1. Once Game 162 Is Over, A Whole New Season Begins
In the past 18 World Series, there have only been two times that the fall classic did not represent at least one of the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Giants, or Phillies. Those two times were in 2005 (White Sox defeated Astros) and 2015 (Royals defeated Mets).
It’s nice seeing new faces in the playoffs. It was awesome to see the Royals and Mets square off for the world championship this past October.
Two teams worth mentioning are the Astros and Cubs. Both of these ball clubs made the playoffs this year as the second Wild Card holder. Both teams defeated their opponents while on the road in the Wild Card game to advance to the Division Series. The Astros were eliminated by the Royals in the ALDS, and the Cubs were eliminated by the Mets in the NLCS. This was the Cubs’ first winning season since 2009, and first postseason berth since 2008. For the Astros, this was their first winning season as an AL team, first winning season since 2008, and first playoff berth since 2005.
Another club to keep in mind: The Blue Jays. Toronto ran away with the AL East, making their first postseason appearance since 1993. They beat the Rangers in dramatic fashion in the ALDS, but were defeated by the Royals in the ALCS.
In today’s game, you can’t bank on one of the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Giants, or Phillies to be in every fall classic now. The Royals, Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, Astros, Pirates, and Blue Jays are here to win now, with many other teams ready to knock on the door as well. Having new teams in and out of the playoffs each year makes me excited as a fan of the game, getting to see all the new faces perform on the big stage.
All statistics used are courtesy of www.baseball-reference.com and www.fangraphs.com.