MLB 2021 Postseason Preview: Catch Some Rays

Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It wasn’t quite how the L.A. Dodgers and their fans dreamed of winning their first World Series title since 1988, but a championship is a championship.

Last October, under the cloud of COVID-19, the Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays in six games in front of a sparse, socially distanced crowd at neutral Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

After returning to the 162-game regular-season grind in 2021, expect this MLB postseason to offer something closer to pre-pandemic levels of excitement as teams return to playing in their own ballparks at max capacity. The playoffs also return to their traditional format, with 10 teams — three division winners and two wild-card entrants in each league — still eligible to book a trip to the Fall Classic.

In the American League, the East champion Tampa Bay Rays are primed to return to the World Series. Standing in the Rays’ way are the AL Central champion Chicago White Sox and the AL West champion Houston Astros, along with a formidable pair of wild-card entrants with the N.Y. Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

The Senior Circuit has the NL West champion San Francisco Giants as the top seed. The Atlanta Braves won the NL East for the fourth straight season, while the Milwaukee Brewers are tops in the NL Central. The L.A. Dodgers and the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals earned NL wild-card berths.

MLB 2021 Postseason Schedule

All times Eastern. *If necessary.

Tuesday, Oct. 5
AL Wild Card Game: N.Y. Yankees at Boston Red Sox 8pm, ESPN

Wednesday, Oct. 6
NL Wild Card Game: St. Louis Cardinals at L.A. Dodgers, 8pm, Oct. 6, TBS

Thursday, Oct. 7
ALDS: Game 1: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros, 4pm, FS1
ALDS: Game 1: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays, 8pm, FS1

Friday, Oct. 8
ALDS: Game 2: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros, 2pm, MLBN
NLDS: Game 1: Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers, 4:30pm, TBS
ALDS: Game 2: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays, 7pm, FS1
NLDS: Game 1: L.A. Dodgers at San Francisco Giants, 9:30pm, TBS

Saturday, Oct. 9
NLDS: Game 2: Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers, 5pm, TBS
NLDS: Game 2: L.A. Dodgers at San Francisco Giants, 9pm, TBS

Sunday, Oct. 10
ALDS: Game 3: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox, 4pm, MLBN
ALDS: Game 3: Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox, 8pm, FS1

Monday, Oct. 11
ALDS: Game 4*: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox, FS1 or MLBN
ALDS: Game 4*: Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox, FS1 or MLBN
NLDS: Game 3: San Francisco Giants at L.A. Dodgers, TBS
NLDS: Game 3: Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves, TBS

Tuesday, Oct. 12
NLDS: Game 4*: San Francisco Giants at L.A. Dodgers, TBS
NLDS: Game 4*: Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves, TBS

Wednesday, Oct. 13
ALDS: Game 5*: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays, FS1 or MLBN
ALDS: Game 5*: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros, FS1 or MLBN

Thursday, Oct. 14
NLDS: Game 5*: L.A. Dodgers at San Francisco Giants, TBS
NLDS: Game 5*: Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers, TBS

AL Championship Series, beginning Oct. 15, FOX & FS1

NL Championship Series, beginning Oct. 16, TBS

World Series, beginning Oct. 26, FOX

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About Ryan Berenz 2105 Articles
Some things I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife