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Wednesday MLB playoffs open thread

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The Yankees have found new life against the Astros, while the Cubs look to have no life at all against the Dodgers. This could be the last night of the year with two baseball games.

League Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Three Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Much to my chagrin, the Yankees are going and doing it in their series against the Astros. As you know, of course, things are all knotted up in the ALCS now. If it were any team other than the Yankees or the Red Sox, it'd be exciting to see the team with a lot of young guys storming back to tie the anointed favorites who won over 100 games in the regular season.

The Yankees by default can never be the plucky underdogs - and yet, these Yankees are, or would be if they were playing in Minnesota or Wisconsin or Washington state. No one believed in them, et cetera, and yet, here they have made a series of it. They are exploiting Astros flaws in a big way, including a bullpen weakness. I guess the Astros should have offered more to get Zach Britton.

Should be a good one tonight as Dallas Keuchel faces off against Masahiro Tanaka. This is the stuff that postseason greatness is made up of. Two great starting pitchers squaring off against the AL's two most-potent regular season offenses, with the series tied up at 2-2, looking to gain an edge.

Much less interesting is the NLCS, where the Cubs look to be clearly not in the same class as the Dodgers. Their bullpen is also trash, with one particular reliever, Carl Edwards Jr., having the kind of ongoing disaster that might make one wonder if he will ever be able to be a successful professional again.

Down to their last game, the Cubs turn to former Oriole Jake Arrieta, who looked a lot like the Orioles version of Arrieta the last time he pitched this postseason. It really is something remarkable that the Nationals could not even beat this Cubs team. Too bad, so sad.

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS NEW YORK YANKEES
George Springer - CF Brett Gardner - LF
Josh Reddick - RF Aaron Judge - RF
Jose Altuve - 2B Gary Sanchez - C
Carlos Correa - SS Didi Gregorius - SS
Yulieski Gurriel - 1B Aaron Hicks - CF
Alex Bregman - 3B Starlin Castro - 2B
Carlos Beltran - DH Greg Bird - 1B
Marwin Gonzalez - LF Todd Frazier - 3B
Brian McCann - C Chase Headley - DH
Dallas Keuchel - LHP Masahiro Tanaka - RHP