MLB Playoffs: red Sox, Braves and Astros advance

Three teams win in four games, Dodgers-Giants play a winner-take-all game five

By Marty Dubecky, Staff Writer

A gripping series with an American League Wild Card contender, a 3-1 series victory from the Astros and Braves and an ongoing battle between the top two teams in the MLB highlighted the American League and National League Division Series. 

The Boston Red Sox came into the postseason as the wildcard contenders. The American League Wild Card game pitted historic rivals —the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox— against each other. 

After a Red Sox defeat in a two-game series in September, the Yankees became the favorite. The Green Monster posed no problem for them, with outfielder Giancarlo Stanton smashing several balls over the left field wall and into the stands. 

His prowess stopped there, as the Yankees only scored twice in a 6-2 loss to the Red Sox on Oct. 5. With the wildcard game victory against their rivals under their belt, the Sox took on the Tampa Bay Rays in a five-game series for a spot in the American League Championship Series (ALCS). 

A Game One defeat led fans to believe the Rays might take command of the series. This idea quickly turned sour, as the Red Sox came back with a crushing 14-6 victory in Game Two. With the series tied 1-1, the Red Sox and Rays battled it out in a sprawling 13-inning game, complete with a bizarre ground rule double which prevented the Rays a possible two runs. A 13th-inning two-run, walk-off bomb by catcher Christian Vázquez. 

Red Sox catcher Christian Vázquez was a hero for the Red Sox in Game Three of the ALCS, hitting a walk-off home run in the 13th inning. The Sox, Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros all advanced to the next round.

With the excitement of Games Two and Three carried forward, the Red Sox took Game Four and the series. The Sox are now set to face the Houston Astros in the ALCS — a repeat of the 2018 ALCS. The Astros defeated the White Sox in their series 3-1.

On the other side of things, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants — the MLB’s top two teams this season — continue to butt heads in their series tied 2-2. 

With back-and-forth wins, the number one Giants took the first and third games of the series. The Dodgers have the second and fourth game. 

With the number one and number two teams going back and forth, Game Five and the spot in the NLCS could be either the Dodgers or the Giants. Game Five will be played today at 9:07 p.m. Their opponent will be the Atlanta Braves, who surpassed the Milwaukee Brewers in a five-game series, winning 3-1. The Braves will likely be Vegas underdogs against either the Giants or Dodgers, but they will still be tough to beat.

Pitcher Logan Webb will start on the mound for the Giants in Game Five, while Pitcher Julio Urias, who won 20 games in the regular season, will start for the Dodgers.