MLB Division Series Predictions – 2018

So far we’ve been treated to two game 163s, a 13-inning win or go home game, and kind of a snoozer in the AL Wild Card. Now the Division Series is here and that means every team remaining is going to see some action. But you know that. Let’s quit wasting time and get to the picks.

Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee Brewers

These two teams doused the Wrigley Field visitor clubhouse in champagne and beer on back-to-back nights. Now they square off against each other for the right to advance to the National League Championship Series. Both teams erased good size leads down the stretch to force game 163. The Brewers won and got the #1 seed. The Rockies lost and fell to #5.

David: Two words. Matt. Holliday. Meaning that’s why I want the Rockies to win so Holliday can continue his buffness-filled career. Also the Rockies offense is stacked from top to bottom with perennial all-stars and the Brewers have a few players I could see just goose-eggin’ it through the series. For example, everyone except Yelich.

Rockies over Brewers in 4.

Colorado Rockies logo

Tim: I’ve had the chance to see a game at each of these stadiums in recent years.  The fans in both cities were great; therefore, I’m hoping the winner of this series goes on to represent the NL in the World Series.  Yelich wrapped up the MVP last weekend with 3 home runs and 5 RBI in the three-game series against Detroit, and I think he stays hot this week.  Plus, Milwaukee fans haven’t seen their team in the playoffs since 2011, and I think the home field advantage will be a big factor.

Brewers over Rockies in 4.

Milwaukee Brewers logo

Jason: This is a tough one. On one hand I want to believe in #Rocktober. On the other, Christian Yelich has been a beast down the stretch. I’ve seen the Brewers play a lot more this season and they have a nasty lineup with Yelich and Cain putting together great seasons. Both fan bases are going to be turnt up. This could be one of those series where the home team wins each game. But if the Rockies can pull of one in the first 2 games in Milwaukee I like them to sweep at home. Maybe it starts with the Brewers throwing out a bullpen day in game 1. Also I’m docking the Brewers a game due to employing Ryan Braun.

Rockies over Brewers in 4.

Colorado Rockies logo

Steve: The Brewers are coming into the NLDS on fire winning 8 in a row to finish of the season, which included essentially polishing off the Birds. They got a couple of days to rest up after the Tiebreaker game with the Cubbies and will have home field advantage. I expect the fans at Miller Park to be a factor as it’s been awhile since they’ve been in the playoffs. On the other hand, the Rockies scratched one out against the Cubs in the Wild Card game and are gonna put up a fight. I’m going to take the Brewers to take it 3-2.

Brewers over Rockies in 5.

Milwaukee Brewers logo

Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers

After a World Series appearance last year the Dodgers were again the favorites for the NL West crown. Things looked good until the Rockies went on an absolute tear down the stretch and forced game 163. In fact if it weren’t for the Giants being so awful the Rockies might be hosting this one. The Braves plugged away on the season as another of those “1-year early” teams that have seen their rebuilds pay-off sooner than expected.

David: I think the youth of the Braves can prove that a big wallet can’t buy wins and championships. Plus I’d love to see the Dodgers waste their money/prospects for all that they got this year in Dozier and Machado for rentals.

Braves over Dodgers in 5.

Atlanta Braves logo

Tim: Looking at the Dodgers lineup, I still cannot believe they didn’t run away with the division. They could make a pretty good starting line-up with just using their bench players. The Braves over-achieved this year, and they will probably rule the NL East for years to come, but they may just be happy to be in the playoffs this year. I predict at least one more clutch playoff hit for David Freese.

Dodgers over Braves in 3.

Los Angeles Dodgers logo

Jason: The Dodgers are basically already up 1 game on the Braves as they’ll have Walker Buehler pitching at least once this series. In August and September he’s only given up more than 2 runs and 4 hits in a game once. That was a 4-2 loss to the Rockies in which he got torched for 4 runs and 6 hits. Since then he’s given up 2 earned runs and 10 hits in 26.2 innings. Oh yeah and Kershaw is going to pitch a game too. And they have Justin Turner, Manny Machado, Yasiel Puig, and on and on in the lineup.

Dodgers over Braves in 3.

Los Angeles Dodgers logo

Steve: The Braves have outplayed expectations and are coming in as underdogs to this one. I’m looking forward to watching Acuna to see what he can do in this one, but I’m thinking the Dodgers have a little too much firepower to keep up. Dodgers 3-1

Dodgers over Braves in 4.

Los Angeles Dodgers logo

Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros

The Indians have been preparing their ALDS roster since about April 21st. All they had to do this season was beat up on the dregs of the AL Central which featured 3 teams with more than 98 losses. The Astros meanwhile got a bit more competition than expected with Seattle vying for the division title early-on and the Athletics keeping the Astros sharp down the stretch.

David: Going home field advantage on this one and the Astros’ pitching depth is more experienced and scarier than the Indians.

Astros over Indians in 4.

Houston Astros

Tim: I see the home team winning the first 4 games of this series to set up the winner take all game 5.  Last year, the Astros won elimination games in game 6 and game 7 against the Yankees in the ALCS, and then won game 7 of the World Series in Los Angeles.  Meanwhile, Cleveland went up 2-0 on New York last year, before losing three straight.  And who could forget them losing three straight (two of which at home) in the 2016 World Series after being up 3 games to 1.  I love Terry Francona, and their line-up is stacked with talent, but they get the tight cheeks in pressure games.

Astros over Indians in 5.

Houston Astros

Jason: The Indians have 3 starters in the top 10 in fWAR1. The Astros only have 2. But those 2 are also in the top 5 of fWAR with Justin Verlander at #3 and Gerrit Cole at #5. The Indians have Trevor Bauer at #6, Corey Kluber at #9, and Carlos Corrasco at #10. Runs will be at a premium this series. Both teams have playoff experience on the biggest stage. And when that’s the case October gets crazy.

Indians over Astros in 5.

Cleveland Indians

Steve: Indians played in one of the worst divisions in the history of divisions. You can’t pick your opponents, but holy shit it helps when you get 49 wins against some of the worst teams in baseball. The Astros on the other hand went 25-7 against the AL Central. To their credit, the Indians gave them the hardest time. Still going with the ‘Stros here. 3-1

Astros over Indians in 4

Houston Astros

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

The Yankees (100) and Red Sox (108) combined for 208 wins on the season. The rest of the AL East put together 210 wins. The Yankees spent a good chunk of time without Aaron Judge in the lineup. While the Red Sox road MVP caliber seasons from Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. This should be a battle to see who can win 3 first.

David: This series sucks because regardless of who wins, we all lose. This series can go either way so I’m going with the upset and the fact the Yankees have Luke Voit.

Yankees over Red Sox in 5.

New York Yankees

Tim: The Yankees showed in the Wild Card game how powerful their offense can be.  That Stanton home run ball still hasn’t landed.  The Red Sox finished with 8 more wins than the Yankees this year but won the series with the Yankees in 2018 by just one game, 10 wins to 9.  The Yankees had to play more meaningful game down the stretch to maintain their Wild Card spot while the Red Sox were able to take it easy and rest the starters.  Therefore, I give the edge to New York.

Yankees over Red Sox in 5.

New York Yankees

Jason: The Yankees were one win from the World Series last year. They added Giancarlo Stanton to that team and even though they spent a good part of the season without Aaron Judge, still managed 100 wins. Of course the Red Sox managed to put together 108 wins to take the AL East title. Stanton went 1 – 3 with an absolute bomb in his first playoff experience. The Red Sox won the season series 10-9 going 7-3 at Fenway. I think I actually want the Yankees to win? It feels weird. That probably means that Boston wins.

Red Sox over Yankees in 5.

Boston Red Sox

Steve: I hate both of these fanbases, but my hate is leaning just a little more toward the Yankees after some asshole goosed that A’s fan in beer at the WC game. So fuck those guys. Red Sox 3-0.

Red Sox over Yankees in 3

Boston Red Sox

  1. Fangraphs WAR