The 2018 Playoffs are finally here. After the treacherous 162 game season, we have finally learned who will be playing for the World Series. So, let’s start with my predictions for the American League.
New York vs Boston
The last time these two teams played in the postseason was 2004, when Boston came back from 3-0 to win and ultimately break the curse. A lot has changed since then. Boston has won 2 more world series, the Yankees only one. Both teams have gone through a rebuilding process, but now they are the two most explosive teams in the MLB. This series will depend on starting pitching. Boston needs their starters to go at least 6 innings, ideally 7, for them to have a chance. They have one of the worst bullpens, blowing over half of their second half saves. The Yankees need at least 5 solid innings, and then can hand it to their bullpen. The offense for both of these clubs is incredible. They’re all healthy, so this will get interesting. Boston will win a slugfest, we’ve seen it all year. If the Yankees can keep them under 3 runs, they win. I think New York could sweep this series. Chris Sale has a 0-2 postseason record with an over 8.00 ERA. David Price cannot beat the Yankees and posts a 2-8 postseason record. I think the Yankees steal one in Boston, most likely Game 1 with JA Happ then drop Game 2. However, I would not be shocked if they win both in Boston and win in 3. The Yankees are the better all-around team and they’re clicking right now. My prediction: Yankees in 4.
Cleveland vs Houston
This will be an overlooked matchup due to the other matchup in the American League, but this series will be some of the best baseball imaginable. The Astros have the edge, in my opinion, due to their starting pitching. Their offense is also amazing, which makes them a hard out in the postseason. On the year, the Astros defeated the Indians in 4 out of 7 games played this season. The Astros have the fifth best offense and the best pitching staff in the league. The Indians have the fourth best offense and the seventh best pitching. What scares me for the Indians is their pitching is very inconsistent. Against the Astros, you need reliable pitching and reliable hitting, which the Indians do not have. In order for the Indians to win this series, they need Kluber and Bauer to pitch lights out, like they did in the 2016 postseason. If they get that, they have a chance. Ultimately, I think Houston’s pitching will be too much for the Indians to handle and the Astros will win the series in 5.
Now for the National League:
Braves vs Dodgers
The Braves were a surprise to many this year. With Acuña, the Braves won their division handily. The Braves have the 10th best offense and the 7th best pitching staff. They have the Rookie of the Year, a first-time manager, and little to no postseason experience. But, they have a chance. The Dodgers just played the Rockies in a game 163 and they looked like the Dodgers of last year. The Dodgers are a scary team. After falling short to the Astros last year, they solidified their pitching staff. They started the year amazingly with a comfortable lead in the NL West and hobbled into All Star break, looking for a change. Then, they added Manny Machado and Brian Dozer through waivers and trades. The Dodgers have finally found their way of late, and I expect them to go far in this postseason. The Braves do not have a bullpen and the Bellinger, Muncy combo will be too much for the Braves. I wouldn’t be shocked if they sweep them, but I’ll say the Dodgers win in 4.
Rockies vs Brewers
These are two of the hottest teams in baseball right now. The Brewers have won 23 out of their last 30 while the Rockies have won 20 of their last 29. This series will be interesting, and I think it will come down to if the Rockies can hit outside of Colorado. That has been their issue all season long, posting about a 60-point higher batting average at home, which will happen in Colorado. On the other side of it, you have the NL MVP and perhaps the hottest hitter in the game right now, Christian Yelich. Another thing going against the Rockies is that they have had no rest. They played in LA on Monday, Chicago Tuesday, but they were off Wednesday. Wednesday was their first off day since September 20th, which will be something to keep an eye on. Their starting pitching is underrated, but their two best started Monday and Tuesday, which gives Milwaukee an advantage. I think the Brewers win this in 3 and continue their hot streak.
I’ll break down the Championship Series when it is set, but below are all of my predictions. Let’s have an unforgettable October.
ALCS: NYY vs Houston
NLCS: Dodgers vs Milwaukee
World Series: NYY vs Milwaukee
Winner: NYY in 6
Soft 7 Staff World Series Picks
Parmesan Don: Dodgers vs Red Sox- Red Sox in 6
Buck: Brewers vs Indians- Indians in 7
Wic: Yankees vs Dodgers- LA in 7