The 2023 MLB regular season is over, and the postseason is already well underway.
The top two seeds in both leagues – the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros in the American League, and the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League – got a free pass to the second round.
The rest of the teams weren’t wasting any time.
All four matchups in the first round were two-game sweeps, with the Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins knocking out the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays respectively.
In a wild twist, the bottom-seed Arizona Diamondbacks overpowered the three-seed Milwaukee Brewers, and most shockingly, the Texas Rangers dominated the Tampa Bay Rays, who finished with the second-most wins in the American League.
Somehow it got even more insane.
The Astros handled the Twins pretty easily, like everyone expected them to, but every other series was an upset.
The Diamondbacks kept surging, sweeping the two-seed Dodgers in dominant fashion, while the Rangers trucked through the top-seeded Orioles with a sweep of their own. All hell broke loose when the Phillies powered past the Braves, who boasted the best record in the entire league.
“I’ve just been shocked,” said Castleton sophomore Cody Morton. “They’re all ending in three or four games, and there’s been lots of blowouts. I expected it to be so much more competitive.”
For those keeping track, out of the final four teams left, there’s only one two-seed left, and the other three teams are four, five and six seeds.
“Not having any one-seeds left is really shocking,” Morton said.
The 2023 playoffs have truly been a wonder to behold.
It’s also very important to note that the New York Yankees didn’t even make the playoffs this year. Even crazier is the Yankees, the New York Mets, and the San Diego Padres had the three highest payrolls in the entire league, and none made the playoffs.
“The accusation for all these years was that the Yankees bought their World Series wins, but this is showing that maybe you can’t do that anymore,” said professor Flo Keyes.
Personally, I’m a fan of this postseason. I try to watch the playoff games whenever I can, and I’m not getting a chance to watch a lot of fun teams that I don’t watch.
“It just proves that it’s not about how you are during the season, it’s about how you are when this time comes,” Keyes said. “It’s fun to have the teams that haven’t spent a lot of time in the playoffs have a shot at it … it’s been monopolized by a handful of teams that always make it far into the playoffs.”
“It’s good for baseball, it allows fans of other teams that aren’t always that good to get a taste of success,” said Castleton student Forrest Peront. “It also gives fans a chance to see teams they’re not as familiar with, and players they might not know.”
I genuinely can’t predict who I think is going to win. The Diamondbacks have a young team of stars who are super exciting to watch, but that Phillies team that took down the best team in the league looks like a force to be reckoned with right now.
On the other hand, as much as I hate to say it, you can never count the Astros out of it because they somehow seem to find their way to the World Series every year.
But this Rangers’ offense is incredibly powerful with some strong pitching too. If anyone can dethrone the champs it might just be their division rival.
“I think the Phillies are going all the way,” said sophomore Colby Tucker. “It takes a special team to do what the Phillies just did, and I like those odds.”
My final prediction is Rangers vs. Phillies, Rangers win it in 6 games.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY OSCAR HAMRELIUS AND WALTER LUNDSTROEM
Sophomore Walter Lundstroem is pictured playing high school football in Sweden.