With the final week of the Regular Season behind us, the stage is set for the 2021 MLB Playoffs as 10 of the best teams in baseball lock horns once again in the quest to be crowned the MLB's 2021 World Series Champions. After 18 months of playing with no fans, the MLB's boldest and brightest stars, ensured every last one of the league's 30 stadiums was rocking from the beginning to the very end of the Regular Season.
Last gasp victories for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, in their season finales, clinched each side a playoff berth for the 2021 postseason where they will face off for the 6th time in the Playoffs for the American League Wild Card game in one of baseball's most fierce rivalries for the past 120 years. As a result, both the Seattle Mariners as well as the Toronto Blue Jays fell out of the playoff picture at the very last. Victory for the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, wrapped up the National League crown for the boys from the Bay, setting up an intense battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Wild Card game.
The field is set, here's a look at who's in, and who to watch out for in the 2021 World Series!
The Best of the Best: Final MLB standings | Wildcard standings
Rafael Dever's 38th homerun of the season, couldn't have come at a better time for the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox clinched the final birth in this year's playoffs on the back of a clutch four-hit, four-RBI afternoon from their leading man whose late game heroics propelled Boston past Washington in a thrilling 7-5 come-from-behind victory.
The Red Sox host the Yankees at Fenway Park on Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET on ESPN) for the American League Wild Card game, in what Boston hopes won't be their final tea party of 2021.
Looking to rain on Boston's parade, are the New York Yankees, sworn rivals of the Red Sox since the days of antiquity and the most glittered club in Major League Baseball history.
A steely performance from Aaron Judge pushed the Yanks past the Rays with a one-out single in the ninth inning and set the table for a tantalizing matchup against The Red Sox on Tuesday. Nothing less than a monopoly on the favor of the Baseball gods was enough to eek New York past Tampa Bay, and through to the Yankees' 24th playoff berth in the last 27 seasons.
Not to be outdone in the drama of Game Game 162, the San Francisco Giants clinched their first division crown in nearly a decade obliterating the San Diego Padres 11-4 to cap a franchise-best 107-win regular season.
The MLB's reigning champion Los Angeles Dodgers set to begin their title defense in the National League Wild Card game, against the Saint Louis Cardinals, whom they'll be hosting at Dodger Stadium on Thursday. Should the Dodgers emerge victoriously, they'll face the Padres in the National League Division Series with a chance to gain revenge on the latter for snatching the division title from their fingertips on the final day of the season.
The Milwaukee Brewers breezed past the New York Mets on the 26th (insert link) claiming an 8-4 victory on the day, as well as the National League Central title as they pursue their first World Series crown in franchise history.
With a 7-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on September 25th, the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League East crown for the second year in a row closing the season at a division best 96-59.
Fresh off last year's World Series defeat to the Dodgers, the Rays made it clear they have every intention of returning to the grandest stage in baseball.
The Chicago White Sox throttled the Cleveland Indians 7-2 on the 23rd of September, and with that victory became the fastest team to a division title in the 2021 season, when they clinched the American League Central division.
Their triumph in the American League Central division is a franchise first since 2008, and the sixth total in franchise history.
The Chicago White Sox will also be enjoying their first consecutive appearances in the postseason in franchise history. The White Sox will be looking to improve upon their first-round exit in last year's playoffs.
The St Louis Cardinals enter the 2021 MLB Playoffs at a blistering pace. After storming through the National League with 17 wins on the bounce, the Cardinals finally fell to the Milwaukee Brewers in a 4-0 defeat on Wednesday night.
The 2021 St Louis Cardinals put on a show for the ages in the regular season, their win streak the longest in the Major Leagues in nearly a century - when the 1935 Cubs blitzed through the league to 21 consecutive victories.
Four straight National League East titles for the Atlanta Braves came courtesy of a 5-3 triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies on September 30th. The Braves put on a historic season of their own in 2021, going 126 days without a winning record, the fourth most by a division champion since the 1969 season.
The Houston Astros extended their franchise record of five straight playoff berths in a 3-2 victory over the Rays on the 30th of September.
Tuesday, October 5th
American League Wild Card Game: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
Wednesday, October 6th
National League Wild Card Game: St Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Thursday, October 7th - 13th
American League Division Series: Tampa Bay Rays vs. American League Wild Card winner
Thursday, October 7th - 13th
American League Division Series: Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros
Friday, October 8th - 14th
National League Division Series: San Francisco Giants vs. National League Wild Card winner
Friday, October 8th - 14th
National League Division Series: Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Friday, October 15th - 23rd
American League Championship Series: AL Low vs. AL High
Saturday, October 16th - 24th
National League Championship Series: NL Low vs. NL High
October 26th - November 3rd
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OddsSeeker Expert Picks
Tampa Bay Rays (+250)
100-62 | AL East champs | 17.4% World Series odds
Without a single Triple Crown candidate, multiple players with 100 RBIs, or a record-setting second baseman - the Tampa Bay Rays still managed to storm their way to a 100 win season and grab the American League East division title along the way.
The Tampa Bay contingent will be relying on the sheer force of their collective will that propelled them to a centurion of victories and a league leading number of strikeouts in their quest to clinch their first-ever World Series title.
San Francisco Giants (+270)
107-55 | NL West champs | 20.4% World Series odds
The San Francisco Giants have indisputably been the best show in baseball this season, and their fierce battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League West title has pushed them way past what many may have imagined being possible with their ragtag roster of underdogs, castaways, and unknowns.
Nonetheless, the Giants of San Francisco enter the 2021 MLB Playoffs among those most threatening to snatch the title from the reigning champion Dodgers.
San Francisco Giants (+550) over
Bet on the best! Bet on the Giants - your 2021 MLB World Series Champions!
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