MLB postseason begins

October is upon us, and in the sports world, that means one thing: baseball is on the center stage. It is probably the one time in the United States that the NFL takes a backseat to any sport. The playoffs that are about to kick off contain plenty of intrigue and storylines to follow as eight teams battle to make it to the World Series.

The divisional and wildcard races going into the final weeks of the season were nothing short of exceptional and served to set the stage for the battles to come. Anybody who follows the sport was glued to the television to follow the collapse of the Cubs, the Giants battling for a spot in the playoffs, Steve Finley’s heroics for the Dodgers and the shootout for the American League West title.

Now that the teams have been set in each league, the intrigue is just beginning. After the Astros buckled down and put their underachieving ways behind them, they will face the perennial postseason team of the Braves. Roger Clemens will play the role of the old-west gunslinger who returned home with something to prove as he tries to lead Houston to the World Series, a feat many would have thought unthinkable two months ago.

Playing in the other bracket in the National League will be the Cardinals, who boast a “Murderer’s Row-esque” lineup and the Dodgers. The Cardinals starting pitching is suspect, and if the Dodgers can stay close on offense and get to closer extraordinaire Eric Gagne, Los Angeles could turn some heads.

In the American League the Red Sox and Angels will face off. Boston’s Curt Schilling-Pedro Martinez pitching combination is nightmarish for any team to face, and it will be interesting to see if Anaheim’s big off-season spending can pan out and defeat the favorites from New England.

Rounding out the playoff scene, the Yankees are matched up against the Twins. This series features battles of opposites: the Yankees have a seemingly unlimited payroll facing off against the small budget Twins. Minnesota has a superb pitching staff, and could possibly give the Yankees and their all star lineup problems.

Looking past the first round matchups, there are big possible stories in deeper into the playoffs. The one series that seems to destined to happen features the Yankees and Red Sox again. The greatest rivalry in sports is awaiting the baseball world in the second round of the AL playoffs, and this season could be the Red Sox year to defeat the Yankees.

If the Yankess make the Series there’s a possibility of facing Clemens, their former ace.

The Yankees-Cardinals would be sure to provide an offensive explosion, with both teams featuring all stars at nearly every position.

The World Series is one of the oldest sporting events in the United States and also one of the most prestigious. The whole sporting world’s attention will be fixed on the annual fall spectacular, and this season’s finale shouldn’t disappoint.