By Joe Giordano || Staff Writer
As of Friday, only four teams are still playing in Major League Baseball. The Chicago Cubs will take on the New York Mets in the National League Championship, and the Toronto Blue Jays will take on the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship. Each of these four teams enters with an interesting back-story, and each is looking to end their World Series title droughts.
Of the four teams, the team who has waited the longest is the Cubs. The Chicago Cubs have waited 107 years since their last World Series title in 1908. However, this Cubs team doesn’t have the usual bleak outlook of a typical Cubs’ team in October. After a massive overhaul of talent, this young Cubs team looks primed for a title run. With the offseason addition of Jon Lester and the emergence of young stars Jake Arrieta, Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, and so many more, this Cubs team looks as sharp as ever.
On their way to the NLCS, they rolled through the teams with the two best records: the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. After defeating the Pirates 4-0 in the Wild Card play-in game and the Cardinals three games to one in a five-game series, the Cubs look as dangerous as ever. The combination of the Arrieta and Lester at the top of their rotation along with their potent young offense has the Cubs as many experts’ World Series favorite as they look to end their 107-year drought.
In the Cubs’ way are the New York Mets, who also are looking to end a 29-year World Series drought. The Mets defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers three games to two in a tightly contested NLDS on their way to the series. The Mets’ claim to fame this year has been their lockdown pitching rotation. Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey have anchored the team all year with solid outings and look just as sharp in the postseason.
The midseason acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes added a big bat to their lineup as they looked to close holes in their lineup. In addition, the veteran leadership of David Wright has Mets fans very confident that this is in fact their year.
In the American League, the Toronto Blue Jays will take on the Kansas City Royals. The Blue Jays also have not captured a title since 1993, when Joe Carter hit a walk-off home run to clinch the title for the Jays.
The Blue Jays made many key acquisitions at the trade deadline, adding starting pitcher David Price and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to an already potent starting lineup, which includes the always-dangerous Jose Bautista and the MVP favorite Josh Donaldson. The Blue Jays overcame a two game deficit in the ALDS against the Texas Rangers and look to keep the momentum going when they travel to Kansas City. After a hot second half of the year, the Blue Jays seem ready to go in what should be an amazing series.
On the other side, the defending American League champion Kansas City Royals come into the ALCS after a comeback of their own against the Houston Astros. After not capturing a title since 1985, the Royals seemed ready to end the drought last year when they were defeated in a tight series against the San Francisco Giants in seven games. With many of their starters, including Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, and Alex Gordon, returning this year, the Royals seem ready to get over the hump and finally capture the World Series that just escaped their grasp last year.
The addition of Johnny Cueto in their starting rotation was crucial and one that could offset David Price in the end and should lead to amazing pitching matchups.
Both the American League and National League Series will include tons of exciting action, high level coaching and fundamental baseball. No matter the result, one of these four cities will finally end their World Series drought and bring an end to what has been a very exciting season of baseball.
Sophomore Joseph Giordano is a staff writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.