2020 MLB PLayoffs: Good? They’re Definitely Surprising

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Here we are, day three of the 2020 MLB playoffs, and to be quite truthful, I’m a bit surprised thus far. When Joe Borek, Luke Garrison, Mathias Altman-Kurosaki and I did our Cheap Seats Chatter MLB Playoff Edition podcast on Monday, we all seemed pretty sure of some things. Now, I’m sure of one thing: we were all fooled about a whole lot of things.

2020 MLB PLayoffs: AL Wild Card Series

Sweeps Week

In just two day’s time, the Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees all advanced, winning two-game sweeps over the Minnesota Twins, Toronto (Buffalo) Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians, respectively. We all felt unanimous that the Rays would advance, but we felt it would go the distance. While we were split 50-50 on the outcome of the Indians/Yankees series, none of us saw the Astros advancing past the Twins, much less in sweeping fashion.

White Sox vs. A’s

For the sole remaining ALWC series, the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A’s will do battle later this afternoon, settling that best of three series, as well. After Lucas Giolito pitched a perfect game for 6-2/3 innings on Tuesday, Oakland rebounded yesterday, tying the series at 1-1 with a 5-3 win. Today’s start will be at 3:10 PM Central start at the Oakland Coliseum, though the starting pitchers and lineups have remained under wraps.

Can Chicago’s South Siders surprise an Oakland team that we all foresaw advancing? Time will tell, but the Sox have certainly played with authority, and to see them advance in this playoff season would certainly be a surprise.

2020 MLB PLayoffs: NL Wild Card Series

The Gimme Series: Los Angeles vs. Milwaukee

After Game-1 for each of the three NL Wild Card games yesterday, there were certainly a few more playoff surprises. To start with the “duh factor,” to no one’s surprise, Los Angeles disposed of the Milwaukee Brewers by a final of 4-2, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in that series.

The Dodgers look to be unstoppable, but there is a caveat: Despite seeing the MLB playoffs and winning the NL West several years in a row, Los Angeles never seems to be able to seal the deal when it comes to the Big Dance. For all of the powerhouse teams that city has managed to put together, the last time Los Angeles saw a World Series win was 1988.

Game-2 begins at 10:08 PM Eastern on ESPN.

Cards Surprise “Slam Diego” in Game-1

Moving down I-5 to the south, “Slam Diego” got surprised by Paul Goldschmidt and the Cards, as the Padres suffered a 7-4 loss in Game-1. The teams will meet again this afternoon at 7:08 PM Eastern tonight, allowing a chance for the Friars to save face and get themselves back in this thing. Righty Zach Davies will take the hill for the Padres, while Cards’ ace, Adam Wainwright (RHP) takes the bump for St. Louis.

With Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet both shut down for injuries suffered during the last week of the regular season, Padres’ manager Jayce Tingler is sort of at a loss. Hoping the Friars could have made light work of the Cards, Tingler is scrambling for his Game-3 starter, assuming that they get past Game-2, that is. This one starts at 7:08 PM Eastern and will be televised on ESPN.

Surpised? No… Shocked That the Cubs Lost to Miami

The 2020 MLB playoffs are probably Chicago’s last dance before Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein dismantle what could have (should have) been a dynasty. Despite Kyle Hendricks carrying a 1-0 lead (on a solo-homer by Ian Happ) into the seventh frame, the Marlins managed to make all hell break loose. Miami put up a five-spot in the seventh, exposing one of the Cubs’ greatest weaknesses: scoring runs when the chips are down.

This afternoon, it’s do or die for the Cubbies as they face Miami in Game-2 of the NLWC Series, beginning at 1:08 Eastern time. For the Cubs, RHP and Cy Young hopeful Yu Darvish will take the hill, squaring off against Marlins’ righty, Sixto Sanchez.

None of us thought Miami would get past Chicago, but here lie the Cubbies, backs to the wall. Game time 1:08 PM Central; televised on ABC.

Reds Trying to Make the Best of their 2020 MLB Playoffs

Despite losing by a final of 1-0 yesterday, the Reds surprised a lot of people, while setting an MLB playoff record. At no time in the past, has an MLB playoff game went scoreless into the 13th inning, a feat which the Braves and Reds accomplished yesterday.

The Reds look like they can hang with the Braves, but obviously, today is a must-win for Cincy or their 2020 MLB playoff bid ends. Scheduled starters include RHP Luis Castillo for the Reds, while the Braves will counter with RHP Ian Anderson. Game time 12:08 PM Eastern, with the game being televised on ESPN.

Like I said, good or bad, the 2020 MLB playoffs have definitely been a bit surprising thus far. Stay tuned, it only gets better from here… or worse, depending on who you want to see win.

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Ken Allison is the senior of two MLB Department Heads, as well as a writer and editor for Overtime Heroics. A life-long MLB fan, he's also written for CubsHQ and had the opportunity to try out for the Chicago Cubs in 1986.