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Two tiebreaker games to be held in MLB this week

Posted October. 02, 2018 08:00,   

Updated October. 02, 2018 08:00


“Fight till the very end.”

The U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) is expecting an extra day of the season after four teams of the National League’s West and Central division tied after 162 games.

On Monday (local time), two tie-break games will be held between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies (NL West) and the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs (NL Central) to determine the champions of each division. The league saw a tiebreaker five years ago when the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays tied after the regular season, but this is the first time that two tiebreaker games are played in a day.

South Korea’s baseball fans are paying keen attention to the competition between the Dodgers and the Rockies, which have South Korean pitchers Ryu Hyun-jin and Oh Seung-hwan. The two teams finished the regular season with 91 wins and 71 losses apiece, with the Dodgers’ 15-0 drubbing of San Francisco and the Rockies’ 12-0 thrashing of Washington at the final games Monday (local time). Oh took the mound in the eighth inning, and closed it out allowing no hits, with two strikeouts.

The winner of the one-game tiebreaker Monday will take the NL West crown and advance to the NL Division Series (NLDS) while the loser will go to the wild card game on Tuesday. Ryu Hyun-jin is expected to be included in the post-season rotation if the Dodgers advance to the Division Series.

The final competition between the two NL West rivals seems to be favorable to the Dodgers for now because recording 12 wins and 7 losses against the Rockies, the team will host the tiebreaker game at its home ballpark Dodger Stadium. However, it is too early to predict the outcome. Star pitchers Walker Buehler (24, Dodgers) and German Marquez (23, Rockies) have been announced to be starters for Tuesday. Buehler posted a 2.60 ERA against the Rockies this season, but was not lucky enough to earn any wins but a loss. Meanwhile, Marquez took two wins in three games against the Dodgers with a 2.57 ERA.

In the central region, the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs, which completed the regular season with 95 wins and 67 losses each, are set to hold another tiebreaker for the NL Central title. With the Brewers beating the Detroit Tigers 11-0 and the Cubs defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 10-5, the two foes tied for first place in the NL Central.

The NL playoff picture will be finally filled out once the tiebreaker games are finished. The winner of the NL Central secures the top NL seed and moves to await hosting a wild card winner to start the NLDS while the NL West winner will advance to the NLDS against the NL East champion Atlanta Braves on Wednesday (local time). A day has dawned that will determine the fate of teams for the NL postseason.

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com