Dodgers to face Braves in NLCS rematch, Red Sox, Astros to meet for AL Pennant

The+Dodgers+and+Braves+are+set+to+face+each+other+for+the+NL+title%2C+while+the+Astros+and+Red+Sox+are+fighting+for+the+AL+pennant.+

Matthew Tate

The Dodgers and Braves are set to face each other for the NL title, while the Astros and Red Sox are fighting for the AL pennant.

Jake Blancher, Associate Sports Editor

This past Thursday, Oct. 14 marked the end of the MLB divisional series. It culminated with the Los Angeles Dodgers edging out the San Francisco Giants in a game five battle between the two teams with the best records in all of baseball, not to mention bragging rights within the state of California. This west coast contest was a rollercoaster, as both teams alternated wins in the first four games. The star-studded Dodgers were finally able to secure the victory behind masterful pitching from six different players, allowing just one run in the nine inning game.

In the other National League matchup, the Atlanta Braves secured their spot in the championship series for the second consecutive year, dropping game one to the Milwaukee Brewers before winning three straight. Stellar pitching was the hallmark of this series, with just 18 combined runs over four games. 

The matchup between the Dodgers and the Braves is a rematch of last year’s NL Championship Series, where the Braves took the Dodgers the distance before falling in game seven. The Braves hope to flip the script this time around, led by reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman.

In the American League, the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros each took three of four in their respective matchups.

The Red Sox, facing the AL’s best Tampa Bay Rays, put on an offensive clinic, averaging nearly nine runs a game over their three wins. The impressive batting of Kiké Hernandez and recently recovered J.D. Martinez made the Rays pitchers appear like they were throwing batting practice, notching .450 and .467 batting averages over the series, respectively.

As for the Astros, they similarly capitalized on exceptional hitting throughout the series, mostly thanks to the work of Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez. Additionally, starter Lance McCullers was utterly dominant on the hill, giving up just one earned run and striking out nine over 10.2 innings.

This ALCS matchup is also a rematch, this time of 2018, where the Sox took four out of five before similarly beating the Dodgers in five in the World Series. This upcoming contest will likely be decided on whether the decidedly mediocre Boston pitching staff that ranked 15th in team ERA during the regular season will be able to withstand the offensive prowess of the Astros.