Last week, I predicted the final standings for each division in the MLB for this upcoming season. I thought it was pretty fun, so I decided I’d go ahead and predict the postseason as well. So, let’s get to it!
Division Winners (National League):
If you’ll recall from last week’s article (which you can check out here), I predicted the NL division winners to be as follows:
NL West: Dodgers
NL Central: Cubs
NL East: Nationals
But what about Wild Card teams? Well, I don’t see a team from the NL East performing well enough to be a wild card. For me, it comes down to three teams: the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals. And the Rockies, in my opinion, are the most obvious wild card contender out of these three. They possess so many offensive weapons, including perennial MVP candidate Nolan Arenado and stellar outfielder Charlie Blackmon. Their pitching, however, leaves a bit to be desired, but young hurlers Jon Gray and Kyle Freeland both had promising seasons last year. The addition of Wade Davis makes their bullpen a lot better, and that helps a lot when playing at an offense-friendly ballpark like Coors Field. So, my first wild card team is the Colorado Rockies.
For the second wild card team, I’m gonna go ahead and choose the St. Louis Cardinals simply because they’re due for some success. Their rotation ain’t what it used to be, but they’re still led by a great, young ace, Carlos Martinez, who has averaged a 3.24 ERA and has made two All-Star teams over the last three years. They also have 8x All-Star and 8x Gold Glove winning catcher Yadier Molina, even if he is approaching the back end of his career. Also, the addition of Marcell Ozuna will result in a deeper lineup, with Ozuna, Matt Carpenter, and Jedd Gyorko all having the potential to hit 25+ home runs. Will that happen? Maybe not, but they still possess a solid lineup that I think can carry them to the playoffs.
Wild Card Game: Rockies Vs. Cardinals
Even though I think the Rockies will finish the season with a better record, I think the Cards will beat them in a one game playoff, simply because of the pitching advantage. The Rockies don’t have a solidified ace, whereas the Cards have Martinez, who I predict would have a good game against the Rockies, even with Colorado’s slugger-deep lineup.
NLDS: Dodgers Vs. Cardinals
Winners: Dodgers in 4 (3-1)
The Dodgers just have so many weapons, offensively and on the mound, that I cannot see the Cardinals winning a series against them. And I certainly can’t imagine the Cardinals winning three out of five against a rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, and, if they resign him, Yu Darvish.
NLDS: Nationals Vs. Cubs
Winners: Cubs in 5 (3-2)
Here I predict a repeat of last year’s NLDS. The Nats no longer have Dusty at the helm, so I don’t think this new manager can just come in and knock off this Cubs team, who has been one of the premier MLB teams of the last few years. Sorry Nats fans, but the Cubs will advance again.
Now, let’s go ahead and switch to the American League.
Division Winners (American League)
AL West: Astros
AL Central: Indians
AL East: Yankees
Last week, I mentioned how the Angels made several key acquisitions this offseason, including Shohei Ohtani, Zack Cozart, and Ian Kinsler. These solid players, in addition to the Angels’ key players such as Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Albert Pujols, will result in the first wild card team. This is a pretty bold prediction given the Angels’ lackluster rotation, but, if Ohtani pitches well, he will improve their rotation immensely, especially if Garrett Richards returns healthy.
For my second wild card prediction, I’m gonna go with the Boston Red Sox due to their great rotation, led by Chris Sale, who had over 300 strikeouts in 2017, and their lineup, which I think will improve in 2018. Last year, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts had less-than-stellar seasons, but I think they’ll be much more productive in the upcoming season.
Wild Card Game: Angels Vs. Red Sox
Winners: Red Sox
Chris Sale, in a one game playoff? Gotta go with the Red Sox here.
ALDS: Yankees Vs. Red Sox
Winners: Yankees in 3 (3-0)
What a fitting matchup: one of baseball’s most intense rivalries returns in the first round of the playoffs. And, unfortunately for those who want a good series, this one will end in a sweep. The Yankees lineup is just too much for the Sox to handle, and the Yankees rotation is pretty darn good too. The Yanks will make quick work of the Red Sox in this series.
ALDS: Astros Vs. Indians
Winners: Astros in 5 (3-2)
The Astros, coming off a World Series win, will be one of the best teams next season. The Indians will also be a great team, led by a magnificent rotation featuring last year’s Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and 18-game winner Carlos Carrasco. The Astros, as they showed last year, can quickly put together a rally, and I think they’ll be able to overwhelm the Indians and pull 3 wins out. This will be a great series that could go either way, but I think the Astros will return to the ALCS.
NLCS: Dodgers Vs. Cubs
Winners: Dodgers in 6 (4-2)
Again, a repeat of last year’s series, but I think the Cubs will win one more game than they did last year. The Dodgers, as I’ve mentioned before, are just so loaded, and I don’t see the Cubs beating them with an inferior rotation.
ALCS: Astros Vs. Yankees
Winners: Yankees in 7 (4-3)
No one expected the Yankees to be as good as they were last year, but a lot is expected of them for the upcoming season. And, personally, I think they’ll live up to these expectations and dethrone the defending World Series champs. The Astros rotation was their weakest point last year, and, since the Yankees are anticipated to have the scariest lineup in the league next season, I think the Yanks will just be too hard to get out. Runs-a-plenty will result in this series, and ERAs will be in the ~6 range. In this slugfest, I got the Yankees.
World Series: Dodgers Vs. Yankees
This is it. Two of the most iconic teams in baseball history meeting, once again, in the World Series. These teams have faced off in the fall classic 11 times, resulting in more World Series face offs than any other duo.
This series will go to 7, and I think it will be a great series, but, if you twisted my arm, I’d take the Dodgers. They have a magnificent rotation and a great young lineup, and there’s just too much uncertainty with this Yankees team. I think the Dodgers are more solid, and, if I were a betting man, I’d take LA in this series, and, for that reason alone, I think the Dodgers will defeat the Yankees in 7 games in the World Series.
Thanks for reading! Disagree? Feel free to let me know in the comments. Also, make sure you take a gander at all the articles on Mid-American Culture, as well as our Weekly Waves playlist. See you all next time.