020. He gave up a solo home run to the Guardians’ Steven Kwan in the third inning to put the Yankees down 1-0. The Yankees’ offense came back to score runs in the bottom of the third inning, fifth inning, and sixth inning to give them the lead 4-1. Other than allowing a single run, Gerrit Cole pitched 6.1 innings while walking 1 batter, hitting a batter and striking out 8 batters. The Yankees won 4-1 and marked their sixth straight postseason win over Cleveland since the 2017 American League Division Series game 3.

In game 2, Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton started the Yankees scoring with a 2-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. The Guardians came within a run from an Andres Gimenez RBI single in the top of the fourth inning and tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run from Amed Rosario. Guardians’ Oscar Gonzalez hit an RBI single to break the tie and pull ahead 3-2 in the top of the tenth inning. Josh Naylor hit an RBI double to add an insurance run to propel the Guardians 4-2 as that was enough to win the game.

In game 3, the Guardians scored 2 runs between the bottom of the first and second inning but not before Aaron Judge hit a game tying 2-run homerun in the top of the third inning. The Yankees kept on adding on to their lead 5-3 hoping to win. In the bottom of the ninth inning down 2 runs, the Guardians came back to win 6-5. 

In game 4, facing elimination, Yankees’ Gerrit Cole pitched 7 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 8 batters. Anthony Rizzo started the Yankees’ scoring with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. Harrison Bader hit a 2-run home run totaling the Yankee runs to 3. The Guardians came up with an RBI single from Jose Ramirez in the bottom of the third inning and a solo home run from Josh Naylor in the bottom of the fourth inning to pull within a run, 3-2. The Yankees added their final run from a Giancarlo Stanton sac fly and forced a game 5 in New York as they won 4-2.

In game 5, Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton hits a 2-run home run to quickly put the Yankees up 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Aaron Judge adds a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning to extend the Yankees’ lead 3-0. Guardians’ Jose Ramirez hits a sac fly in the top of the third inning to put Cleveland in the scoring column but wasn’t enough as Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo hits an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Yankees ultimately won the game 5-1 and the series.


Championship Series predictions

NL: #5 San Diego Padres vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Prediction: San Diego Padres (series is currently 1-1)

If you were to tell me earlier this year that the Padres and Phillies were competing for the NL pennant with a World Series berth on the line, I would have laughed because the Dodgers and Braves are arguably the best teams in the National League right now. That is nowhere near today’s case as the Padres and Phillies caused their respective upsets and are now looking to compete against each other. Both of these two teams are neck and neck with each other in every category but the Padres have the slightest advantage in offense and starting pitching. The Padres can win, but don’t doubt the Phillies ever.

AL: #1 Houston Astros vs. #2 New York Yankees

Prediction: Houston Astros (Astros currently lead 1-0)

This is a highly anticipated series for numerous reasons. It’s a rematch of the very controversial 2017 and 2019 ALCS. The tension between these two teams building up from the past 5 years will most definitely make this series a must watch with intense moments and a potential winner takes all game 7. Both teams have high scoring offenses, dominating pitching staffs, and skilled defense. But to win the AL pennant, would be the Houston Astros because of their recent domination against the Yankees and how well they can perform in games as they are the better team between the two.

Championship Series Schedule

(Separate schedule for NL and AL)

*If necessary (Best-of-7 series)

NL games will be on Fox/FS1

  • Game 1: Tuesday, October 18 | (Phillies 2-Padres 1)
  • Game 2: Wednesday, October 19 | (Padres 8-Phillies 5)
  • Game 3: Friday, October 21
  • Game 4: Saturday, October 22
  • Game 5: Sunday, October 23
  • Game 6: Monday, October 24*
  • Game 7: Tuesday, October 25*

AL games will be on TBS

  • Game 1: Wednesday, October 19 | (Astros 4-Yankees 2)
  • Game 2: Thursday, October 20
  • Game 3: Saturday, October 22
  • Game 4: Sunday, October 23
  • Game 5: Monday, October 24*
  • Game 6: Tuesday, October 25*
  • Game 7: Wednesday, October 26*

2022 MLB Division Series Preview

By MLB Correspondent Mia Barahona

The Wild Card Series is called wild for a reason. There were many unforgettable moments to remember in just this series, so many that it’s hard to just choose one defining moment. Outstanding pitching performances across the games and towering home runs started the scoring. Epic comebacks from the underdog teams and an unfortunate end to two Hall of Fame careers. The first round of the postseason just started, and you can already see the thrilling excitement building up for the rest of the postseason.

Wild Card Series Recap

NL: #3 St. Louis Cardinals vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals | Winner: Philadelphia Phillies

During the 162-game season, the Cardinals were a workforce with the offense, defense, and pitching. On paper, the Cardinals had the series sweep; however, the Phillies surprised MLB fans by doing the sweeping instead.

In game 1, the Cardinals had a 2-0 lead going into the top of the 9th, but the Phillies rallied to score 6 runs to win the game 6-3.

In game 2, the Phillies starter Aaron Nola silenced the Cardinals’ offense allowing 4 hits and 1 walk throughout 6.2 innings while striking out 6 batters. The Phillies won 2-0 due to a Bryce Harper solo home run and a Kyle Schwarber sacrifice fly.

NL: #4 New York Mets vs. #5 San Diego Padres

Prediction: New York Mets | Winner: San Diego Padres

Going into the season, the Mets were considered the favorite to win their division. The final series against their arch-rival, the Atlanta Braves, saw the Mets get swept and lose out on the division and securing a wild card spot despite winning 101 games.

In game 1, Mets starter Max Scherzer pitched a disappointing 4.2 innings allowing 7 runs on 4 home runs as the Padres beat the Mets 7-1.

In game 2, the Mets turned to star pitcher Jacob DeGrom in hopes of forcing a game 3. He casually pitched 6 innings, allowing 2 runs and 2 walks as he struck out 8 batters. Meanwhile the Mets’ offense finally came to life in the 7-3 win, forcing a third and final game.

In Game 3, Padres starter Joe Musgrove pitched 7 innings only allowing 1 hit as Austin Nola started the Padres scoring with a 2 RBI double in the top of the 2nd inning. It was all San Diego would need as the Padres shut out the Mets 6-0. 

AL: #3 Cleveland Guardians vs. #6 Tampa Bay Rays

Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays | Winner: Cleveland Guardians

To say that the Rays’ team strength is their pitching is an understatement. Led by primary starters and sometimes relievers Corey Kluber, Shane McClanahan, and Drew Rasmussen, their pitching led the Rays to a team 3.41 ERA.

In game 1, the Cleveland Guardians’ Jose Ramirez hit a 2-run home run to give the Guardians a 2-1 edge in the bottom of the 6th inning in what turned out to be the final score in a game that only spanned for 2 hours and 17 minutes.

In game 2, pitchers from both sides pitched in a scoreless game that spanned 15 innings until the Guardians’ Oscar Gonzalez walked off with a solo home run to secure a spot in the ALDS with a 1-0 win over the Rays.

AL: #4 Toronto Blue Jays vs. #5 Seattle Mariners

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays | Winner: Seattle Mariners

It had been 21 years since the Mariners last made the playoffs following an incredible 2001 116-win season. They were the underdogs going up against a young sensational Blue Jays team.

In game 1, the Mariners’ Cal Raleigh hit a 3-run home run in the top of the 1st inning. Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah pitched 5.2 innings but the Mariners beat the Blue Jays 4-0.

In game 2, the Blue Jays led the Mariners with an 8-1 lead after 6 innings but that lead soon collapsed as the Mariners used their rally shoes in the 8th inning to a tie to eventually score the winning run in the 9th inning. It was the second-largest comeback in MLB postseason history.


Division Series Predictions

After an exhilarating Wild Card Series, the Division Series is finally here. The top 2 seeds from each league will begin playing and are ready to compete against the winners from the previous round. The winners will be looking to compete for a spot in the Championship Series.


NL: #2 Atlanta Braves vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Prediction: Atlanta Braves

The defending 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves are looking to repeat as champions; before they can get there, they need to beat their division rival Phillies in the division series to advance. The Braves are led by a great offense featuring Austin Riley, the great defense of Dansby Swanson, and the starting pitching of Max Fried. The Braves have already beaten the Phillies many times during the season. Winning the season series by 11 games to 8.

Will play the winner of LAD/SD in the NLCS


NL: #1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. #5 San Diego Padres

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have won a franchise record 111 games during the regular season and held an NL West division lead over the Padres by 22 games. The last time the 2 rivals met in the postseason was coincidentally in the division series in 2020. The Dodgers came on top then and will most likely come on top now, led by MVP candidates Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman and NL CY Young candidate Julio Urias.

Will play the winner of ATL/PHI in the NLCS


AL: #2 New York Yankees vs. #6 Cleveland Guardians

Prediction: New York Yankees

The unanimous MVP of the Yankees, and presumably the AL, is undoubtedly Aaron Judge. Aaron Judge had a remarkable season, not only for a Yankee but for his professional career; he is hoping to continue his fantastic season in the division series against the Guardians. The Yankees have All-Star pitchers Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes to back him up. The Yankees are ready to win at any cost.

Will play the winner of HOU/SEA in the ALCS


AL: #1 Houston Astros vs. #5 Seattle Mariners

Prediction: Houston Astros

The Astros keep winning, and with their starting pitching or offense, they will find a way to win again. AL Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander is pitching with a 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts in just 175 innings pitched alongside his 18 wins of the season. His experience in must-win games is what the Astros need to beat the Mariners.

Will play the winner of NYY/CLE in the ALCS


Division Series Schedules

AL Games (on TBS)

  • Game 1: Tuesday, October 11
  • Game 2: Thursday, October 13
  • Game 3: Saturday, October 15
  • Game 4: Sunday, October 16*
  • Game 5: Monday, October 17*

NL Games (on FOX and/or FS1)

  • Game 1: Tuesday, October 11
  • Game 2: Wednesday, October 12
  • Game 3: Friday, October 14
  • Game 4: Saturday, October 15*
  • Game 5: Sunday, October 16*

*If necessary (Best-of-5 series)

2022 MLB Playoff Preview

By MLB Correspondent Mia Barahona

Guide to the playoff format

For the first time under a new format, this year’s playoff bracket includes a total of 12 teams (6 teams each from the AL and NL), an upgrade from the previous 10 teams in the most recent years. The 6 teams from each league include the 3 division winners (West, Central, and East) along with 3 wild card winners.

The 6 teams from each league will be seeded according to their respective division wins and/or records among fellow wild card teams.

The top 2 seeds get a bye straight into the division series (best-of-5 games) while the #3 seed is hosting the #6 seed and the #4 seed is hosting the #5 seed in the wild card series (best-of-3 games). Winner of the #3 seed/#6 seed play the #2 seed in the division series while winner of the #4 seed/#5 seed play the #1 seed in the division series.

#1 seed: Best League record

#2 seed: 2nd best division winner

#3 seed: 3rd best division winner

#4 seed: Best record among wild card teams

#5 seed: 2nd best record among wild card teams

#6 seed: 3rd best record among wild card teams

2022 Postseason Field

Now that the playoff field is officially all set, let’s take a look at the teams competing for the title in 2022.

American League

#1 seed: Houston Astros

Players to watch: Yordan Alvarez (37 home runs) and Justin Verlander (1.75 ERA)

Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports

#2 seed: New York Yankees

Players to watch: Aaron Judge (record breaking 62 home runs, .311 avg. and 131 RBI) and Gerrit Cole (record breaking 257 strikeouts)

AP Photo/Adam Hunger

AL #3 seed: Cleveland Guardians

Players to watch: Jose Ramirez (126 RBI), Steven Kwan (.298 avg.) and Emmanuel Clase (42 saves and 1.36 ERA)

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

AL #4 seed: Toronto Blue Jays

Players to watch: Vlad Guerrero Jr. (32 home runs) and Alek Manoah (16 wins)

(Frank Franklin II/AP)

AL #5 seed: Seattle Mariners

Players to watch: Julio Rodriguez (28 home runs and 25 stolen bases) and Ty France (low 15.3% strikeout rate)

(Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports)

AL #6 seed: Tampa Bay Rays

Players to watch: Shane McClanahan (2.54 ERA) and Drew Rasmussen (125 strikeouts)

(CHARLES REX ARBOGAST | Associated Press)

National League

NL #1 seed: Los Angeles Dodgers

Players to watch: Mookie Betts (35 home runs) and Freddie Freeman (.325 avg. and 100 RBI)

(Jeff J. Snider | SI.com)

NL #2 seed: Atlanta Braves

Players to watch: Austin Riley (38 home runs) and Spencer Strider (202 strikeouts)

(AP Photo)

NL #3 seed: St. Louis Cardinals

Players to watch: Nolan Arenado (30 home runs and 103 RBI) and Paul Goldschmidt (.317 avg., 35 HR and 115 RBI)

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NL #4 seed: New York Mets

Players to watch: Pete Alonso (40 home runs and 131 RBI), Max Scherzer (2.29 ERA), Jeff McNeil (.326 avg.) and Edwin Diaz (32 saves and 1.31 ERA)

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NL #5 seed: San Diego Padres

Players to watch: Manny Machado (.298 avg., 32 home runs and 102 RBI) and Yu Darvish (16 wins)

(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

NL #6 seed: Philadelphia Phillies

Players to watch: Kyle Schwarber (46 home runs) and Aaron Nola (235 strikeouts)

(via: Philadelphia Inquirer)

Schedule & Predictions for Wild Card Series

Friday, October 7 – Sunday, October 9*

*If necessary (Best-of-3 Series) | All wild card games will be streaming on ESPN, ESPN 2 and/or ABC.

NL:

#3 St. Louis Cardinals vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Winner: St. Louis Cardinals | Will play #2 Atlanta Braves in the NLDS


#4 New York Mets vs. #5 San Diego Padres

Winner: New York Mets | Will play #1 Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS


AL:

#3 Cleveland Guardians vs. #6 Tampa Bay Rays

Winner: Tampa Bay Rays | Will play #2 New York Yankees in the ALDS


#4 Toronto Blue Jays vs. #5 Seattle Mariners

Winner: Toronto Blue Jays | Will play #1 Houston Astros in the ALDS