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Come Wednesday night, the full bracket for the Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs will be set. Currently, six of the eight teams competing in the post-season playoffs have been determined. But who will the final two teams be? Which of the eight teams stands the greatest chance of winning the series? What is this year’s postseason schedule? Get to know the 2019 MLB World Series below.
Tomorrow and Wednesday: Wild Card games
For the MLB postseason bracket to be complete, each of the sport’s two leagues—the American League and National League—will have a wild card game to determine the final of its four teams competing in the playoffs. This game pits two randomly chosen teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs against each other, and the winner will advance to the playoffs. There, this team will face one of the three teams in its league that did officially qualify for the playoffs.
The wild card is essentially a new way—it was only implemented in 2012—to give teams besides the highest-performing ones a chance at a World Series title. This year’s wild card teams are the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics (American League) and the Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals (National League).
Predictions for the World Series
Currently, two post-season series are set: The New York Yankees will face the Minnesota Twins in the American League, and the St. Louis Cardinals will face the Atlanta Braves in the National League. Over the next two days, baseball fans will find out whether the Rays or the Athletics will face the Houston Astros and whether the Braves or the Nationals will face the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This remaining bit of mystery hasn’t stopped some commentators from making extremely premature World Series predictions. Some people are already pointing to the Astros as the likely World Series champion, and others think that the Nationals—a team that has long been seen as among the MLB’s worst—have a shot this year. However, since the Nationals might not even make it to the playoffs if they lose tomorrow’s National League Wild Card game to the Brewers, it may be too early to actually predict their standing in the playoffs. More predictions will likely emerge closer to the World Series, which is set to begin three weeks from now.
When to catch the postseason action
The post-season kicks off in full force this Thursday with the National League’s two Division Series. The day after, the American League’s Division Series will begin. In each five-game series, whichever team wins three games advances. The schedule is as follows:
- October 3-4, 6-7, 9: Brewers or Nationals vs. Dodgers (National League)
- October 3-4, 6-7, 9: Cardinals vs. Braves (National League)
- October 4-5, 7-8, 10: Rays or Athletics vs. Astros (American League)
- October 4-5, 7-8, 10: Yankees vs. Twins (American League)
After these games, the winners of each National League series will face each other October 11-12, October 14-16, and October 18-19. Likewise, the winners of each American League series will face each other October 12-13, October 15-17, and October 19-20. In each case, the first team to win four games advances to the World Series, which is also a best-four-of-seven series. The World Series will take place October 22-23, October 25-27, and October 29-30.
If you plan to watch the MLB postseason, find a complete list of games, times, and TV channels here.