Major leaguers set records in 2017 for home runs, strikeouts and relief innings. The top eight teams in slugging percentage all reached the postseason. So did the top eight pitching staffs in strikeouts.

Now, a season of extremes hurtles into October.

With the wild-card games complete, the best-of-five division series are set: Boston at Houston; the Yankees at Cleveland; the Chicago Cubs at Washington; and Arizona at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The American League games start Thursday, the National League Friday.

“You could make the argument the field is as strong as it’s been in recent memory – and not just with one or two defined strengths, but really well-rounded teams,” Chris Antonetti, the Indians’ president of baseball operations, said last week. “Anyone’s really capable of winning.”

Read more