Can you name anything better than baseball in October? Maybe Coronas on a beach, or fireworks on the 4th of July, but that’s about it. Playoff baseball is one of the most exciting time of the year for sports fans. The games are tight, and the atmosphere is crazy. October is where careers are defined and reputations are formed. Just ask Clayton Kershaw how his is.
This year’s postseason is shaping up to be a good one. There are currently three teams with 100 wins the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, and Dodgers. Rounding up the AL teams are the always dangerous Boston Red Sox, the young and hungry New York Yankees, and the underdog Minnesota Twins. Joining the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL are the lethal Washington Nationals, defending champion Chicago Cubs, the sneaky Arizona Diamondbacks, and then the out of nowhere Colorado Rockies. Any team can be beaten at any time. If one of them gets hot, they could ride it all the way to the World Series. We’ve seen it before and we could see it again. With all these talented teams it could be anyone’s year.
American League Playoff Teams
AL East Champions: Boston Red Sox (93-69)
AL Central Champions: Cleveland Indians (102-60)
AL West Champions: Houston Astros (101-61)
AL Wild Card 1: New York Yankees (91-71)
AL Wild Card 2: Minnesota Twins (85-77)
National League Playoff Teams
NL East: Washington Nationals (97-65)
NL Central: Chicago Cubs (92-70)
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58)
NL Wild Card 1: Arizona Diamondbacks (93-69)
NL Wild Card 2: Colorado Rockies (87-75)
AL Wild Card
Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees
Both teams have been surprises this year. The Twins already played the Yankees in September and it wasn’t a pretty series for the Twins. The Yankees have been hot lately but with a winner take all game anything can happen. With this elimination game, I will take the Yankees to win and move on into the American League Division Series vs. the Indians.
AL Division Series
New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians
The Indians are riding a wave of momentum into the playoffs. They had that 22 game winning streak, which helped them gain the best record in the American League. Home field advantage is a real thing, and for the Indians, it means a lot. Take a look last year when they faced the Red Sox. Those crucial two games at home played a big part in them sweeping the Red Sox. The Yankees are young and raw. While they do have a good pitching staff, the Indians are a better all-around team. I’m taking the Indians in five games.
Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
When these two teams meet in the playoffs, it will be for the fifth straight game. These two teams will be sick of seeing each other by that time. In terms of matchups, the Red Sox have a big question mark for Game 3. Who starts? Rick Porcello? Doug Fister? Chris Sale gets the ball for game one in Houston, with Drew Pomeranz going Game 2. The Astros are throwing out Dallas Keuchel with Justin Verlander more than likely going Game 2. The lineup favors the Astros, but the bullpen favors the Red Sox with David Price coming out from the pen. Give me the Red Sox in five games in a very competitive series.
American League Championship Series
Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians
In a rematch of last year’s playoff matchup, the Red Sox squared off vs. the Indians. The Indians have been the team to beat all year. and the series will start in Cleveland once again. Considering Chris Sale will take the mound in Game 1 and his struggles against the Indians, the pressure will be on from the start. Corey Kluber has been pitching out of his mind since he came back from his injury as he basically stole the AL CY Young away from Chris Sale. The lineup has been red hot since last August as they are pretty good from top to bottom. The Red Sox have been streaky this year, so give me the Indians in six games.
NL Wild Card
Diamondbacks vs. Rockies
Talk about a surprise team, the Diamondbacks hired a new manager this year, along with a new general manager. Who would have thought that they would make the playoffs after a “rebuild” in the front office. With their ace Zack Grenkie going in the start, the Diamondbacks have too much for the Rockies to handle. Give me the DBacks in this one.
National League Division Series
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Have you ever heard of a team that can be really really good in the regular season? I have. They are called the Los Angeles Dodgers. Time and time again, the Dodgers have played great in the regular season only to play like garbage in the postseason. I think that will be exactly what happens this year. I’m going to go with the upset and pick the Diamondbacks in five games. Sorry Dodger fans.
Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals
The Cubs struggled in the beginning of the year, only to get hot and emerge as the NL Central winner. Jake Arrieta is missing Games 1-2 so those two games will be huge for the Cubs. Pencil in Jon Lester for one of those games, most likely the second one. However, Lester has been struggling with his command, so I don’t know how good he’ll be in this series. The Nationals finally got Bryce Harper back and that is big for them and they also pulled out all the stops to buff up their bullpen at the trade deadline. I feel those moves will help them go deep into October. Give me the Nats in four games.
National League Championship Series
Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Both teams have what it takes to reach the World Series. I do feel the Nationals have enough firepower to get there. As I said before, the bullpen will be what carries the Nationals into the World Series. Don’t count out the DBacks though; J.D. Martinez has been going off since he was traded to the D-Backs. If he has a good series, then the Diamondbacks may win this series. With that being said though, I will take the Nationals in six games still.
Cleveland Indians vs. Washington Nationals
Does Cleveland get a World Series title to celebrate? The short answer is yes. They will get to revenge for their World Series lost last year led by Corey Kluber and that dirty bullpen. Both teams are evenly matched with great hitting and pitching. But, the Indians just do it better. The series will go the distance, but this time the story ends with the Indians winning the World Series. Just think though, the CY Young winners in both leagues could possibly face off in game one in Kluber and Nationals ace Max Scherzer. So this series will be one for the ages, no doubt about that. I just think the Indians have too much fire power for the Nationals. Indians in seven.