Sports

Extra-Exciting Finish To A Great Year In Baseball

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Image: Tage Olsin
Only the best teams get to play baseball in October. That’s the month MLB playoffs begin. Image: Tage Olsin

After 162 games, baseball’s regular season came to an exciting close.

This year, some new changes made the year even more exciting than usual.

Major League Baseball (MLB) changed the way they choose who gets to be in the playoffs this year. And with that new system, some teams were battling for a playoff position right down to their last game.

There are two leagues in MLB: the American League (AL) and the National League (NL).

Each league has three divisions. Each division winner automatically makes the playoffs.

Here’s what’s new. The teams that finish with the next two best records get to make the playoffs as ‘wildcard’ teams. (There used to be only one wildcard team).

The two wildcard teams play against each other in a one-game playoff game. That’s right, a one-and-done.

The winning team moves on to the next round and the other team is eliminated. (This one-game elimination system is new this year).

The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Texas Rangers in the AL wildcard game. The Atlanta Braves lost to the St. Louis Cardinals (last year’s champions) in the National League wildcard game.

The winners of these wildcard games are now competing in the AL and NL Division series, which then leads to the AL and NL Championship series and finally ends with the ultimate prize for all MLB teams, the World Series.

The other playoff teams this year are the Oakland Athletics, the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers in the AL. In the NL the San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals also made the playoffs.

The playoffs will be an extra-exciting finish to a great year of baseball.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The baseball season is 162 games. The wild card round of the playoffs is just one game. Do you think the better team will move on to the next round this way? Why or why not?

Reading Prompt: Metacognition
How does your prior understanding of baseball help you to understand today’s article? If you’re not familiar with baseball, how did this affect your understanding?

Primary
Identify, initially with some support and direction, what strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading and how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Junior
Identify the strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading and explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers or in a reader’s notebook, how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Intermediate
Identify a range of strategies they found helpful before, during, and after reading and explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers or in a reader’s notebook, how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Grammar Feature: Apostrophes
An apostrophe is a punctuation mark that can show ownership. For example, Ben’s hat or Jennifer’s books. An apostrophe can also be used to take the place of missing letters. These words are called contractions. For example, doesn’t (does not) or  should’ve (should have).

Underline all the words in today’s article that contain apostrophes. For the words that show ownership, put the letter “O” above the word. For words that are contractions, put the letter “C” above the word.