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Division Series preview

We take a look at the up and coming five-game Division Series between the eight clubs left as they look to grab a place in the Championship Series.

National League

Philadelphia Phillies @ Atlanta Braves (Phillies +170) (Braves -200)

If the Phillies thought that to win a place in the Division series they had to beat the NL Central champions St. Louis Cardinals was a tough assignment, then they did it with ease, defeating the Cards, winning two out of the three games at Busch Stadium.

The Fightin' Phils will come up against a familiar foe in their NL East Division rivals, the Atlanta Braves. The Braves managed to beat the New York Mets to their fifth consecutive Divisional title last week and that managed to get them an automatic pass through to the Division Series and a crack at retaining their World Series title.

This is the first time these two rivals have met in the playoffs since Philadelphia won the 1993 NL Championship series in six games. On the mound for the Phillies will be lefty Ranger Suarez (10-7, 3.65 ERA). For the Braves they will have Max Fried ready to pitch after a rest, his record this season is 14-7, with a 2.48 ERA.

Because of the seeding system the Braves will have home advantage for three of the five games, the first two games will be at Truist Park.

San Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Padres +185) (Dodgers (-255)

The Padres qualified for the Division series by defeating the New York Mets convincingly in game three of the Wild Card series at Citi Field. They face their Divisional rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers in a five-game series, with the first two games at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers defeated the Padres overall in the season 14-5, but the playoffs are different and the Padres, although they will be massive underdogs, can point to the fact they aren't expected to win, and use that to their advantage.

On the mound for the Padres is Mike Clevinger (7-7, 4.33 ERA) while Julio Urias (17-7, 2.16 ERA) will pitch for the Dodgers.

American League

Seattle Mariners @ Houston Astros (Mariners +185) (Astros -225)

Having reached the postseason for the first time since 2001, the Mariners swept the Blue Jays in Toronto. Seattle faces a daunting task against one of the favourites for the World Series in the Houston Astros.

Houston beat the Mariners 12 times out of 19 games last season and won the AL West Division over Seattle by 16 games.

Justin Verlander, the favorite for the AL Cy Young Award, will start game one for the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston against Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert. The evergreen Verlander has the experience along with his teammates Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez up against a young Mariners team, led by AL Rookie of the Year favourite Julio Rodriguez.

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Cleveland Guardians @ New York Yankees (Guardians +180) (Yankees -220)

The Guardians reached the Division series by sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays in the best-of-three Wild Card series. The Yankees won the American League East Division ahead of the Blue Jays and Rays, who failed to make it through the Wild Card.

Speaking to the official New York Yankees website, team manager Aaron Boone said: "Cleveland has been one of those really good stories, with their young roster coming of age. They dominated the Central (Division) down the stretch. They pitch well, have an elite closer, good starting pitching, they're adept at putting the ball in play and athletic."

The first two games of the series will be played at Yankee Stadium and the Guardians will need to block out the noise of the Yankee support to try and take the game back to Cleveland with a couple of wins

The Guardians will have Cal Quantrill for a game one start against the Yankees. This was thanks to Cleveland winning in two games and Quantrill not being required for Game three of the Wild Card series. The 27-year-old Canadian has a 15-5 record with a 3.38 ERA this season.

Although he made one start against the Yankees earlier in the season, giving up three runs on six hits.

The Yankees have Gerrit Cole on the mound, Cole has a 13-8, with a 3.50 ERA. In four postseason starts as a Yankee, Cole is 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA. He was 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in two starts versus Cleveland this year.

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