By Jack N.
The MLB is known for its incredibly long 162 game season, more than double the games of a NHL, NBA, and NFL season. This year, there will be a game 163. Or, to be more accurate, two 163 games.
After 162 games, the West and Central divisions of the National League (NL) are deadlocked in first place, meaning all four teams will make the playoffs, but their seed rankings are yet to be determined. The first game, at 1:00 Eastern time, between the Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs, is an NL Central battle.
The Brewers, after winning their last seven games, have forced an improbable NL Central tie-breaker. Led by MVP candidate Christian Yelich, the Brewers aim to clinch a spot in the divisional series. Yelich, 26, now has an extra chance on Monday to complete the first NL triple crown in 81 years. Yelich has a solid lead in batting average, but needs at least one homerun and two RBI’s to tie.
The Chicago Cubs, 2016 World Series winners, are also looking to punch their card into the NL Divisional Series. If the Brewers or the Cubs lose this tie-breaker, they will have to play in the wildcard game against the loser of the 4:00 game, Rockies at Dodgers. The Rockies, winners of nine of their past 10 games, are set to play the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the season series, the Dodgers have been successful against Colorado, winning 12 of 19 and out-scoring the Rockies by 30. With the game held at Dodger Stadium, the odds are in L.A.’s favor. The winner of this NL West battle will play the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS and the defeated team plays the loser of Cubs v. Brewers.
With the Cubs being the season leader, they were picked to host their tiebreaker against Milwaukee. However, home field advantage might not be enough for Chicago.
The Brewers are on an insane hot streak as they come into Wrigley Field. Heath M., a senior at Duxbury High School, said, “The Cubs are always a safe and steady bet.”
On the contrary, MLB professionals believe the Brewer’s hot streak will to be too much for the Cubs and Milwaukee will advance straight to the NLDS.
Going into Monday’s 4:00 eastern time NL West game, each competitor is on a tear. The Dodgers have a great home record and the visiting Rockies have a great road record. In the season series, and in this tie-breaker game, the Dodgers have a slight advantage. The Dodgers, being generally a higher scoring and run producing team than Colorado, are the steady pick to win.
Even though all four of these ballclubs have made the playoffs, having to play in a best three of five is much better than having to play in a one game elimination.
Photo credit to Fox Sports: