There’s plenty of star power in the MLB playoffs, but unexpected performances from surprise players could make the difference come October.
As usual, some of the brightest stars in the game will be featured in the MLB postseason this October.
One look at the potential matchups in the early stages of the National League playoffs alone should provide enough excitement for those who love to watch the best in the business shine on the biggest stage. The N.L. Wild Card game could feature an outstanding pitching duel between Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole, while Game 1 of the NLDS could very well be a matchup between Clayton Kershaw and Jacob deGrom.
On the American League side, MVP candidate Josh Donaldson leads a powerful Toronto Blue Jays lineup that looks like it will difficult to stop. Even so, the Blue Jays won’t have an easy path the World Series, as Dallas Keuchel, Prince Fielder and Lorenzo Cain could all stand in their way at some point.
However, sometimes star power alone isn’t enough to win a title. Many team’s playoff hopes will be dependent on unexpected performances from surprise players or x-factors.
The Kansas City Royals showed this last season by riding speed, defense and a strong bullpen to within one game of a championship. Even this year, the Royals have the A.L.’s best record with only a couple of players who could be considered national stars.
Every playoff contender features an x-factor that could make all the difference, whether it be a young call-up, player getting hot at the right time, or someone returning from injury.
Next: Los Angeles Dodgers: Corey Seager