5 pieces of knowledge to prepare for MLB League Championship Series

After a fantastic round of divisional playoffs, the MLB postseason is set for a pair of league championship series that could yield a historic World Series.

We explain why that’s the case as we set the scene, but first a look back at how we reached this point:

1. The Dodgers were the last team to join this year’s MLB final four, and they did so in dramatic fashion Thursday night. 

Ace Clayton Kershaw capped a marathon nine-inning game by getting the last two outs in a 4-3 win over the Nationals in Washington.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after winning game five of the National League Division Series over the Washington Nationals 4-3 at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Caption
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after winning game five of the National League Division Series over the Washington Nationals 4-3 at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Credit: Rob Carr

Credit: Rob Carr

2. All four divisional series ended with intrigue. 

The Blue Jays swept the Rangers, claiming game three in walk-off fashion as Josh Donaldson scored from second on a throwing error in the bottom of the 10th.

The Indians also advanced in a sweep, but they had to hold off the Red Sox for a 4-3 win in game three of their series. Boston had the tying run at second and the winning run on first when Travis Shaw hit a fly ball to right field for the 27th out.

The Cubs and Giants looked headed for a fifth game until Chicago came off the mat with four runs in ninth inning Tuesday night. After Javier Baez gave the Cubs a 6-5 lead with an RBI single, Aroldis Chapman closed out the win and the series for Chicago.

3. The American League Championship Series starts tonight with the Blue Jays traveling to Cleveland for an 8 p.m. start on TBS. 

Cleveland ace Corey Kluber is set to oppose Marco Estrada for Toronto.

That starting matchup favors the Indians, but the opposite will be true Saturday night when the Jays send 20-game winner J.A. Happ to the mound against mercurial Trevor Bauer.

4. The National League Championship Series begins Saturday at 8 p.m. on FS1 with the Dodgers playing in Chicago. 

The Cubs are scheduled to start 19-game-winner Jon Lester while the Dodgers’ starter hasn’t been determined yet.

5. If the Cubs and Indians win their respective pennants, the World Series will have an historic result.

Those clubs have the two longest active World Series championship droughts at 107 and 67 years, respectively.

We’re going to call that the Ultimate Sign of the Apocalypse Series if it happens.

The Indians last played in the World Series in 1997 when they coughed up Game 7 to the upstart Marlins while the Cubs have not been there since 1945.

Cleveland has been to the Fall Classic more recently than the Dodgers or the Blue Jays, who won the championship in their last appearances in 1988 and ’93, respectively.

The Cubs, Blue Jays and Indians are all looking to win it all for the third time while the Dodgers have six World Series titles, including one from their days in Brooklyn.