Major upsets shake up the MLB Divisional Series


Photo credit: Kelsey Stuart

By Briana Cruz

The second round of the MLB playoffs has concluded. It was an unpredictable series filled with significant upsets and incredible highlights.

The Divisional Series began on Oct. 11, which meant teams were one step closer to the World Series. This round was filled with intense rivalries and the elimination of two teams ranked first and second seeds.

Here’s what you missed.


(AL 2) New York Yankees vs. (AL 3) Cleveland Guardians

This was the only series in the Divisional Series that needed all five games to determine a winner. This may be due to the troublesome weather that postponed two out of the five games, but the back-and-forth battle from both teams kept the series alive.

The Yankees and Guardians split the first four games of the series, 2-2, meaning that a “winner-take-all” Game 5 would be unpredictable for both teams.

Ultimately, the offensive-heavy Yankee team decided the game very early on. With All-Stars Giancarlo Stanton and MVP front-runner Aaron Judge hitting home runs early in the game.

ESPN stats stated, “It’s the fourth time Stanton and Judge have homered in the same postseason game, the most by a pair of teammates in Yankees history.”

The Guardians could not match the Yankees’ energy and were eliminated as the New York Yankees moved on to the American League division series to face the Houston Astros.


(AL 5) Seattle Mariners vs. (AL 1) Houston Astros

In the shortest Divisional Series (lasting only three games), the young Seattle Mariners team took on the electric Houston Astros in the most uneven matchup of the playoffs thus far.

Despite the uneven matching, the Mariners kept up as best as they could against the Astros, a very experienced postseason team. Game 1 was led by the Mariners until the powerful Houston team exploded in the final two innings to win the game 8-7. It was much the same in Game 2, with the Astros winning 4-2.

The final game was silent from both teams, with no runs being scored until the eighteenth inning. Ultimately, despite holding them to no runs, the Astros struck in the eighteenth inning, with Jeremy Peña hitting the go-ahead home run. The Astros swept the Mariners to move on to the Divisional Series to face the New York Yankees.


(NL 6) Philadelphia Phillies vs. (NL 2) Atlanta Braves

The National League Divisional Series outcomes here are perhaps the biggest upsets of the Major League postseason. The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves in four games of intense baseball.

Game 1 finished neck and neck with a final score in favor of the Phillies, 7-6. However, the Braves shut out the Phillies in Game 2 and tied the series up with a score of 3-0.

Despite being shut out in Game 2, the Phillies exploded in Games 3 and 4. The Phillies eliminated the powerful Braves team and went on to face the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship Series. This loss for the Atlanta Braves lent itself to an interesting statistic.

According to the Washington Post, “Atlanta’s loss meant Major League Baseball hasn’t had a repeat champ since the New York Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000.”


(NL 1) Los Angeles Dodgers vs. (NL 5) San Diego Padres

This series was perhaps the biggest shock in the postseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers were expected to be in the World Series after their franchise record-setting season with 111 wins. However, the Padres eliminated the Dodgers in four games.

The Dodgers clinched Game 1, 5-3. However, they could barely scrape any runs in the final three games, allowing the Padres to capitalize on the silent offense. The Padres won three games in a row, advancing to the National League Championship Series, where they played against the Phillies.

The Los Angeles Times shared some harsh remarks on the Dodgers’ postseason run.

“This is the biggest disappointment in Dodger history,” the Times stated. “This is the biggest upset in Dodger history. In strictly a baseball sense, this is arguably the lowest point in Dodger history.”

Moorpark College student and Dodgers fan Marc Hawkins shared how he felt when he watched the Dodgers get eliminated.

“I was speechless, maybe because we are so used to seeing the Dodgers go deep in the playoffs, but I had assumed they’d do well considering their 111 win season,” Marc Hawkins said.

The National and American League Championship Series have concluded and the World Series Stage is set. To view the series’ schedule and results, click here.