The MLB postseason is here. We’ve got 3 100+ win teams and one that lost 100 last year. We’ve got a team playing for a recently devastated community. 3 teams from one division. A team that won 22 in a row and another that was 91-36 before a 1-16 slump.
All to say it should make for some entertaining October baseball.
AL Wildcard (Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees)
Jason: The Yankees should win this game. They have the better offense. Better bullpen. And they’re the Yankees. But the Twins have that “no one thought we’d be here” thing on their side. And that’s enough for 1 game.
Steve: Yankees, because we shouldn’t be denied a Cleveland/New York ALDS.
Tim: The Twins are the first team to make the playoffs after losing 100 games the year before. I think their Cinderella season ends to this rare non hate-able Yankees team.
David: Twins were only 2-4 against NY this season and MIN’s starter Santana has a career ERA of 5.66 against the Yankees. NY will be heading to the ALDS this year.
Yankees: 3 | Twins: 1
NL Wildcard (Colorado Rockies @ Arizona Diamondbacks)
Jason: Nolan Arenado is really good at baseball and more people should see him play. The Diamondbacks have the advantage in the pitching matchup but I’m going from the gut with this pick.
Steve: I’ll take Greinke and JD Martinez in this one. Also the Rockies lucked out of needing to win a play-in game against the Brewers, just because the Birds ruined their good time.
Tim: Arizona was 12 games over .500 at home this year and have the advantage in the Zack Greinke/Jon Gray pitching matchup.
David: Greinke is 13-1 at Chase Field this season and the Rockies starter, Gray, is making his first career postseason start. Plus Arizona has Goldschmidt and now JD Martinez. Advantage Diamondbacks.
Diamondbacks: 3 | Rockies: 1
ALDS (Yankees / Twins @ Cleveland Indians)
Jason: Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Indians
Unfortunately for the Twins this is more than 1 game. Probably 3.
Steve: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians
I’m going a NYY vs CLE ALDS in what should be pretty entertaining.
Tim: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians
Cleveland may be the team of destiny this year after their 22 game win streak. They have the playoff experience from last year’s run to the World Series, as they returned nearly their entire team. That will give them the advantage over the Twins/Yankees.
David: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians
Indians won both season series against both wild card teams, Yankees will make for a better series than the Twins that’s for sure. But with the way Terry Francona has the Indians playing, it doesn’t matter who they play.
Indians: 4 | Yankees: 0 | Twins: 0
ALDS (Boston Red Sox @ Houston Astros)
Jason: Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa make one of the best middle infields in baseball. David Price out of the bullpen is a nasty proposition. Game 1 could go either way with Verlander vs Sale. I’m giving Houston the edge with the midseason acquisition of Kate Upton.
Steve: The Astros have been consistently the best team in baseball all year. They have MVP-candidate Jose Altuve and Verlander who is 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA since getting traded to Houston.
Tim: Excited to see Justin Verlander return to the playoffs and Chris Sale make his playoff debut. Houston hasn’t released their rotation yet, but we could see Verlander vs. Sale in Game 1. It appears that Boston is going to use David Price the way Cleveland used Andrew Miller last year, but I think Price’s playoff struggles will continue.
David: The Astros are 21-8 since trading for Verlander on August 31st. I’m more intimidated by the Astros rotation than Boston’s. Also, anytime you get one of the best postseason performers of all time back to the postseason, you might do just fine. Yes. I mean Beltran.
Astros: 4 | Red Sox: 0
NLDS (Diamondbacks / Rockies @ Los Angeles Dodgers)
Jason: Colorado Rockies @ Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers were the best team in baseball. Then they went 1-16 around the time Yasiel Puig guaranteed a World Series. The Rockies have played the Dodgers well this season and seem like a team with energy. I think Kershaw and the Dodgers depth is too much for the Rockies to overcome.
Steve: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have been pretty terrible. Talk about backing into the playoffs. Kershaw hasn’t looked great, and we know his cheeks are pretty tight in the playoffs. Also, the Dodgers are going to have 5 days off between games. so I’ll go D Backs
Tim: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers
They struggled down the stretch, but I don’t see the Dodgers completing their collapse in first series. The D-backs/Rockies will have to burn their number 1 starter in the wildcard game, so Kershaw will get an easier matchup. Kershaw success in the regular season hasn’t transfered over to the playoffs, but he did well last year in the NLDS against Washington, getting the win in game 1 and the save in game 5.
David: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Diamondbacks took the season series 11-8 outscoring the Dodgers by 28 runs. Not only that, but while the Dodgers came back down to earth the last 2 months of the season, the Dbacks added JD Martinez who tied the NL record for HRs in the month of September with 16.
Dodgers: 2 | Diamondbacks: 2
NLDS (Chicago Cubs @ Washington Nationals)
Jason: If the Cubs get a pass on Scherzer I’m going to be extremely disappointed. But with him and Strasburg the Nationals have a strong rotation.
Steve: I’m going with the Nats to beat the Cubbies. Better starting pitching, better bullpen, Harper is back… Unless Joe Maddon uses some hippy black magic.
Tim: It’s painful to pick this, but I have to go with the defending champs. Dusty Baker is going back to the place of one of his most painful playoff memories (2003 NLCS, with a little help from Bartman, Alou and Gonzalez). Dusty has the 14 most wins as a manager in MLB history, but just one World Series appearance. Joe Maddon’s gimmicks may be pretty annoying, but dammit he can manage a baseball team.
David: That’s a clown question bro. This is the year the Nationals get over the hump. They went 4-3 against the Cubs this year outscoring them by 11 runs, and Scherzer and Strasburg > Lester, Hendricks, Quintana. So there’s that.
Nationals: 3 | Cubs: 1
Jason: Houston Astros @ Cleveland Indians
The Indians join the Cavaliers with back-to-back championship appearances. Meanwhile the Browns look to win a game.
Steve: Houston Astros @ Cleveland Indians
Indians vs Astros will be a terrific ALCS if it ends up that way. If so, I’m going with the Indians with Francisco Lindor ALCS MVP.
Tim: Houston Astros @ Cleveland Indians
Cleveland went 5-1 against Houston during the season. I give the managerial edge to Cleveland. As we have seen in recent year, an experienced manager is crucial in the playoffs (see Bochy, Maddon, LaRussa)The Indians’ Terry Francona is a 2-time manager of the year and has a career 38-23 playoff record. The Astros’ AJ Hinch has one trip to the playoffs where he went 3-3.
David: Houston Astros @ Cleveland Indians
Its going 7 games, but I think Cleveland is better this year than they were last year. Last postseason they didn’t have Carlos Carrasco in their rotation so now there’s less pressure on Kluber and Bauer as well.
Indians: 4 | Astros: 0
Jason: Washington Nationals @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Seeing Kershaw and Scherzer match up in the NLCS is a dream matchup. I think Max has just a little more of that bulldog edge. But luckily for Kershaw the Cardinals aren’t here to ruin his day. I think the Nationals have a harder out in the NLDS and that gives the Dodgers the pitching matchup edge.
Steve: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Washington Nationals
I think the Nats will finally win a couple of rounds in the playoffs and get to the WS.
Tim: Chicago Cubs @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Rematch of last year’s NLCS, but this time the Dodgers finally win the pennant. The Cubs rotation is not as strong as last year. I see former rookie of the year Seager and future rookie of the year Bellinger having a strong series, but Kershaw takes home NLCS MVP honors.
David: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Washington Nationals
Because at this point the Cubs are out so everybody wins. Plus I think the Nationals pitching outweighs the Diamondbacks offense.
Dodgers: 2 | Nationals: 2
Jason: Cleveland Indians @ Los Angeles Dodgers
The easy answer. Their rotation is just too good. Their offense can hurt you in many ways, they’ve already dealt with pressure from a remarkable run, and we all remember what Andrew Miller did. Someone just hide Trevor Bauer’s drone.
Steve: Washington Nationals @ Cleveland Indians
Win it for the Cleve!
Tim: Cleveland Indians @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Indians fans finally get to rejoice. It’s been nearly 70 years since their last World Series victory (the Birds have 5 in the span). When it was clear that the Cardinals didn’t have it this year, I adopted the Indians as my temporary team. I went the Cleveland for a Indians game this year, and Ohioans are passionate about this team. The amount of Jason Kipnis jerseys in the crowd was higher than I can count and Andrew Miller could run for mayor. The most underrated player in the league may be 23 year old Francisco Lindor, who hit 33 homers this year. Last year in the playoffs, he hit .310 with 2 homers. Thanks to the new MLB commissioner making radical changes like making the All-Star game not count, the Dodgers have home-field advantage through the World Series. But it won’t matter, as the Indians finish it off in 6 games, with Lindor winning MVP, and Cleveland getting to celebrate another championship in California.
David: Washington Nationals @ Cleveland Indians
The Indians were 1 game shy of taking the World Series last year. They’re better this year and want redemption.
Indians: 4 | Nationals: 0 | Dodgers: 0