MLB Playoffs 2018: Live-Stream Schedule, Bracket Predictions for ALCS, NLCS

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 10, 2018

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale throws to a New York Yankees batter during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball American League Division Series on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The quartet of franchises remaining in the MLB postseason cruised into the league championship round. 

The Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers lost a combined two games in the ALDS and NLDS to move one step closer to the World Series. 

Thanks to their dominant performances, each of the four teams enter the ALCS and NLCS with plenty of rest. 

The Dodgers and Brewers kick off the second round of the postseason Friday, while Houston and Boston begin their series at Fenway Park Saturday night. 


MLB Playoff Schedule

Friday, October 12

NLCS Game 1: Los Angeles at Milwaukee (8:09 p.m., FS1) 


Saturday, October 13

NLCS Game 2: Los Angeles at Milwaukee (4:09 p.m., Fox) 

ALCS Game 1: Houston at Boston (8:09 p.m., TBS) 


Sunday, October 14

ALCS Game 2: Houston at Boston (7:09 p.m., TBS) 


Monday, October 15

NLCS Game 3: Milwaukee at Los Angeles (Time TBD. Fox or FS1) 


Tuesday, October 16

NLCS Game 4: Milwaukee at Los Angeles (Time TBD, Fox or FS1) 

ALCS Game 3: Boston at Houston (Time TBD, TBS) 


Wednesday, October 17

NLCS Game 5: Milwaukee at Los Angeles (Time TBD, Fox or FS1) 

ALCS Game 4: Boston at Houston (Time TBD, TBS) 


Thursday, October 18

ALCS Game 5: Boston at Houston (Time TBD, TBS) 


Friday, October 19

NLCS Game 6: Los Angeles at Milwaukee (Time TBD, Fox or FS1) 


Saturday, October 20

NLCS Game 7: Los Angeles at Milwaukee (Time TBD, Fox or FS1) 

ALCS Game 6: Houston at Boston (Time TBD, TBS) 


Sunday, October 21

ALCS Game 7: Houston at Boston (Time TBD, TBS) 

Games can be live-streamed on Watch TBS and Fox Sports Go.


Bracket Predictions

Milwaukee over Los Angeles in 6

It's hard to pick against the Milwaukee Brewers with the way they've been hitting the baseball. 

The Brewers hit four home runs and scored 13 runs in their dominant NLDS victory over the Colorado Rockies. 

Christian Yelich continued to make an impact at the plate, as he hit one home run and drove in two runs, and he also scored four runs over three games. 

Ryan Braun, Mike Moustakas and unexpected offensive threat Erik Kratz recorded the most hits on the Milwaukee roster in the NLDS, and the well-rounded lineup is expected to thrive in the NLCS. 

Joe Mahoney/Associated Press

While the lineup received plenty of praise yet again, it was the Milwaukee pitching staff that made the biggest difference in the NLDS, as it struck out 30 batters and gave up two earned runs, both of which were conceded by Jeremy Jeffress.

The Dodgers, who are back in the NLCS for the third consecutive season, faced more of a challenge from the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, but they overpowered the NL East champion with their bats in Game 4. 

The key for the Dodgers will be to keep the Brewers' lineup off balance in the first two games in order to steal a game on the road. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw combined for 15 scoreless innings in the first two games of the NLDS, but both of those contests were at Dodger Stadium.

While the Dodgers appear to have the advantage in the rotation, the Brewers hold the edge in the bullpen thanks to the crew led by Josh Hader. 

No matter who is on the mound for either team, they're going to have to silence a collection of in-form hitters. 

Even though the Dodgers possess home-run hitters like Manny Machado and Max Muncy up and down their lineup, they're going to have to do damage against Milwaukee's starters to thrive in the series. 

Hader and Co. will be too tough to deal with out of the Milwaukee bullpen, and with the Brewers holding a close lead in Games 1 and 2, they'll be to shut the door on the Dodgers and create momentum in a tight series. 


Boston over Houston in 7

The last defending World Series champion to make it back to the championship series a year later was the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 and 2009.

Houston is attempting to break the decade-long curse, but it'll struggle to put away the Red Sox over the course of seven games. 

The pitching matchups alone are worth the price of admission, as Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel, Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello will be on display. 

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 05:  Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians during Game One of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 5, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  (Pho
Tim Warner/Getty Images

While the majority of those pitchers mentioned above are expected to thrive in some capacity, Price is the biggest question mark on both rosters.

Price once again struggled in a starting role in Game 2 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees, and he might be better suited in a relief role if he fails to produce a quality start in the front end of the ALCS. 

How each lineup adjusts to the quality of starters could be the ultimate difference maker, as the series should be decided by small margins. 

Houston had the better statistics in the ALDS, as it hit .327 as a team with eight home runs, while Boston posted a .279 average with four home runs. 

Despite the difference from the ALDS, the Red Sox will wake their bats up, with Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi both improving from the seven combined hits they recorded against the Yankees. 

Benefiting from the home-field advantage at Fenway Park in the first two games will provide a boost to Boston's power hitters, who won't slow down when they get to Minute Maid Park. 

Of course, you could make the same argument about Houston's home-run hitters throughout the series. 

Since the margins will be so tight, the Red Sox and Astros will go the distance with Sale outlasting Verlander in a Game 7 that will go down as a classic. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference


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