Special Edition: How can you not be romantic about baseball?

Baby, let the games begin ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Special Edition

From The Gist Team

Good afternoon!

It’s an extra good one because the most wonderful time of the year is here — October baseball, baby. After a 162-game regular season, the MLB postseason journey begins today with 12 of the league’s 30 teams competing for the World Series title.

  • Naturally, today’s special edition has everything you need to know before first pitch. Play — and we cannot stress this enough — ball.

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Quote of the Day

Quote

You have to believe that…there is something pretty special about this group and this staff and they were able to put it all together.

Miami Marlins general manager (GM) Kim Ng. Source: The Denver Post

— Miami Marlins general manager (GM) Kim Ng (pronounced ANG), on her team. After her historic hire in 2021, Ng is now the first-ever female GM to make the MLB postseason after making crucial Trade Deadline moves to propel the Marlins there. We’re not worthy.

The Breakdown

⚾️ The set-up

Source: Sporting News

The MLB playoffs consist of four rounds: the best-of-three Wild Card (WC) Series, the best-of-five League Division Series (LDS), the best-of-seven League Championship Series (LCS), and of course, the reason for the season — the best-of-seven World Series, which begins on Friday, October 27th. That’s a whole lot of baseball.

The 12-team postseason field features six squads from each league — the American League (AL) and National League (NL). Each is represented by its three divisional winners (East, Central, and West) and the league’s next best three teams (aka the WCs).

And with last year’s increase in playoff teams, the WC round has changed dramatically. As of 2022, there are two three-game series and all three of those games are hosted by the higher-seeded team. There’s no place like home, right?

  • The new format also gives each league’s top two regular-season teams a bye to the DS, where they’ll play one of the WC Series winners.

🔴 American League

SOURCE: MLB.COM

No. 6 Toronto Blue Jays vs. No. 3 Minnesota Twins: The lowly AL Central–winning Twins come limping into the postseason in search of their first playoff game win since 2004. With shortstop Carlos Correa and late season breakout star Royce Lewis hampered by injuries (but expected to suit up), it’ll be up to lockdown pitcher Sonny Gray to get the job done.

  • The Jays, meanwhile, are dealing with their own spooky October curse: Toronto hasn’t advanced past the Wild Card round since 2016. That said, the Blue Birds hold a defensive edge with hurler Kevin Gausman and former Twin José Berríos holding down the rotation.
  • To add to the excitement, these squads evenly split their six tilts this season. And while Minnesota owns home-field advantage, Toronto has postseason experience, not to mention stars shortstop Bo Bichette and first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

No. 5 Texas Rangers vs. No. 4 Tampa Bay Rays: A battle between two teams who got off to blazing hot starts, this showdown will be all about the offense. And it should be quite close — the Rangers won the season series 4-2, but only outscored Tampa Bay 27–25.

  • The Rays have become a postseason mainstay in recent years, including a 2020 World Series appearance, but will be looking to avenge their unexpected early bounce from last year’s Wild Card round.
  • Out in Arlington, the Rangers overcame brutal injuries to make their first postseason appearance since 2016. A major reason why? The 2022 offseason acquisition of shortstop Corey Seager, one of the AL’s best hitters.

No. 1 Baltimore Orioles (bye to ALDS): Grab a poncho because the Bird Bath is alive and well in Baltimore, with the Os returning to the postseason for the first time since 2016. Buoyed by their (eerily homogenous) youth movement, Baltimore went from a 100-loss season in 2021 to 100 wins this year.

  • The youngins to know? Franchise catcher Adley Rutschman and Rookie of the Year candidate shortstop Gunnar Henderson. They have officially left the nest.

No. 2 Houston Astros (bye to ALDS): It came down to the final day of the regular season, but the defending cheaters champs retained their spot atop the AL West, winning their sixth pennant in the last seven seasons.

  • And they did it with much of their power-hitting core still intact, including outfielder Kyle Tucker and the man everyone loves to hate, third baseman Alex Bregman. Add returning ace Justin Verlander to the mix and the ’Stros might just run it back.
Together with Corona Premier

🎉 Postseason party time

Source: Corona Premier

Ready to get wild? Tonight’s MLB Wild Card Series start calls for an epic watch party, and we recommend Corona Premier be at the top of your party-prep shopping list.

The official beer of tailgates, bonfires, and MLB, Corona Premier’s lighter finish makes it the beverage of choice for the postseason, helping you keep your chill, no matter how, ahem, wild this week’s games are.

  • Grab some Corona Premier and a bag of limes, and you’ll be set until the World Series starts. Cheers!

🔵 National League

Source: Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Arizona Diamondbacks vs. No. 3 Milwaukee Brewers: Don’t expect many runs in this one — the Brewers boast the best ERA in baseball while the DBacks scored just two runs in their last three games.

  • That said, there will be two electric hitters on the diamond: Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich, a former MVP who’s been looking like his old self, and Arizona’s Corbin Carroll, a Rookie of the Year contender also known for his incredible catches.
  • Arizona topped the Brew Crew four out of six times in the regular season, but face a tough challenge in Milwaukee pitcher Corbin Burnes and lights out closer Devin Williams. Heck, even the Brewers’ position players are throwing strikeouts.

No. 5 Miami Marlins vs. No. 4 Philadelphia Phillies: An NL East showdown, these squads are very familiar with each other, having met 13 times this season, with the Fish holding a narrow 7-6 edge. But the Phillies certainly have playoff history on their side — they’re the defending NL champs while Miami hasn’t played postseason ball since 2003.

  • Philly also ran much of that 2022 World Series–contending squad back, including former MVP Bryce Harper and Kyle “Schwarbomb” Schwarber. And they added shortstop Trea Turner, who’s been electric with the City of Brotherly Love behind him.
  • As for Kim Ng’s crew, the Marlins live for the pressure — they have the best record in one-run games this year. With the always flashy center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. leading the way, the Cinderella Story might just continue.

No. 1 Atlanta Braves (bye to NLDS): Leading nearly every major offensive category and boasting perhaps the most fearsome starting pitching rotation in baseball (when they’re healthy), it’s no wonder Atlanta holds the best record in MLB.

  • Their roster is loaded with talent, but one player stands out above the rest: outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., who this year became the first to ever hit 40 home runs and steal 70 bases in a single season.

No. 2 LA Dodgers (bye to NLDS): Death, taxes, and the Dodgers making the postseason. The 2020 champs will play October baseball for the 11th straight year, the longest active streak in the majors.

📺 How to tune in

Source: MLB.com

The road to the Fall Classic begins when the Rangers take on the Rays today at 3:08 p.m. ET on ABC in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada.

  • The Wild Card action will air on ESPN networks in the States before the later rounds air across Fox networks and TBS. And if you’re in Canada, you can tune in on Sportsnet all postseason long. Batter up.
Together with Corona Premier

The MLB postseason is serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep things light. Hold off on pumpkin-flavored beverages for another few weeks, because Corona Premier is the only light beer you’ll want to drink during baseball’s bonus month. It’s a fan favorite all year round, but especially during the MLB postseason.

The GIST's Picks

Peep our squad’s MVPs (Most Valuable Picks):

👋 Who to wish happy trails

Future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera, 200-career win pitcher Adam Wainwright, and two-time World Series–winning manager Terry Francona who are all hanging ’em up after lengthy, legendary careers.

🤙 How to maintain your chill

With Corona Premier. Sure, the first three days of the MLB postseason can be extremely stressful — but the smooth, crisp flavor of baseball’s favorite light beer will bring you back to an easy, breezy state of mind. Keep calm and baseball on.*

❤️ What to shop

This Baseball Is The Best t-shirt. The tee was created in support of beloved baseball reporter Sarah Langs as she courageously battles ALS, with proceeds benefiting Project ALS.

*P.S. This is a sponsored post. Keep calm and baseball on.

Fun and Games

Take Your Pick

Miami Marlins logo At Philadelphia Phillies logo

Miami Marlins

Philadelphia Phillies

-146 To Win +122
Now that you have all the info for the playoffs, who do you think will win Game 1 of this Wild Card matchup?

Miami Marlins

Philadelphia Phillies

Sports Betting Guide

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