MLB Postseason Preview

October is here, and with that comes postseason baseball; the best time of the year for a baseball enthusiast. On Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles on a walk-off home run by Edwin Encarnacion. On Wednesday, the San Francisco Giants overcame the New York Mets in what was an absolute pitchers’ duel between two of the best in the game, Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner got the best of that matchup, throwing a complete game shutout, while the Mets closer gave up a three-run homerun in a tied game.

Now there are eight. The ALDS is here and while it should be entertaining, I don’t think that the Red Sox-Indians series will be the one to watch. The Indians have lost two of their top starters in the past month, and the Red Sox have too much talent. The only worry that I have with the Red Sox is the performance of their bullpen and their third baseman (whoever it may be). The Indians have many more flaws than the Red Sox. For these reasons, I believe the Red Sox will win the series in four games.

Now for the other ALDS series, the Texas Rangers versus the Toronto Blue Jays. These are two teams who can flat-out crush the ball, and this should be a great series to watch. I am giving the Blue Jays the slight edge, winning in five games. This is because they have a rotation that has performed well above expectations this year, and a decent bullpen; whereas the Rangers’ pitching staff has not performed nearly as well this year. The Rangers have a good top of their rotation, but their third and fourth starters are not going to be enough to help them win a playoff series. Not to mention, they have had one of the worst bullpens in the league this year, which is an absolutely vital part to a postseason run.

Over to the NLDS, the Chicago Cubs take on the Giants. The Cubs come into the playoffs with the best record in the MLB this year at 103-58. The Giants started off extremely well this year, having the best record in the MLB at the All-Star break, but have since gone 30-42. This should be concerning, and it is, but the talent that the Giants possess is undeniable. In my opinion, they have the best starting rotation in the league, headlined by Bumgarner, a Cy Young candidate. The Cubs on the other hand, have what is most likely the best roster in the league, and they are built for October. Their strong lineup is paired with an even stronger rotation, which is capped off by a solid bullpen, with elite closer Aroldis Chapman closing the door. This series looks as if it should be an amazing one, with the Giants postseason experience and the Cubs talent. Still, I predict the Cubs will prevail in five games.

In the other NLDS series, the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Washington Nationals. This series looks to be very evenly matched, and I believe it will come down to the fifth game. The Dodgers have a solid lineup, but they struggle greatly against lefties. Their pitching staff is solid, but besides Clayton Kershaw, nothing to write home about. The Nationals, on the other hand, will be without one of their best pitchers, Stephen Strasburg, and their starting catcher, Wilson Ramos. Headlining the Nationals staff is Max Scherzer, but after that, it drops off greatly. I think this one will result in the Dodgers winning the series in five games.

On to the ALCS, which I predict will be the Red Sox versus the Blue Jays. This divisional matchup should be close throughout, with the potential to have some high-scoring games. This series will hinge on the Red Sox pitching staff. If they perform to their potential, they will win. Anyone who has seen this Red Sox team play this year knows that this is anything but a given. On the other hand, the Blue Jays pitching staff will need to continue outperforming themselves if they wish to hang on in this series. It is known what each team can bring to the table at the plate, but the pitching is where the questions exist. I think that a combination of talent and experience will allow the Red Sox to win this series in seven games, but it should be a great one to watch.

In the NLCS, the Dodgers will be taking on the Cubs. It is clear that the Cubs are the more talented team in this series, and all signs will be pointing to them winning the series. The Dodgers will need to rely on Kershaw to take over and win two games this series, but doing that against an explosive Cubs lineup, coupled with the fact that he has been notoriously poor in the postseason, seems like a long shot. I believe the Cubs will take this one in five games, and will see the Red Sox in the World Series.

In the World Series, the Red Sox take on the Cubs. Two high-powered offenses clash, and whoever is able to pitch well will prevail. As I have said earlier, the Red Sox have an inconsistent pitching staff, which will either win them or lose them this series. The Cubs, on the other hand, have three starting pitchers in the conversation for the NL Cy Young, and two position players in the running for the NL MVP. The amount of talent on this team is unbelievable, and I think the Cubs, for the first time in 108 years, will win the World Series in six games.

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