Checking out the four teams competing in the National League Division Series

The Dodgers, Mets, Cardinals and Cubs are playing in the National League Division Series for a chance to play for the NL pennant. Here's a primer: * The Dodgers last won the World Series when they beat Oakland in 1988 after winning the National League Championship Series against the Mets. The Dodgers won in seven games with Orel Hershiser the pitching star. He threw eight ... read more

Weighing the American League Division Series contenders

The Kansas City Royals will begin the defense of their American League pennant when they play the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series. Whoever wins takes on the Texas Rangers or Toronto Blue Jays for the right to play in the World Series. OK, but did you know ... ? * The Astros and Royals came close to playing in the 1980 World ... read more

Handicapping the NL postseason teams

Baseball's postseason starts with a historic twist in the National League Central: For the first time since the three-division format became reality in 1994, the three best records have come from the same division. The division-winning Cardinals won 100 games, the Pirates 98 and the Cubs 97. The only other season that teams from the same division finished with the two best records was in ... read more

Examining candidates with big league experience who could become Nationals' next manager

The Nationals fired manager Matt Williams and his coaching staff Monday. The team's general manager, Mike Rizzo, said that he'll keep an open mind in hiring Williams' replacement, but major league experience will likely be a necessity. Nationals coach Randy Knorr, Nationals players' choice two years ago when Rizzo hired Williams, may or may not be a candidate. Knorr has plenty of experience as a ... read more

A look at each American League team heading to playoffs

Who is the most feared team in the American League postseason? Kansas City is determined to return to a World Series for a second consecutive season, and this year, their run production is better but their rotation is less stable. The Yankees are a wild card team that hobbled to the finish line at the end of the regular season. The Astros, strong all season, ... read more

Taking a look at top storylines around the major leagues

As the Orioles and Nationals put the finishing touches on disappointing seasons, here is what else is going on around baseball: * The Orioles were shut out three times in Boston over the weekend, essentially ending their slim chance for a wild card. Even though the Orioles have dominated the Red Sox since the end of 2011, the takeaway is that Boston's building block players ... read more

Orioles and Nationals playing must-win games, hoping for outside help

As the interleague series between the Orioles and Nationals came to an end with a Bryce Harper grounder Thursday night, both under-achieving teams are left with an almost impossible predicament: Win every game and hope for help. The lifeless Nationals, swept by the Orioles after a 5-4 loss, have missed chances to pick up ground on the first-place Mets in the National League East. The ... read more

With Mets' recent struggles and pitching questions, Nationals have chance to catch NL East leaders

The Nationals start the week six games behind the Mets in the National League East with 13 games to play. The Mets' magic number is eight, which means the race ends with any combination of Mets wins and Nationals losses totaling eight. Mathematically, the Nationals' chances are slim. But the Mets aren't the same team that swept the Nationals in D.C. earlier this month, so ... read more