The Sports Report: MLB American League wildcard preview

(Submitted by Noah Warren)

October is here and so are the Major League Baseball playoffs, which mark the most important games of the year.

It starts with the American League and National League wild card games. They will be played between two teams that were not good enough to make the playoffs but had the next best records. It’s a one-game playoff and the winner will face the best team from the respective leagues.

The New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics will face off on Oct. 2.

The New York Yankees have been one of the best teams in baseball over the whole season. Their only problem is the Boston Red Sox have been better, and have bumped them out of a guaranteed playoff spot and down to the wildcard game. The Yankees have 100 wins — in most seasons that’s enough to win the division.

The Red Sox have almost 110 wins and will face the winner of the Athletics and Yankees.

New York has some amazing talent on the roster. Aaron Judge is arguably the biggest star in baseball, playing right field for the Yankees. He has hit over 30 home runs in both of his major league seasons. He had the highest strikeout rate in baseball last season.

Gleybor Torres plays second base and has emerged as one of baseball’s young stars. He plays solid defence and he’s part of their future.

Didi Gregorius is one of the best shortstops in baseball. He has over 25 home runs in back-to-back seasons, but he hurt his wrist after sliding into home base during the regular season and could miss playoffs. As a shortstop, Gregorius holds the team together.

No one expected to see Oakland in the playoffs. They have the lowest payroll in the league, meaning their player options can sometimes be limited. Even though they have no superstar players on the roster, they have been one of the best teams all season. They have over 90 wins and trail the Houston Astros by 10 games.

Khris Davis, the left fielder, has hit over 35 home runs. He’s the leader of the team and gives them a fighting chance in the wildcard game.

But some players have health problems on the Athletic team and that could mean trouble for their upcoming season. Starting pitcher Sean Manaea, a key player on the team, needs Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction and is out for the season. He would have started the game and the team will need to rely on backups.

The Yankees and Athletics have had tight games all season long. They tied their season series 3-3, so this should make for an exciting game.

The Yankees won a wild card last season and went deep into the playoffs. They were one win away from taking the World Series.

The Athletics return to the postseason after a four-year absence. They head into the game as a huge underdog, but anything can happen.

The game will be a must see.