Today and tonight, the American League Divisional Series kicks off. Before I get started on which teams are playing and what’s generally going on, I would like to issue a formal complaint to Major League Baseball—again—for scheduling half its playoff games when no one is going to see them.
Almost half of the Divisional Series games are on weekdays during the day. This is playoff baseball! Playoff baseball is the good stuff, when young budding stars can bat flip to their heart’s content and not get beaned for it! It’s when every pitch, every play, is exciting! What other sports league schedules their playoff games during a workday, for crying out loud? It’s stupid and the league should be ashamed of itself.
Anyway, now that I’ve got that yearly complaint out of my system, here are your two matchups today.
ALDS Game One: Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros
- Who you should root for: The Athletics, obviously. The Astros are a morally bankrupt franchise filled with a bunch of whiners. The Athletics are not. Plus, the last time that Oakland got past the ALDS was 2006.
- Old Royals friends: Sean Manaea, Mike Minor, Liam Hendriks, Joakim Soria, Jake Diekman (Athletics); Zack Greinke, Martin Maldonado (Astros)
- Fun fact: This is by far the most colorful matchup in the entire playoffs, and you should celebrate that it’s happening.
ALDS Game One: Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees
Who you should root for: The Rays, obviously. What kind of sicko Royals fan roots for the Yankees? Ew.
Old Royals friends: Brett Phillips (Rays), Erik Kratz (Yankees)
Fun fact: The Yankees have appeared in the World Series more recently than the Rays...by one year. The Rays lost the 2008 World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies; the Yankees won the 2009 World Series over the Phillies.