MLB: The October Rundown

The October Rundown

The Major League Baseball regular season has reached its commencement, and an elite eight teams remain in the hunt for October glory. A crazy season ended with some regular playoff squads in, some teams without a lot of postseason history in, and many high profile teams left out. Missing are the New York Yankees, home for the first time since 1993, when I was twelve. In are the Milwaukee Brewers, who hadn’t made the post season since 1982, when I was only a year old. Out are the New York Mets, the only team in history to blow a 3-game plus division lead two Septembers in a row.

The most important post season storyline has to be that of the upstart Tampa Bay Rays. A last place team with 96 losses in ’07 becomes a first place team with 97 wins in ’08. Everyone expected the Rays to stumble at some point and fall back down to Earth, but they proved all the nay-sayers wrong and held onto the division, edging wildcard winner Boston by two games.

The Red Sox, Angels, Rays, White Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Brewers and Phillies are all fighting for the World Series trophy. In the coming weeks, a champion will be crowned and one city will celebrate; only time will tell which Hamlet will be treated to a mid-week championship parade.

The American League:

Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels:

Boston takes on Los Angeles in the first round. It seems like every time both of these teams make the playoffs they face off in the first stanza. The Angels led the majors with 100 wins, but Boston wasn’t far behind with 95 victories. L.A. hasn’t been very successful recently in post season games against the Red Sox. The Angels got swept by Boston in 2004 and 2007 en route to Red Sox World Series titles.

Game 1: October 1st, 10 pm EST. Boston @ L.A.

Game 2: October 3rd, 9:30 pm EST. Boston @ L.A.

Game 3: October 5th, 12 pm EST. L.A. @ Boston

Game 4*: October 6th.

Game 5*: October 8th.

*If necessary.

Season series: 8-1 L.A.


Boston is a different team than years past. Gone is the bat of Manny Ramirez. Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew are ailing. Matsuzaka and Lester are top tier starters, but a healthy Beckett is key to the Red Sox Success. L.A. is solid from top to bottom and owned the Sox this season. This one is a toss up; both teams have a lot of post season experience. Angels in five.

Chicago White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays

I don’t think anyone wanted to face off against the Rays in the first round. The White Sox are the unlucky team with the task of finding a way to beat the Rays. This is the battle of big money against little money. Chicago has the fifth highest payroll and Tampa has the second lowest. The White Sox have a lot of power, but might need Carlos Quentin to come back from his wrist injury to get far into the playoffs.

Game 1: October 2nd, 2:30 pm EST. Chicago @ Tampa Bay

Game 2: October 3rd, 6 pm EST. Chicago @ Tampa Bay

Game 3: October 5th, TBD. Tampa Bay @ Chicago

Game 4*: October 6th.

Game 5*: October 8th.

*If necessary.

Season series: 6-4 Rays.


The White Sox barely made the playoffs, by beating the Twins in a play-in game. Last year, the Colorado Rockies beat the Padres to win the last playoff spot in the NL and used that momentum to take them to the World Series, the probability of that happening again is unlikely. Tampa held onto the AL East for most of the 2008 season and beat out the defending world champion Red Sox for the division. The Rays don’t have many household names, but they just seem to find a way to win important games. Tampa in 3.

The National League:

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs:

Since opening day, it is has been obvious that the Cubs are the class of the NL. While other teams struggled late to get playoff footing, the Cubs wrapped took a tight grip of the NL central months ago and haven’t come close to giving it up since. The Dodgers on the other hand didn’t look much like a playoff team until they made one of the biggest trades in baseball history with no time to spare at the trade deadline.

Game 1: October 1st, 6:30 pm EST. L.A. @ Chicago

Game 2: October 2nd, 9:30 pm EST. L.A. @ Chicago

Game 3: October 4th, 10 pm EST. Chicago @ L.A.

Game 4*: October 5th.

Game 5*: October 7th.

*If necessary.

Season series: 5-2 Cubs.


The Dodgers went from a team without an identity to Manny Ramirez’s (17 HR, 53 RBI and .396 AVG in 53 games) team in a hurry. Their rotation is still a bit iffy after Billingsley and Lowe while every one of the Cubbies pitchers can be dominant at times. To win, L.A. needs some unknown pitchers to step up big and be more than a one trick pony offensively. I don’t see it happening though. Cubbies in four.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies:

The Phillies and Brewers the teams that made the most out of the New York Mets late season choke. Milwaukee only finished one game ahead of New York, It’s amazing how a 162 game season can down to one game two years in a row. The Phillies used a great bullpen, including Brad Lidge’s 41 saves, and an MVP-like season from Ryan Howard to win the NL east for the second straight year.

Game 1: October 1st, 3 pm EST. Milwaukee @ Philadelphia

Game 2: October 2nd, 6 pm EST. Milwaukee @ Philadelphia

Game 3: October 4th, 6:30 pm EST. Philadelphia @Milwaukee

Game 4*: October 5th.

Game 5*: October 7th.

*If necessary.

Season series: 5-1 Phillies


The possible loss of Ben Sheets in the Brewers postseason rotation is extremely damaging for Milwaukee’s World Series aspirations. C.C. Sabathia has been in CY Young form ever since he joined the Brewers, but he can’t pitch every day. The Phillies have some big boppers who can quickly change the face of any game, and they will. Phillies in 5.

Chris Osburn profile picChris Osburn is a 26 year old freelance writer and The Father Life‘s resident beer columnist. On top of that, he writes about professional lacrosse for He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, and “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, visit his website

0 thoughts on “MLB: The October Rundown

  1. So far, the only prediction that looks good is the White Sox/Rays tilt.

    Who knew Boston would be up 2-0 heading to beantown? I certainly didn’t.

    The Cubbies, oh the Cubbies. Looks like they won’t be winning the World Series on the 100th anniversary if their last WS win. I feel for you, I’m a Red Sox fan.

Leave a Reply