MLB Playoff Bracket
All predictions were made before the the game/series was played.
AL Wild Card Round
(AWAY TEAM)(5) Oakland Athletics 97-65
(HOME TEAM)(4) New York Yankees 100-62
The A’s use of the “opener” strategy combined with journeymen pitchers, is somehow better than the Yankees rotation. Also with the A’s great defense and plus power they are a tough out. Still, the Yankees have too much offensive firepower to lose a elimination game at Yankee Stadium with Luis Severino pitching. It looks like the cinderella season for the A’s might end at the hands of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.
PREDICTION: YANKEES WIN
NL Wild Card Round
(AWAY TEAM)(5) Colorado Rockies 91-72
(HOME TEAM)(4) Chicago Cubs 95-68
Both these teams are in the Wild Card Game as a result of losing Game 163 to decide the division winners of the NL West and the NL Central respectively. The Cubs are better in most aspects of baseball than the Rockies, but Kyle Freeland is much better than Jon Lester and with key guys in the Cubs bullpen injured, even a billy goat in the ivy might not be able to save the Cubs’ season.
PREDICTION: ROCKIES WIN
AL Divisional Round
(AWAY TEAM)(4) New York Yankees 100-62
(HOME TEAM)(1) Boston Red Sox 108-54
The Yankees, being the away team in this series will not have home field advantage, and Chris Sale and David Price are better than Luis Severino and J.A. Happ and have arguably the two of the best hitters in baseball in Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. It will be tough, but with Chris Sale likely pitching two games, the Yankees don’t look like they can topple the AL East Champions with a possible Game Five being held in front of Fenway Faithful.
PREDICTION: RED SOX WIN SERIES 3-2
NL Divisional Round
(AWAY TEAM)(5) COLORADO ROCKIES 91-72
(HOME TEAM)(1) MILWAUKEE BREWERS 96-77
As a result of beating the Cubs in Game 163, the Brewers are the number one seed in the NL and have home field advantage until the World Series. The Rockies hitters are much worse when they are not playing at Coors Field. Also, because of pitching in Game 163 and the Wild Game, Kyle Freeland and German Marquez will only pitch one game each. The Rockies will put up a fight, but it will be a struggle to win a game at Miller Park.
PREDICTION: BREWERS WIN SERIES 3-1
AL DIVISIONAL ROUND
(AWAY TEAM)(3) Cleveland Indians 91-71
(HOME TEAM)(2) Houston Astros 103-59
The defending champions Astros, begin their title defense against the Indians pitting arguably the two best pitching rotations in baseball against each other in the first round. While Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are tough, Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco are tougher. Even though you can make an argument that Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor are better hitters than anyone on the Astros, the Astros lineup is better from top to bottom. Even though the Indians top pitchers might be a little better, the Astros are a better all-around team.
PREDICTION: ASTROS WIN SERIES 3-1
NL Divisional Round
(AWAY TEAM)(3) Atlanta Braves 90-72
(HOME TEAM)(2) Los Angeles Dodgers 92-71
The Dodgers, raced past the Rockies and the Diamondbacks at the end of the season to force and win a NL West Game 163 Tiebreaker to claim the number two seed in the NL. While Atlanta is a fun story of a rebuilding team breaking out a year early with most of their key players being very young, they seemed to falter a bit down the stretch after their competition in the NL East the Phillies fell out of the playoff race. The Dodgers finally look like the team that many of the preseason projections thought they would be, making this the easiest pick in the bracket.
PREDICTION: DODGERS WIN SERIES 3-0
AL Championship Round
(AWAY TEAM)(2) Houston Astros 103-59
(HOME TEAM)(1) Boston Red Sox 108-54
Even though the Red Sox finished with the superior record, the Astros are the popular pick by experts to win the AL. This might be a bit biased, but to me the Red Sox look just as good as the Astros when you consider how much better their lineup has been of late. If the Red Sox keep hitting as well as they have done all season, then they will be able to hit the Astros pitchers. This will be a very close series, that could go anyone’s way, but I think whatever team is more consistent in all aspects of baseball will win this series.
PREDICTION: RED SOX WIN SERIES 4-3
NL Championship Round
(AWAY TEAM)(2) Los Angeles Dodgers 92-71
(HOME TEAM)(1) Milwaukee Brewers 96-77
The underdog, the Dodgers were a popular world series pick to start the season, the Brewers were a fringe choice to make the playoffs. These two teams have had very different seasons to get to this point. In the end though this series will probably come down to situational hitting and the bullpen. Milwaukee has been much better in both areas throughout the season, even though the Dodgers have done much better lately and could make this series interesting. But if the Dodgers get into any of their slumps throughout any part of the series the Brewers will pounce.
PREDICTION: BREWERS WIN SERIES 4-2
(AWAY TEAM)(1) Milwaukee Brewers
(HOME TEAM)(1) Boston Red SoxIf someone said in the beginning in the season that the Brewers would make the World Series, lots of people would call them crazy. Especially, if you said some of their top starters would be injured for significant parts of the season including parts of the playoffs. But because of a dominant bullpen and great hitting they will play in the World Series. The Red Sox were the consensus AL wild card team before the season, expected to give the Yankees a run for the division. But after staying a couple games ahead of the Yankees and completing a huge four game sweep secured their spot as the team to beat in baseball. Overall, while the Milwaukee bullpen is a huge strength over the Red Sox’s, their starting pitching is much worse. If the Red Sox can make even a small dent in the trio of Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffries and Corey Knebel, they probably lose the series. But if the Red Sox can not hit off Milwaukee’s bullpen then they will probably win. The winner of the AL Championship Series will probably win the World Series and that’s why I am making this pick.
PREDICTION: RED SOX WIN SERIES 4-2