The League Championship Series’ are set to begin on Sunday and Monday. The ALCS will kick off in Houston on Sunday night, while the NLCS will start Monday night in Philadelphia. While the Astros are making their seventh consecutive trip to the ALCS, there are some notable contenders shockingly missing. The four teams with the best records in baseball all stunned their fans with early exits from the 2023 playoffs. Three of these teams, the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles, had 100-win seasons and the Tampa Bay Rays fell just short of that mark with 99. Even more shocking is that of the four, the Braves were the only team to even win one game.
So enough about who isn’t playing, Houston vs Texas is more than just an in-state rivalry. These teams met up thirteen times this season with the Astros leading the series 9-4. The two teams have never met up in the MLB playoffs. Justin Verlander is scheduled to pitch for the Astros, but no starter has been named yet for the Rangers.
The Phillies-D-backs series is a matchup of two of the three National League Wildcard teams. The teams met seven times during the 2023 regular season with Philadelphia edging out Arizona 4-3. The teams have never faced off in the playoffs either. No starters have been named yet.