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Crasnick: Astros flex their might on the road

The Astros are athletically gifted and stacked with power bats. And apparently they've figured out how to win on the road. In other words: Watch out, Royals.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

2015 MLB postseason

Keep track of every MLB playoff game and series, from the wild-card round through the World Series.

AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles
16hJesse Rogers

Cubs to start Hendricks in Game 2 of NLDS

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has elected to start second-year right-hander Kyle Hendricks in Game 2 of their best-of-five NL Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday

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Kurkjian: Five questions for Dodgers-Mets

It's Jacob deGrom vs. Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLDS. Will Kershaw and Zack Greinke carry the Dodgers to victory, or can the Mets advance behind their own impressive rotation?

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Kurkjian: Five questions for Cubs-Cardinals

The Cardinals won 100 games, while the Cubs look like MLB's hottest team. The rivals meet for the first time in the playoffs, as postseason vets Jon Lester and John Lackey face off in Game 1 of the NLDS. Who has the edge?

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
1dJacob Nitzberg, ESPN Stats & Information

How do you pitch to Josh Donaldson?

Josh Donaldson had an MVP-caliber season for the Blue Jays. A breakdown of how to pitch to the Toronto slugger.

Arrieta, Cubs riding momentum into St. Louis (2:04)
ESPN Illustration
2dJim Caple

Back, back, back to the future

Thanks to ''Back To The Future, Part II,'' we know the Cubs will win this year's World Series. But what do the next decades hold for Chicago and the rest of baseball? We traveled 30 years into the future to peek at the 2045 Baseball Almanac.

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Stark: My World Series prediction

Our guy Jayson Stark doesn't have the best track record when it comes to predicting who will win the World Series. But this year is different. We promise!


Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson taking BP here this morning

Man vs. tarp ends with plastic on top

A Royals grounds crew member tripped during the rain delay -- and the tarp showed no mercy in running him over.


Early road success looms large in LDS

  • When the road team wins Game 1 of a best-of-5 postseason series it goes on to win the series 73.2 percent of the time (41-15).
  • Teams that win the first two games on the road of a best-of-5 series go on to win the series 93.1 percent of the time (27-2).
    • (via Elias Sports Bureau)

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Donaldson + Bautista are playing today

Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson (head) and OF Jose Bautista (hamstring) both left Game 1 early with injuries, but both return to the lineup vs. the Rangers for Game 2. The duo combined for 81 regular season homers.


Cubs fan: 'This is our year'

"Back to the Future II" had the Cubs winning the 2015 World Series, and some Chicago fans are thinking this is the year to win their first title since 1908. One fan said, "[If] they win this year, I'm going to heaven."


Jerry Crasnick ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer 

A.J. Hinch has made every right move in the Astros' first two postseason games, but he knows how quickly perceptions can change in October. "You can be humbled in a heartbeat," he said late Thursday night after Houston's Game 1 ALDS win over the Royals. Smart guy.

Adrian Beltre not in Rangers' lineup

Beltre's name is not on Texas' lineup card for Game 2, a day after the Rangers 3B left the team's Game 1 win early with a back strain. Hanser Alberto replaces Beltre at third for the 12:45 p.m. ET start.


Jim Caple Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

Adrian Beltre is not in Rangers starting lineup for Game 2. Rookie Hanser Alberto playing third and batting ninth in his place.

Longoria shares strange Maddon story

Rays 3B Evan Longoria identified the weirdest clubhouse moment with former Rays coach and current Cubs coach Joe Maddon. It involves a Mariachi band and his locker.


Friday's MLB postseason schedule

  • Game 2: Rangers at Blue Jays, 12:45 p.m. ET (Rangers lead 1-0)
  • Game 2: Astros at Royals, 3:45 p.m. ET (Astros lead 1-0)
  • Game 1: Cubs at Cardinals, 6:45 p.m. ET
  • Game 1: Mets at Dodgers, 9:45 p.m. ET
Postseason coverage, schedules

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ICYMI: Sean Rodriguez apologizes to cooler

Sean Rodriguez tweeted after ferociously attacking a Gatorade cooler upon being ejected from the NL wild-card game. Part of the message was, "I also spoke to the cooler, apologized personally, and he's forgiven me as Christ forgives all."


OTD: Breaking barriers

On this day in 1989, Art Shell became the first black coach in the modern NFL and the first since Fritz Pollard in the 1920s. Also on this day in 1974, Frank Robinson was hired as the Indians manager, becoming the first black manager of an MLB team.


Kurkjian: Great pitching trumps home field

Home teams are 0-4 and haven't led at any point in the postseason. Tim Kurkjian believes home-field advantage means nothing if you are facing a great starter.


Rangers preparing for no Beltre

Adrian Beltre left Thursday's game with a lower back strain. He's not ruled out for Game 2, but Texas is flying Joey Gallo and Ed Lucas to Toronto in case the situation turns worse. Rookie Hanser Alberto replaced Beltre in Game 1 and could start today.

Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports

Whoops! Astros won AL wild-card game

But apparently someone assumed the Yankees would be playing in Game 1 of the ALDS vs. the Royals.

FS1 broadcast

Astros power past Royals to take Game 1

Colby Rasmus hit his second HR of the postseason as the Astros beat the Royals 5-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS. Royals DH Kendrys Morales homered twice in the loss.


Jerry Crasnick ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer 

Collin McHugh was outstanding. The bullpen and defense were strong. And George Springer and Colby Rasmus hit solo homers to help lead Houston to a 5-2 victory over Kansas City in Game 1 of the ALDS. The young Astros seem to be right in their element in October.

Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

Kendrys Morales hit two home runs, Chris Young struck out seven over four relief innings, but the Royals never could overcome Yordano Ventura's early struggles. Ventura gave up three runs over a brief two innings and the Royals fell 5-2 to the Astros in the opener of the ALDS.

Astros take Game 1 of ALDS over Royals

Despite a 47-minute rain delay in the third inning, RHP Collin McHugh pitched six innings, giving up 2 ER as the Astros beat the Royals 5-2. Game 2 is Friday at 3:45 p.m. ET. Postseason results, coverage