The American League playoff bracket will be a very fun ride. The Astros, Rays, Yankees and Twins are all competing for the pennant. All of them have elite groups of players that could dominate a game at any moment.
Starting in Texas the Astros aim to take a second crown in three years. They are led by their stellar starting pitching staff led by the three headed monster of: Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Grienke. Totaling 1,671 strikeouts by the pitching staff combined with 1,166 strikeouts from the offense, both the best in the MLB. This makes them the clear favorite to win the AL.
Next we head north of Texas to Minneapolis where the Twins are one of the most underrated teams in this league. The Twins hit an MLB leading 307 homers, and the offense led the team to a 101 win season for the first time in a very long time. Following some early competition by the Indians, the Twins pulled away after a hot stretch of hitting.
Playing the Twins are another power hitting team, the New York Yankees. Led by Aaron Judge, Edwin Encarnación, and Giancarlo Stanton the Yankees have emerged as the second favorite out of the AL. However, the pitching staff has taken a hit with CC Sabathia being left off the playoff roster for a shoulder issue. Also young ace Domingo German also out following a Domestic Violence issue. James Paxton (15 Wins), J.A Happ (12 Wins) and Masahiro Tanaka (11 Wins), are also solid starters for the Yankees. But, the team will likely stay afloat with the offensive power.
Last but certainly not least is the AL Wild Card champion, the Tampa Bay Rays. The story of this team is obviously the excellent starting pitching. Charlie Morton posted a brilliant performance in Oakland, with one unearned run and five hits in five innings. The staff also includes last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Blake Snell and Ryan Yarbrough. A player getting hot at the same time is the man who earned the win for the Rays, Yandy Diaz.