MLB Postseason is here; what you need to know

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

October has arrived and that means one thing: playoff baseball is upon us. 

The grueling regular season that began in April has come to a close after 162 games. This season has provided fans with plenty of action, but the most exciting part is just beginning.

While Jacksonville may not have its own franchise, the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves typically serve as the city’s de facto home teams. Conveniently enough, both teams won their respective divisions and qualified for the postseason. 

It’s hard to ignore what the Rays have done. Despite having one of the lowest payrolls in MLB and lacking big-name players, they racked up 100 wins in 2021, and are considered by many to be favorites to return to the World Series.

 AP Photo/Eric Gay. (Elizabeth Munoz)

The Rays fell just short to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2020 World Series, while the Braves blowing a 2-0 series lead allowed the Dodgers to advance to that point. It’s safe to say that both teams’ shortcomings from last season will provide plenty of motivation to go all the way this time around.

Along with the Rays, the San Francisco Giants might just be this year’s biggest surprise. Facing the star-studded lineups of the Dodgers and the Padres, the Giants did the unthinkable and won the NL West in rather convincing fashion. 

Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s take a closer look at the opening matchups.

First-Round Matchups

ALDS: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

As mentioned, the Rays have a decent shot to make it back to the World Series. However, their revenge tour starts off against a pesky Boston team, who is fresh off of a wildcard beatdown of the New York Yankees. The Rays have taken three of their last four series against the Red Sox, but they have to take their competitor seriously in order to advance.

 AP Photo/Chris O’Meara.

ALDS: Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox

The White Sox will be making only their second playoff appearance in the last ten years. Last year ended in a first-round exit, but the Southside Sox are poised to change that with stars like Tim Anderson and Lance Lynn. Conversely, there hasn’t been a team more successful than the Astros over the past few years. Jose Altuve and company are going to have a much tougher path this year, though.

NLDS: San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The defending-champion Dodgers narrowly snuck in thanks to a walk-off home run in the wildcard game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants couldn’t be more different. Despite adding Kris Bryant at the trade deadline, San Francisco doesn’t have near the amount of star power LA does. And yet, the Giants managed to take the division anyways. This in-state battle could go either way, but it’s sure to be entertaining no matter what.

NLDS: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves

This is a series that isn’t getting much attention, but it certainly should. The Brewers have put together their best product in a long time, while the Braves battled adversity to win the NL East. Atlanta is seeking retribution from last year’s disappointment, but doing this against Milwaukee will be no easy task. 

The countless storylines, along with the return of full ballparks, is sure to make this one of the most exciting postseasons in recent memory. For a full lineup of game start times, check TV listings for each game. The action starts Thursday afternoon, and it’s safe to say we’re in for a good one.


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