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MLB Playoff Schedule 2016: Start Times, Dates, Live Stream and TV Info

Brian Marron@@brianmarron398Featured ColumnistOctober 3, 2016

San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner.
San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After an exciting September that featured tightly contested postseason races in both leagues, the 2016 MLB playoffs are finally upon us with the field already set despite the regular season ending on Monday.

The quest for the World Series begins Tuesday with the American League Wild Card Game, while the National League Wild Card Game begins a day later. Although these contests are winner-take-all showdowns, they could have had serious implications on the rest of the postseason. In 2014, the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants used wild-card wins as springboards to meet in the Fall Classic.

With that in mind, let us take a look at the schedule for the 2016 playoffs, including dates and start times for each round, television coverage and live-stream information.

2016 MLB Playoffs Wild Card Schedule
American League
DateMatchupStart Time (ET)NetworkLive Stream
Tuesday, Oct. 4Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays8 p.m.TBSWatch TBS
National League
DateMatchupStart Time (ET)NetworkLive Stream
Wednesday, Oct. 5San Francisco Giants at New York MetsTBDESPNWatch ESPN
MLB.com
2016 ALDS Schedule: Texas Rangers vs. AL Wild Card
GameDateMatchupStart TimeNetworkLive Stream
1Thursday, Oct. 6AL Wild Card at RangersTBDTBSWatch TBS
2Friday, Oct. 7AL Wild Card at RangersTBDTBSWatch TBS
3Sunday, Oct. 9Rangers at AL Wild CardTBDTBSWatch TBS
4*Monday, Oct. 10Rangers at AL Wild CardTBDTBSWatch TBS
5*Wednesday, Oct. 12AL Wild Card at RangersTBDTBSWatch TBS
MLB.com
2016 ALDS Schedule: Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians
GameDateMatchupStart TimeNetworkLive Stream
1Thursday, Oct. 6Red Sox at IndiansTBDTBSWatch TBS
2Friday, Oct. 7Red Sox at IndiansTBDTBSWatch TBS
3Sunday, Oct. 9Indians at Red SoxTBDTBSWatch TBS
4*Monday, Oct. 10Indians at Red SoxTBDTBSWatch TBS
5*Wednesday, Oct. 12Red Sox at IndiansTBDTBSWatch TBS
MLB.com
2016 NLDS Schedule: Chicago Cubs vs. NL Wild Card
GameDateMatchupStart TimeNetworkLive Stream
1Friday, Oct. 7NL Wild Card at CubsTBDFS1/ MLBNFox Sports Go
2Saturday, Oct. 8NL Wild Card at CubsTBDFS1/ MLBNFox Sports Go
3Monday, Oct. 10Cubs at NL Wild CardTBDFS1/ MLBNFox Sports Go
4*Tuesday, Oct. 11Cubs at NL Wild CardTBDFS1Fox Sports Go
5*Thursday, Oct. 13NL Wild Card at CubsTBDFS1Fox Sports Go
MLB.com
2016 NLDS Schedule: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals
GameDateMatchupStart TimeNetworkLive Stream
1Friday, Oct. 7Dodgers at NationalsTBDFS1/ MLBNFox Sports Go
2Saturday, Oct. 8Dodgers at NationalsTBDFS1/ MLBNFox Sports Go
3Monday, Oct. 10Nationals at DodgersTBDFS1/ MLBNFox Sports Go
4*Tuesday, Oct. 11Nationals at DodgersTBDFS1Fox Sports Go
5*Thursday, Oct. 13Dodgers at NationalsTBDFS1Fox Sports Go
MLB.com
2016 ALCS Schedule
GameDateMatchupStart TimeNetworkLive Stream
1Friday, Oct. 14AL Lower Seed at AL Higher SeedTBDTBSWatch TBS
2Saturday, Oct. 15AL Lower Seed at AL Higher SeedTBDTBSWatch TBS
3Monday, Oct. 17AL Higher Seed at AL Lower SeedTBDTBSWatch TBS
4Tuesday, Oct. 18AL Higher Seed at AL Lower SeedTBDTBSWatch TBS
5*Wednesday, Oct. 19AL Lower Seed at AL Higher SeedTBDTBSWatch TBS
6*Friday, Oct. 21AL Higher Seed at AL Lower SeedTBDTBSWatch TBS
7*Saturday, Oct. 22AL Lower Seed at AL Higher SeedTBDTBSWatch TBS
MLB.com
2016 NLCS Schedule
GameDateMatchupStart TimeNetworkLive Stream
1Saturday, Oct. 15NL Lower Seed at NL Higher SeedTBDFox/ FS1Fox Sports Go
2Sunday, Oct. 16NL Lower Seed at NL Higher SeedTBDFox/ FS1Fox Sports Go
3Tuesday, Oct. 18NL Higher Seed at NL Lower SeedTBDFox/ FS1Fox Sports Go
4Wednesday, Oct. 19NL Higher Seed at NL Lower SeedTBDFox/ FS1Fox Sports Go
5*Thursday, Oct. 20NL Lower Seed at NL Higher SeedTBDFox/ FS1Fox Sports Go
6*Saturday, Oct. 22NL Higher Seed at NL Lower SeedTBDFox/ FS1Fox Sports Go
7*Sunday, Oct. 23NL Lower Seed at NL Higher SeedTBDFox/ FS1Fox Sports Go
MLB.com
2016 World Series Schedule
GameDateMatchupStart TimeNetworkLive Stream
1Tuesday, Oct. 25NL Champion at AL ChampionTBDFoxFox
2Wednesday, Oct. 26NL Champion at AL ChampionTBDFoxFox
3Friday, Oct. 28AL Champion at NL ChampionTBDFoxFox
4Saturday, Oct. 29AL Champion at NL ChampionTBDFoxFox
5*Sunday, Oct. 30NL Champion at AL ChampionTBDFoxFox
6*Tuesday, Nov. 1AL Champion at NL ChampionTBDFoxFox
7*Wednesday, Nov. 2NL Champion at AL ChampionTBDFoxFox
MLB.com

The playoffs begin with a contest that pits two powerful teams against each other in he Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles led the league in home runs during the regular season by a landslide with 255, while Toronto finished fourth with 221 dingers. Both teams also allowed 183 home runs each, so both are equally susceptible to the long ball.

Yet the difference in this game could be whether Baltimore can earn a late lead, as Orioles closer Zach Britton led the league with 47 saves while posting a microscopic 0.54 ERA.

On the NL side, a pair of aces are set to take the hill, per MLB Network's Heidi Watney:

Heidi Watney @HeidiWatney

Bumgarner vs Syndergaard in #NLWildCard game Wednesday! Doesn't get better than that!! #MLBPlayoffs #SFGiants #Mets

The San Francisco Giants' Madison Bumgarner (15-9 with a 2.74 ERA) and the New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (14-9 with a 2.60 ERA) finished with near identical numbers this season. Thus, playoff experience looks to be a crucial factor this Wednesday.

Syndergaard was solid in his postseason debut last year, going 2-1 with 3.32 ERA in 19 innings. However, Bumgarner is an established baller in October. In 88.1 innings pitched, he is 7-3 with a 2.14 ERA and a save. The 27-year-old is dominant when the stakes are at their highest, so it is tough to believe he will not pitch a gem Thursday.

When looking ahead in the NL, the Chicago Cubs undoubtedly stand out as the top storyline. The Cubs were clearly the best team in baseball throughout the season, as they led the league in team ERA while finishing third in MLB in runs scored. Still, the Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908, but another piece of history is on their side, per ESPN Stats and Info:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

The @Cubs are the 1st team to win 103 games in a season since the 2009 Yankees, who won the World Series that season

Chicago boasts an unbelievable lineup led by Kris Bryant (39 homers and 102 RBI), Anthony Rizzo (32 homers and 109 RBI) and Addison Russell (21 homers and 95 RBI). The batting order boasts tremendous depth as well, with Javier Baez, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist also posing palpable threats. 

If that's not enough, Kyle Hendricks—who finished with the lowest ERA in baseball with a 2.13 mark—Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Jon Lester give the Cubs a solid four-man rotation for this postseason. The team also has a sensational closer in Aroldis Chapman, who finished with 16 saves and a 1.01 ERA since coming over from the New York Yankees at the trade deadline.

The American League looks to be wide open, but look out for the Boston Red Sox.

This team can flat-out score with Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a resurgent David Ortiz leading the charge. Boston comfortably led the majors with 878 runs and a .282 batting average, and its .246 opposing batting average was good for seventh-best in baseball.

The Red Sox have the luxury of trotting out experienced players in Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, but the team's hopes could lie with pitcher David Price. 

The ace brushed off an abysmal 2016 start to finish with a 17-9 record, but his postseason history leaves much to be desired. Price is 2-7 in 14 appearances with a 5.12 ERA. If he can even marginally improve on these numbers in 2016, Boston should have enough offense to be successful. Still, these playoffs will be huge for Price's standing among the game's top arms.

Statistics are courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

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