|Although the Royals will be favored to win the American League Division Series, they have enough similar history to take the upstart Astros very seriously.
More»Astros celebrate Wild Card win, advance to the ALDS|
|There are some shots that you should never call. The expectations are too great, the odds too long. Jake Arrieta rolling through October, carrying the Cubs to a World Series title on his broad shoulders, is one of those triple bank shots to sink the eight ball, with everyone in the room watching. He might be able to pull it off, but it's unfair -- borderline insane -- to expect it.
More»Phil Rogers discusses NL Wild Card on MLB Tonight|
|Individual matchups aren't everything in the postseason crucible, but they do offer a few hints about what might unfold with pulses pounding and so much on the line. As the Dodgers and Mets do their prep work for their National League Division Series opening Friday night at Dodger Stadium (9:30 p.m. ET on TBS), reams of numbers will be studied intently. Every conceivable edge looms as a potential game-changer.
More» Cespedes on Mets' clubhouse chemistry|
|In the Wild Card era, teams have collectively logged a .263/.331/.417 slash line and scored 4.64 runs per game in the regular season. In the postseason, it drops to .245/.318/.391 and an average of 4.19 runs per game. So when the stakes are raised, production is lowered.
More»Royals attempt to make another World Series run|
|Houston clearly was the better of the two teams in this best-of-one scenario between the Astros and Yankees, but the score doesn't capture how uneven it was.
More» Hinch on Keuchel's dominance against Yankees|
|The tumult of 2014 notwithstanding, the Yankees decided to make a commitment to Alex Rodriguez this past offseason despite the fact he was coming off a season-long suspension and had undergone surgery on both hips.
|Jim Crane had a vision of what the Houston Astros could be from the moment he purchased the franchise almost four years ago. He entrusted that vision to general manager Jeff Luhnow. So this celebration of the franchise's first postseason appearance in 10 years begins with them.
More» Hinch, coaches celebrate playoff berth|
|On Sunday, the 2015 Chicago Cubs won their 97th game. At this point, there is much more reason to focus on what they have accomplished, as opposed to what they have not. The Cubs held up their end of the bargain on Sunday, finishing the regular season with a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. But the Pittsburgh Pirates refused to cooperate, defeating Cincinnati, 4-0, to take the No. 1 National League Wild Card spot.
More» Rizzo talks Cubs' upcoming Wild Card Game|
|Postseason teams are a collage, a collection, a comprehensive story of many men and many moments. But that doesn't mean you can't identify a single face in the clubhouse crowd whose individual story represents the big picture. On this Fan Crush Monday, these are the guys we believe best epitomize each October entry.
More» Altuve cracks 20 mph hustling around bases|
|Masahiro Tanaka's inaugural start in the postseason tonight already had taken on mammoth proportions.
More»Tanaka on pitching in the playoffs in New York|
|You could see the emotional release in those final moments on Sunday afternoon, as the Rangers finished off a 9-2 victory over the Angels to clinch the American League West.
More» Banister on the Rangers battling to win West|
|The 2015 Phillies finally pulled the curtain down on one of the longest seasons in recent memory Sunday with a 7-2 win over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
More» Asche launches walk-off homer, Phils win|
|Marty Noble, along with Phil Pepe, Bob Klapisch and others, shared Yogi Berra anecdotes on Sunday at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J.
More»Yogi Berra's life and career celebrated around MLB|
|Scherzer, who left the Tigers to sign a seven-year, $210-million contract with the Nationals in January, has been everything the Nats hoped he'd be, even if 2015 has been a disappointing season for the consensus pre-season favorite.
More» Scherzer K's nine straight en route to no-no|
|Welcome to the new and improved Cubs culture. Manager Joe Maddon was the primary architect of this development.
More» Cubs turn two to escape a jam in the 8th|
|This was one of those games that players on both teams might remember for the rest of their lives. At some point, it was as much a test of wills as it was a baseball game. One team punched, the other punched back.
More» Giavotella delivers a go-ahead single in 9th|
|The Cubs are building momentum heading into the postseason. Will it matter? Success in the final month of the regular season carries with it no guarantee of similar results in the postseason, particularly since the advent of the Division Series and Wild Card in 1995.
More» Cubs celebrate clinching playoff berth|
|Jake Arrieta finished his remarkable regular season in remarkable fashion on Friday night in Milwaukee, capping a second-half stretch for the ages -- and perhaps an NL Cy Young Award.
More» Arrieta goes six scoreless to earn 22nd win|
|With a one-game decider in each league to start October, you have zero scheduling concerns. It even works during those times when the regular season is extended for makeup games and tiebreakers. It also provides plenty of drama, which should include the Jake Arrieta-Gerrit Cole matchup in the NL Wild Card Game.
More» Arrieta one-hits Pirates over seven innings|
|The Yankees won their 10,000th game on Thursday night, and fittingly enough, the victory clinched a postseason berth for the 52nd time since the franchise was established in 1903 and came against none other than the archrival Red Sox.
More»Yankees win 10,000th game in franchise history|
|Conventional baseball wisdom holds that a hot September is an essential component to an October drive to a World Series championship parade. Recent history supports that belief.
More» Giants dominate Bucs, advance to NLDS|
|The Astros have come so far and surprised so many in this amazing season. So much youth and energy. Such a great ride. In the end, though, this final weekend of the regular season will define the previous six months. Will the Astros be remembered as a team that defied every expectation in a magical run back to the postseason? Or will they be the group that hit a wall in September (11-16) and blinked when the lights were brightest?
More» Carter, Rasmus lead Astros' rally|
|When Kevin Cash, who'd never managed a baseball team at any level, was hired as skipper for the Tampa Bay Rays last December, the feeling was he'd have to grow into the job. It would take a season, maybe even more. Cash has proven everyone who had that thought wrong. MLB's youngest manager grew up in a hurry.
More» Cash on lessons in first year managing Rays|
|There were bigger trades last winter, maybe even dozens of them. There were trades with much bigger implications. But was there a better trade than the one that the Astros and Cubs executed on Jan. 19?
More» Fowler drives in two with double|
|They were due to break through. This much is true. But mere patience alone is not enough to end a division drought the likes of which the Toronto Blue Jays had endured.
More»Blue Jays celebrate AL East division title|
|No player has ever represented baseball better than Jeremy Affeldt these past 14 seasons. As legacies go, that's about as good as it gets.
More»Affeldt on being the winning pitcher in Game 7|
|Winning ugly? That might have been a cute catchphrase for the Chicago White Sox back in 1983. But there's nothing ugly about winning. That's something the youthful Astros are learning in their effort to make sure they don't turn into pumpkins.
More» Hinch discusses Carter's clutch homer, win|
|Good never seems good enough and great sometimes gets topped by even greater. So go ahead and pick your own qualifier to describe the 2015 season, but make sure it's one you've saved for a special occasion.
More» Heyward makes great leaping grab at the wall|
|Although his future for next season is uncertain, veteran Torii Hunter is enjoying his opportunity with the Twins this season, as he has helped Minnesota contend with his clubhouse presence and performance on the diamond.
More» Torii's bases-clearing double adds to lead|
|No need for advanced analytics now; simple math will do. The Angels must sweep four games in Texas, starting Thursday night, to claim the American League West title.
More» Giavotella's two-run blast gives Angels lead|