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2022 League Championship Series Preview

The ALCS renews a recently bitter rivalry, while the NLCS features a pair of underdogs

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 3 months ago 4 min read
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October 18, 2022 will go down in history as the most unprecedented date in MLB history. For the first time ever, two postseason rounds overlapped, as less than an hour after Game Five of the American League Division Series ended, the League Championship Series kicked off. The League Championship Series (LCS) was introduced as a result of MLB splitting the American and National Leagues into two divisions, East and West, in 1969. Before then, the league standings determined the pennants, but with this format, the winners of the East and West Divisions in each league would face off in the LCS, which was introduced as a best-of-five series to determine who wins the pennant and advance to the World Series. The LCS served as MLB's very first playoff round, and it would be extended to a best-of-seven format in 1985. The LCS served as the opening round of the MLB postseason from 1969 until 1993.

I do enjoy the LCS, because the margin of error increases a bit, and it is the last stop before the World Series. Similar to the Conference Finals in the NBA and NHL, and the Conference Championship in the NFL, the LCS has a lot of pomp and circumstance, with the two winners going on to play for all of the marbles. This year is definitely no different. The four teams left in this year's postseason are all hungry for that trophy, and they are as follows:

American League Championship Series

The Yankees and Astros meet in the ALCS for the third time in six seasons

We all saw this coming a mile away. I wanted this so badly, and here it is: the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees facing off in this year's American League Championship Series. These two teams have stood above all the rest for a few years now, and with the way both teams exploded in this season, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that they would meet for the pennant. The Astros and Yankees appear to be baseball's version of the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL, and (currently) the Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL. However, as we know, the rivalry was created via nefarious means.

Houston's immoral 2017 run came at the expense of the Yankees before it plagued the Dodgers that year, and ever since it was unveiled prior to the 2020 season, Yankees fans have let the Astros--mainly Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, and Carlos Correa (who went to the Twins, but is now a free agent)--have it. Another thing that has haunted the Yankees: they have never beaten the Astros in the postseason. This is Houston's 10th season in the American League, yet the Yankees have already been plagued by Houston three times in the postseason; the 2015 Wild Card Game, and the 2017 and 2019 ALCS. The Yankees look to change that, and from what I've seen in the ALDS, it looks like that narrative may finally change.

In the ALDS, the Astros swept the Seattle Mariners, while the Yankees needed the maximum five games to eliminate the Cleveland Guardians. The Astros won the season series, 5-2, over the Yankees.

National League Championship Series

Neither the Padres nor Phillies won 90 games this season

I have a question. Who here had the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies as the last two teams standing in the National League? This was really supposed to be Dodgers vs Braves Part III. I myself had the Dodgers and the New York Mets going at it. Yet when the smoke cleared in the senior circuit, the Padres and the Phillies were the only teams left, and the fact that they are is just epic in its own right. Let's start with the Padres, who haven't had a lot to cheer about since debuting in MLB in 1969. They've only won two pennants (1984 and 1998) and they came off a very disappointing season where they fell very short of expectations, yet against all odds, the Padres became one of the Final Four in 2022, doing so thanks to a very lucrative trade deadline, as well as the efforts of players such as Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth.

The Phillies are in a dream season; first postseason appearance since 2011, and are playing to win their first pennant since 2009. For Bryce Harper, it's a monkey off his back. He had never won a postseason series; he was part of the failed Washington Nationals teams who couldn't get past the NLDS, and on the same year that Harper signed his big deal with the Phils, the Nationals run the table and win the World Series. He suffered through two failed seasons until the team finally got rid of the reason for their woes (Joe Girardi), and reached the postseason. They became the very first #6 seed to win a series, and the first to reach the LCS. Will they become the first #6 seed to win a pennant? Time will tell.

The Padres defeated not one, but two 100-win teams to get this far: the New York Mets (Wild Card Series) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (NLDS). The Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLWCS, and the defending champion Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. This is the first postseason meeting between the Padres and Phillies, and regarding the season series, the Phillies won, 4-3.

Regarding TV rights, the ALCS will air in its entirety on TBS, while FOX and FS1 will carry the NLCS, part of the annual rotation between the networks. The last round before the Fall Classic is here, and it should be quite thrilling!

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy

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