By: Jonathan Goad
With the two game 163’s complete, the bracket is set for the playoffs. The Brewers defeated the Cubs, so they will host the winner of the NL Wild Card game between the Rockies, who lost to the Dodgers, and the Cubs. The NL Wild Card game is tonight (Tuesday) at 7:00 pm, Central Time. It’s win or go home for these teams. That’s why Game 163 was so important on Monday.
The AL Wild Card game is scheduled for Wednesday, also at 7:00 pm, Central Time. It features the New York Yankees hosting the Oakland Athletics.
Let’s start the predictions with the two Wild Card games.
WILD CARD GAMES (Best of 1)
Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies
The Cubs are sending Jon Lester to the mound to face Colorado’s Kyle Freeland. Both had nice regular seasons, but I like Lester’s postseason experience in this one. The Cubs will move on and face the Brewers in a rematch of Game 163.
New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics
Over in the AL, neither team has announced their starting pitcher for the Wild Card team. However, I don’t think it will matter too much. The A’s have been a nice story since the All-Star Break, but the Yankees have too many good bats. I don’t think Oakland can keep up with the Yankees offense. New York moves on to face their rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
DIVISION SERIES (Best of 5)
Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers
With the Cubs moving on, they’ll play the Brewers in the NLDS. This Brewers club doesn’t have much postseason experience, so I think the Cubs will handle them in four games. The Cubs offense will get going led by Javy Baez, who has a shot at the NL MVP. The Brewers MVP candidate, Christian Yelich, won’t be able to carry them enough to get past the Cubs pitching. Cubs win in four.
Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Braves are another young team without much playoff experience. The Dodgers also have some youth, but their core has been to the postseason quite often as of late. I think that helps them tremendously in this series. However, I do think this series will go the distance. Dodgers beat Atlanta in five games.
Cleveland Indians vs. Houston Astros
The Indians didn’t have much competition in the AL Central. They clinched their division fairly early, so they haven’t played serious baseball for a couple weeks. I think that will show in this series. Plus, the Astros are a very good team. They don’t have a lot of holes. I’m calling a sweep in this one. Astros in three.
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
It’s a real shame that this will be a Division Series matchup. These were the two best teams in baseball for most of the season, until a late season push by the Astros. This series will feature some of the best sluggers in the game. J.D. Martinez (likely the AL MVP), Mookie Betts, Giancarlo Stanton, the list goes on. I do think this will come down to who can limit the other team’s offense. Don’t expect many, if any, pitching gems in this series. They will battle it out with the bats. In the end, the Boston Red Sox will come out victorious in five games.
CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (Best of 7)
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs
If it seems like this has been the NLCS for the past couple years, that’s because it has. These teams met in 2016 and 2017 in the NLCS with each team winning an NL Pennant. The Cubs went on to win the World Series and the Dodgers ended up losing to the Houston Astros last season. I think the Dodgers end up repeating as NL Champions this season. It’ll be a tough, drawn out series, but the Dodgers will end up representing the NL in the World Series once again. Dodgers in seven games.
Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox
This will be another great series with the MLB’s two best teams. Both teams won at least 103 games this season. Either would have a great shot at winning another World Series. However, I have to think the Boston Red Sox are just slightly better than the Astros. The Sox just have too much fire power for Houston to keep up. Red Sox win in six games.
WORLD SERIES (Best of 7)
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
This will feature two of the most historic franchises in the MLB. However, I don’t think it will be that great of a series. The Red Sox are too good. I don’t think the Dodgers have an answer for all that Boston will throw at them. The Boston Red Sox will win the World Series in five games.
World Series MVP: Mookie Betts
There you have it, my predictions for the MLB Playoffs. October baseball is the best baseball. No matter who your team is playoff baseball is great to watch. I’ll be tuning in every chance I get.
I’d love to hear whether you agree or disagree with my picks. Where do you think I’m wrong?
Whatever your opinion is, let’s all enjoy this last month of baseball.