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LCS roundtable: Inside scoop on Nationals-Cardinals, Astros-Yankees

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Eduardo Pérez and Tim Kurkjian break down Gerrit Cole's Game 5 dominance and look ahead to the much-anticipated ALCS between the Yankees and Astros. (1:49)

The division series are in the books, with the Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Houston Astros making up the MLB playoffs' last teams standing.

With the National League Championship Series beginning Friday and the American League Championship Series starting Saturday, ESPN.com's Buster Olney, Bradford Doolittle and Sam Miller set the stage for the next round.

What we've seen so far ...

Coming out of the division series round, what has surprised you the most about this year's postseason -- and do you expect it to be a factor in the LCS?

Buster Olney: The willingness of teams to aggressively reach for their primary starting pitchers in relief roles this early in the postseason. Two years ago, the Astros leaned on Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton, and last year, Red Sox manager Alex Cora had David Price, Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi working out of the bullpen. But just about all of that occurred in the LCS or the World Series, when the finish line was coming into view. Already Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Blake Snell and others have come out of the bullpen. This is like watching marathoners increase their pace in Mile 8 of 26, and you wonder if there will be a cost later in the month.