Expect to hear the date Oct. 14, 1908, a lot this month. On that day, the Chicago Cubs sealed a five-game World Series win over the Detroit Tigers. The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since, and haven’t appeared in the Fall Classic since 1945. Everything from a goat to a headphone-clad fan trying to snag a foul ball have borne the blame for decades of lovable losses. But all that agony could turn to ecstasy at last for the Cubs’ faithful. The Cubs have the best team in MLB with a starting rotation including Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel, and a lineup featuring Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist and Javier Baez. Which begs the question: What odd twist of fate will foil the Cubs this year?
Teams cross the pennant race finish line on Oct. 2, the final day of the MLB regular season. In the American League, the Boston Red Sox clinched the East, the Cleveland Indians grabbed the Central and the Texas Rangers walked away with the West. The AL wild-card will come down to the wire with the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles in a battle for a berth. In the National League, the Washington Nationals handily won the East, the Cubs cruised through the Central, and the West was won by the L.A. Dodgers. The San Francisco Giants and the N.Y. Mets have the inside track to the NL wild-card.
The postseason begins with tiebreaker games (if needed) Oct. 3 on ESPN. The win-or-go-home wild-card games are Oct. 4 on TBS for the AL and Oct. 5 on ESPN for the NL. TBS airs the best-of-five-game AL Division Series beginning Oct. 6 and the best-of-seven AL Championship Series beginning Oct. 14. FS1 and MLB Network share coverage of the NL Division Series beginning Oct. 7, and FS1 airs the NL Championship Series beginning Oct. 15. FOX again has exclusive coverage of the World Series, which begins Oct. 25 at the home park of the AL champion. World Series Game 7, if necessary, is Nov. 2.
2016 MLB Postseason Schedule at a Glance
Wild-Card Games, TBS (Oct. 4) & ESPN (Oct. 5)
AL Division Series, TBS (Beginning Oct. 6)
NL Division Series, FS1 & MLB Network (Beginning Oct. 7)
AL Championship Series, TBS (Beginning Oct. 14)
NL Championship Series, FS1 (Beginning Oct. 15)
World Series, FOX (Beginning Oct. 25)