It took 163 games, but the Major League Baseball Postseason is finally here! The season ended with a thriller in Arlington, Texas as the Rays defeated the Rangers 5-2. The Rangers made some costly mistakes on the base paths, getting thrown out twice in the first three innings. Texas had a clear plan to run on the Rays, a plan that failed miserably. David Price was phenomenal, tossing a complete game gem. But enough about the regular season. It’s time for some playoff baseball!
Wild Card: Rays over Indians – The Indians have been as hot as it gets down the stretch, ripping off 10 wins in a row to reach the postseason. The Rays, on the other hand, struggled as of late, needing a 163rd game to keep their season alive. However, the Rays are the team that’s been there before. For the Indians, just making the postseason is an accomplishment in and of itself. It’s tough to pick again Terry Francona, but with Joe Maddon on board, he’s never a bad bet either.
ALDS: Red Sox over Rays in 5 – This should be a classic showdown of two AL East teams. Boston has been the best team in the AL all year, but something tells me that the Rays give them a run for their money. This is a close series with the Red Sox needing a 5th game at home to take the series.
ALDS: Tigers over A’s in 4 – The A’s are about as likable as it gets. Looking at their team on paper, they shouldn’t be in the postseason. However, Billy Beane always seems to push the right buttons. They take a game, but the Tigers 1-2-3 of Scherzer-Sanchez-Verlander is too much to overcome.
ALCS: Tigers over Red Sox in 6 – The clear top teams in the AL, this should be a great series. Both offenses are potent and both have great rotations. However, the playoffs always come down to pitching, and the Tigers have the clear edge.
Wild Card: Pirates over Reds – The Pirates and Reds have been battling all season. Pittsburgh was able to claim home field in the Wild Card by sweeping the series in Cincinnati to end the regular season. To me, all signs point to Pittsburgh. Francisco Liriano has been dominant, and facing a left-handed heavy Reds lineup, I expect him to toss a gem in the Steel City
NLDS: Cardinals over Pirates in 5 – St. Louis never makes it easy on themselves, but they always seem to come up big when it matters the most. The Pirates start the series well, but ultimately, can’t overcome the postseason experience of the Cards. This reminds me a lot of last year’s Orioles-Yankees ALDS.
NLDS: Dodgers over Braves in 4 – Two words: Kershaw Greinke. These two are dominant starters who can beat just about anyone, giving them an enormous advantage in a 5-game series. I could see the Dodgers falling flat on their face and getting swept, but their 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation is too good to go against.
NLCS: Cardinals over Dodgers in 5 – Notice how I keep mentioning starting pitching? Throw it out the window! The Dodgers can make this a good series, especially with Kershaw and Greinke. However, something is just off about this Dodgers team. I like the Cardinals to win the pennant, proving to be masters of the playoffs yet again.
Tigers over Cardinals in 6 – For what feels like an eternity, the Tigers have had one of the best teams in baseball. With that said, they always come up short in the playoffs, having failed to win a World Series. That changes this year with the dominant three-headed monster of Scherzer, Sanchez and Verlander. The Cardinals just don’t have the rotation to win this one. Just to cover myself when I inevitable get this wrong, if the Red Sox win the AL, I like them to win the World Series.