|World Series Winner||
New York Yankees
The Houston Astros overcame the Boston Red Sox to reach the American League Championship Series (ALCS). The Astros won the first two games by the same scoreline, 8:2, at Minute Maid Park to take a 2-0 lead into the third game at Boston’s Fenway Park. The Red Sox hit back though, thrashing the Astros 10:3 to take the tie to a fourth game. But the Astros advanced with a narrow 5:4 win in Boston to book their place in the seven-game ALCS. They will face the New York Yankees, who beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2. The Indians had taken a 2-0 lead, before the Yankees won twice on home soil to level things up to take the tie into a fifth and deciding game, snatching the crucial win on the road.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, winners of the NL West Division and top of the overall National League, have cruised through to the National League Championship Series (NLCS). They comfortably dispatched the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0 with 9:5 and 8:5 wins at Dodger Stadium, before sealing their place in the NLCS with a 3:1 win in Phoenix. The Dodgers will now face either the Chicago Cubs or Washington Nationals, with their series currently tied 2-2. The Cubs won the first game at Nationals Park, before the home team levelled things up in the next match. The Cubs went 2-1 up with a win in Chicago, before the Nationals regained parity.
Despite a heavy 10:3 defeat in Boston, the Astros, winners of the AL West Division, were impressive in beating the Red Sox, winners of the AL East Division, and will go into the ALCS seven-game series with the New York Yankees full of confidence. The New York team finished second to the Red Sox in the AL East Division and had to come through the AL Wild Card game against the Minnesota Twins before taking out the Indians.
The Astros will fancy their chances against the Yankees, much more than if they’d faced the Indians. Their vanquishing of the Red Sox shows they have what it takes and should ease past a team that finished behind the Boston side in the AL East Division.
The LA Dodgers have been impressive all season and are many people's favourites to win the World Series. They will face either the Chicago Cubs, winners of the NL Central Division, or the Washington Nationals, winners of the NL East Division in the NLCS, and it is hard to see the Dodgers not progressing past either over a seven-game series.
Whoever the Dodgers face in the NLCS, they are more than likely to sweep aside. However, there will be good value for either the Nationals or the Cubs to cause what will be a big upset.