Just like that, the MLB season comes down to four teams: the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Milwaukee Brewers. It’s down to the top two teams in each league and it’s down to the race to eight wins.
Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros
The team with the most wins this season takes on the defending World Series champions in the American League Championship Series. The Red Sox are coming off an ALDS where they eliminated the Yankees in four games and the Astros eliminated the Indians in three.
Both teams are near perfect teams but both have their flaws. For the Red Sox, it’s the bullpen. In the four game series against the Yankees, the Red Sox bullpen allowed seven earned runs in 17 innings pitched, which was the worst ERA of the four teams remaining in the postseason.
Houston’s bullpen was good in the ALDS against the Indians, only allowing an earned run in 9.2 innings. For the Red Sox to win this series, they’ll need to make sure the bullpen can perform better than in the ALDS and try to score runs against Houston’s solid starting rotation.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Milwaukee Brewers
This series may come down to postseason experience. Since 2015, the Dodgers have played in 35 postseason games. The Brewers as a franchise has played in just 30. The Brewers did survive the Cubs in their one game playoff to decide to NL Central but that game had a guaranteed postseason spot regardless of the result.
The Dodgers starting rotation lead by Clayton Kershaw is a solid one but has shown it can struggle. Rich Hill and Walker Buehler both struggled in their one start in the NLDS against the Braves but the Dodgers offense was good enough to average five runs per game and push the Dodgers through to the NLCS.