Indians up 1 run against Yankees after two innings

Upsets aside, World Series should have an ex-Tiger or two involved

After two exciting Wild Card Games, I can't wait for the rest of the postseason to unfold. The pitching staff led the majors (not just the A.L.) with a stunningly low 3.30ERA in a year where scoring was way up overall, and the strongest part of it was middle relief, the exact thing that let the Twins down in the Wild Card game. NY has an offense that can hit the ball out of the park at any time with players like Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Todd Frazier.

"We're not done yet", Judge said after the 8-4 win at Yankee Stadium. (It's still a little awesome that Francisco Lindor didn't deposit one of those weak Aroldis Chapman sliders into the seats of a delirious Progressive Field crowd.) They have perhaps the best team in 50 years.

In the nation's capital, the Washington Nationals are entering the playoffs years of failed expectations on their backs. Neither slugger carried his team, but they rose to the occasion. But like Chicago, the star power their roster boasters, from Bryce Harper to Daniel Murphy to Max Scherzer, makes them a contender for the crown.

On Wednesday, the Yankees announced Gray will be on the mound at Progressive Field, while CC Sabathia will start game two. Francona preached to his players to "win today" and the Indians did just that, winning 33 of their last 37 regular-season games to finish with AL's best record and second-most wins in franchise history.

Cleveland is Las Vegas' odds on favorite to not only defend its American League title, but to end the longest world championship drought in major league baseball after losing to the previous owner of the dubious distinction past year - the Chicago Cubs. That helped the Yankees win 8-4 and advance to the ALDS where they'll face the Cleveland Indians.

Then there is Chapman, whose pitches topped 101 miles per hour or more 166 times this season alone, nearly double the amount produced by the rest of the league. Anything can happen to the Dodgers, but they're still the favorites to win the series, especially with Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Yu Darvish starting in the first three games. The Astros' success was something of a surprise this year, having missed the playoffs in 2016. Some fans believe the postseason is watered down by the addition of two more teams, even though MLB's postseason is still the toughest to crack among the four major sports.

The Indians, who were beaten by the Cubs in last year's World Series, are favored to celebrate their first championship since 1948. I believe that if the Sox play at full potential they can pull it off.

One World Series win goes a long way. "All that means is we played better than they did at that time". They also were second in A.L. ERA behind Cleveland. Carlos Beltran goes deep twice, giving him 18 postseason homers in his career - the same as another switch-hitter, Mickey Mantle, in a similar number of games (although Mantle hit all of his in the World Series, of course).