- Tim Burke
i have been playing It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year on a loop lately. That is right it is MLB playoffs. The 2019 regular season is over and it was full of shocking surprises. How about the epic September collapse of the Cubs, The Red Sox golfing in October and many more. In this post, my friend and unfortunate die hard Yankee fan, Sam Decaprio and myself will predict the winners of every playoff series. Our picks may surprise you.
AL Wild Card
I have not been this excited for a baseball game in 2019 than I am for the American League Wild Card game. I know the Rays will be as strategic as possible and change a lot of pitchers to find the right matchups. I also know how boring that is to some people but it works. I respect the strategic side of the game. Use anything you can to win. I also love watching the Athletics offense any chance I get. See my previous post on why the AL Wild Card is must watch baseball.
NL Wild Card
Washigton Nationals or the Milwaukee Brewers
Max Scherzer is starting for the Nationals. That is all that is needed to know. I love the Brewers. They are such a likable team who are easy to root for but there is no Christian Yelich to face Mad Max. Good luck with that.
Yankees 3 Twins 1
I would love to see the year that the Yankees are eliminated by the Twins. I just don't see it being this year. I have expressed my disbelief in the Yankees quest for a World Series. Despite being a juggernaut on offense their starting rotation is a massive flaw in my eyes. I just do not see the Twins as the team to defeat the Evil Empire.
Houston 4 Oakland 2
I love Oakland and they will put up a fight but the Astros are ridiculously good. Houston is the first team in MLB history to have the most pitching strike outs and the fewest hitting strike outs. The Athletics lethal offense will be over powered by the Astros rotation.
Dodgers 3 Nationals 1
The Dodgers are just too over powering. Their offense is deadly and their pitching is almost untouchable. They had the most wins in the National League and even set a franchise record in wins. The Nationals virtually have zero chance against the dominant Dodgers.
Braves 3 Cardinals 2
I like the Cardinals here not going to lie. Mike Shildt should be the National League Manager of the Year for how he turned this Cardinals team into NL Central Champions. I just think the Braves lineup will over power them. Mike Soraka vs Jack Flaherty will be an unreal pitching matchup for game one.
Houston 4 Yankees 3
The Yankees will put up as good of a fight as they can against the Astros. The Yankees rotation just flat out can not matchup against the Astros. I mean come on. Verlander, Cole and Grienke. Better luck next year New York.
Dodgers 4 Braves 2
The Braves are a really good baseball team and are going to the give the Dodgers the best fight in the national league but the Dodgers are too good. Kershaw, Buehler and Ryu in the playoffs is going to be nearly impossible to beat.
Dodgers 4 vs Astros 3
I loved the 2017 World Series. It was such an emotional roller coaster. The most entertaining World Series I have seen. I loved it. I think we see part two of that this season. The Astros and the Dodgers are just so good and will be for a long time. The two best rotations in the game will go head to head. I can not wait to see it. I have the Dodgers winning this time. They earned it. They're hungry. Kershaw wants his ring. Everyone in the organization wants to avenge the previous two World Series losses. Andrew Friedman is the best baseball executive right now and has built a competitive Dodgers team that continues to dominate the National league. Dave Roberts is an excellent manager and in my opinion the best in the game. They deserve their ring. I think they get it.
The best time of year is upon us once again, the MLB playoffs. This season, we’ve been surprised by the rise of some teams just as equally as the fall of some others. I’m just as stunned as anyone that the Red Sox failed to make the playoffs a year after winning 119 games with largely the same roster. Meanwhile, a team that nobody expected much out of this season in Minnesota just won the AL Central. It’s a crazy, crazy game that will hopefully lead to some electric playoff matchups I’ve broken down below:
AL Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays @ Oakland Athletics
This one is very difficult to call. Tampa Bay might be the best-run organization in baseball; fielding a team that surpasses 90 wins in back-to-back seasons in a horrible stadium with a tiny payroll is a very tall task that they’ve done admirably. On the other end, Oakland is built for a long playoff run, with the return of Sean Manaea as well as Matt Chapman turning into an absolute superstar at the hot corner. I can see this game going either way, but I’m willing to bet that Charlie Morton outduels Sean Manaea to send the Rays to Houston.
NL Wild Card: Milwaukee Brewers @ Washington Nationals
Who would’ve thought that Milwaukee would play better without Christian Yelich? This was an already very good group that has been on a tear lately, going 20-7 in the month of September. As far as the guys from The District go, the Nats have as good of a 1-2-3 as anyone not named Houston with Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin leading the way, along with Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto having outstanding years at the plate. Milwaukee will continue their winning ways and hand the Nationals another gut-wrenching playoff loss.
ALDS: Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The ‘Stros are probably the best team in baseball, and are absolutely loaded top to bottom with talent, and can easily win a World Series with this roster. This is gonna be a tough series; it will get pushed to 5 games, but Houston will prevail against a very pesky Rays team, in what proves to be a scare that could bite them later…
ALDS: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins
This one has the potential to be the most exciting series of the entire playoffs. Both teams slugged their way north of 300 home runs on the season, so power will be aplenty in this showdown. The Yankees have shown that no matter who is out there, they can win games. They have that “it” factor that all the analysts talk about. In October, it’s not about how you do it, it’s just about doing it, and right now, the Yankees are a force that has done it all year and will dismiss the Twins in 4 games.
NLDS: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brew Crew will come into LA on fire, but make no mistake, the Dodgers are ready. A career year from Cody Bellinger coupled with the rise of Hyun-Jin Ryu makes this Dodgers team arguably better than any this century. Milwaukee will win a game with their backs against the wall at home, but their fire will run out of fuel; the Dodgers will defeat the Brewers in 4 games.
NLDS: Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals
2 really interesting teams we got here. Atlanta is led by Ronald Acuña and Josh Donaldson in the lineup, and Mike Soroka and Dallas Keuchel on the bump. The Cardinals come in riding the right arms of Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson. Ultimately, the Cardinals lineup is the weakest out of any of the playoff teams, and the Braves will easily dispatch the Redbirds in a 3-game sweep.
ALCS: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees
Remember that “it” factor I mentioned earlier? The Yankees have it. They just. keep. winning. On paper, the Astros rotation is far better, but the Yankees can hang with these guys. If Severino, Paxton, and Tanaka can hold their own and keep the games close, the deep Yankees lineup will get to Houston’s bullpen and break open games late. I’ve got the Yankees winning this in 5, but it will be a very close 5. A split in Houston will bring energy into the Bronx which the Bombers will feed off of and win every one of their home games just like in 2017 to march to the World Series.
NLCS: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
A rematch from the 2013 playoffs! This one has 2 completely different teams slugging it out. I actually think the Braves’ lineup can more than compete with the Dodgers’, but LA has more pitching, and better pitching. This will be a 6-game series; the Braves will make it interesting, but ultimately, the Dodgers are just too good.
World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees
Finally, the matchup every big-market baseball fan has dreamt of for years. So many storylines: the history of both franchises, a history of winning, and two really, really good baseball teams. The Dodgers were good enough to cruise through the NL; no team compared to them. But, their luck is going to be tested in the World Series. These Yankees are really good, and they can beat you in a million different ways. Good pitching, home runs, timely hitting, bullpen lockdown, or a late-inning rally, these guys have it all. But, don’t sleep on the Dodgers either. They will be extra motivated after the past two collapses in the Fall Classic, and will do whatever it takes to win. Having said that…
Your 2019 World Series Champions will be…
Los Angeles Dodgers in 7 games.
Honestly this series could go either way, but the Dodgers are hungry, and if we are being completely honest, the Yanks will probably have Judge, Stanton, and Torres on the disabled list by the time the World Series arrives. There will be toss-up games galore here, but ultimately, it’ll be the Dodgers who shake their demons and finally win it all.
Agree with what I said? Have a problem with me blatantly disrespecting your team? Sound off below. Here’s to a heck of a month of baseball, everybody