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Heading into the postseason, standings show Major League Baseball is awash in great teams

04 October 2017

When it comes to the best record in baseball, the Indians are still alive in that hunt as well. Taking a stab at what it all looks like, let's get into it. An early 2-0 lead in Game 1 lasted for just a half-inning before the Yankees piled on the runs and won 7-2, with home runs from Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui.

While MLB has not had a team repeat as World Series champions since 2000, teams that make a World Series seem more apt to do it again, regardless of what happened in the regular season (see the San Francisco Giants in 2010, 2012 and 2014).

Zack Greinke is going to take the ball for the Diamondbacks, and while he's definitely one of the game's top pitchers, he's far from a sure thing.

From there, the board spreads out to the teams with Division Series home-field advantage, the Houston Astros (+500) and Washington Nationals (+700), followed by the Boston Red Sox (+800) and defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs (+800). You could even consider them baseball's version of Cinderella in this 10-team tournament for the 2017 World Series trophy. The NL Wild Card will be closer because D-backs' Greinke has been seesawing his performance in the postseason.

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So now that I've discussed the way I'm picking teams, I'll get to the actual picks. Jose Ramirez may still be the most underrated player in the game, and that pitching staff is good enough to shut the best lineups in the game down. Coming off a World Series victory, the experience should prove invaluable this season.

How is Max Scherzer's hamstring? With the postseason expanded to 10 entrants, the thinking went, franchises had little incentive to be anything more than pretty good, meaning more 92-win teams and fewer 102-win teams. If they can squeak by the Rockies and advance to the NLDS, don't underestimate their ability to slay the best of the NL West: the Los Angeles Dodgers.

They also lost in 1954 after going 111-43 during the 154-game regular season.

The Houston Astros suffered a similar fate as the Dodgers in that they ran away with the league's best record for so long that they were invariably destined to come back down to earth. One of baseball's best making his postseason debut against his pitching nemesis in a do-or-die game?

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"It lit a fire under everybody to get back there and win one more game", Miller said.

There is a huge potential difference between winning the division and going straight through to the best-of-five Division Series, compared with flipping a coin in the lose-and-you're-out Wild Card game. They can beat you on the mound or at the plate, and when you have the ability to bat studs like Alex Bregman in the bottom third of the order, it says something about your overall quality. The Dodgers are just loaded everywhere you look, and while the Cubs put it on cruise control at times this season, they'll need everything to break right for an opening at what's next.

As CBS Sports' Dayn Perry wrote in 2014 (summing up what many others were saying at the time), "It would be premature to bid adieu to the 100-win team, but perhaps we should prepare ourselves to be visited much less often by what was no so long ago a familiar kind of excellence". This is a series that features everything, and there's plenty of young stars on both sides of the diamond. The website lists the Indians as favorites to win the World Series at 3-1. After losing 20 of 25 games, the Dodgers finished strong, ending the season with six wins in their final seven games. "I really think that was just it".

Beyond the more straightforward marketing, YouTube and Major League Baseball will also tap players and YouTube contributors to create "original, World Series-themed content" that will provide behind-the-scenes looks at ballparks and other aspects of the World Series.

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Heading into the postseason, standings show Major League Baseball is awash in great teams