The MLB’s regular season has drawn to a close as the baseball world prepares for the postseason. In the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies will be favored to advance to the World Series for the third consecutive year. Charlie Manuel’s Phillies will face the NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds in their first playoff series. The Reds are riding an emotional high after qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. The NL Wild Card-winning Atlanta Braves are another NL team full of momentum. Many neutral fans will be paying close attention to the Braves’ divisional series with the San Francisco Giants, as Atlanta’s long-time manager Bobby Cox announced he will retire at the end of the season.
Despite losing the AL East to the Tampa Bay Rays, Yankees fans are expecting to be buying 2010 World Series tickets come late October. New York will take on the mighty Minnesota Twins in the ALDS for the second year in a row. Twins fans have their fingers crossed that their team will fare better against the Yankees this postseason after getting swept by the Bronx Bombers a year ago. Meanwhile, MVP candidate Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers are scheduled to face the AL-best Tampa Bay Rays. After losing to the Phillies two years ago, Rays manager Joe Madden would love another shot at a World Series. No one knows exactly how the MLB postseason will play out in 2010, but it’s certainly safe to say there will be no shortage of storylines this October.