Here's the updated MLB playoff picture as of Wednesday, October 18.
American League Playoff Picture: Rangers vs Astros for ALCS (Oct. 15-23)
Rangers lead Astros 2-0
This is an excellent series, especially since these two clubs cooked up a wee rivalry late in the regular season when Martin Maldonado had some choice words for Rangers vet Marcus Semien.
Houston is a fantastic postseason club and their series win over the Twins marked the 'Stros' seventh consecutive appearance in the ALCS. That's wild stuff from a club that just pumps out clutch moments.
But since the series began, it's been all red and blue. Texas smashed Houston in Games 1 and 2 at Minute Maid Park, pushing its series odds to heavy chalk status. The Rangers now return to Arlington with a secure 2-0 series lead.
National League Playoff Picture: D-Backs vs Phillies for NLCS (Oct. 16-24)
Phillies lead D-backs 2-0
Arizona cleaned the Dodgers up in a remarkable three-game sweep, but have looked overmatched vs the hard-hitting Phillies. Philly knocked out the season-long favorite Braves and wasted no time going to town on D-backs pitching.
Dating back to the ALDS, the Phillies have smashed 14 home runs over their last four contests, setting an MLB record for homers in that span. Between Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, and Trea Turner, this is one of the hottest playoff offenses in MLB history.
I can't imagine the D-backs, now down 2-0, have much of a chance to climb out of the hole.
Who is playing in the AL wild card series?
The Toronto Blue Jays will play the Seattle Mariners in the 2022 AL wild-card series. Toronto is hosting all three games.
The Cleveland Guardians will also play the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL wild card. Cleveland is hosting all three games.
Who is playing in the NL wild card series?
The Philadelphia Phillies will play the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2022 NL wild-card series. St. Louis is hosting all three games.
The New York Mets will also play the San Diego Padres for the NL wild card. New York is hosting all three games.