162 games per team are in the books and now the real action starts on the diamond. Every summer you hear the phrase the “Dog Days of Summer” regarding the long baseball season but summer is over and October baseball is already in full force.
In 2012 the MLB added in the second wild card creating a one game playoff. Some hate the after 162 games it all comes down to one game for 4 teams but after its 5th year I think we can all say that this was the right move and creates Game 7 feels to kick off the playoffs. This year proved no different.
First up were the Blue Jays / Orioles. The Blue Jays have turned themselves in the most hated team in the AL maybe even the MLB the past few years, whether it be the bat flips to space or the need to protect their players from nothing *Cough* Donaldson is a cry baby *Cough*. But one thing is for sure they bring the excitement that the playoffs need. This went extras and Edwin Encarnacion smoked a Ubaldo Jimenez pitch in the 13th to end it. Looks about this game can be discussed, why is Britton not in, fans in Toronto creating a bad name for the city, is the Edwin Parrot the best Gif in sports?
Tough act to follow in the NL, but it was Bumgaurder vs Syndergaard. Oh boy, it did! I had a front row seat to this gem. Both pitchers were electicifiying. I said it early, first to go to the bullpen loses and the Mets cracked first. Mad Bum was not coming out of that game until the 11th, which meant game over for New York. I tip my hat to the crowd though, awesome atmosphere all around, couldn’t ask for better, (well maybe a win). Both starters were unhittable, you NEED to leave Thor in there. 2 amazing wild card games, 2 bone head coaching decisions.
That was fun and all but time for the real match ups
Texas Rangers vs Toronto Blue Jays
This is the matchup the MLB and the fans needed. A rematch from last year that sparked the hatred for the Blue Jays. I am not sure if Batista’s bat has even landed yet but the Rangers want revenge and have the roster to reverese last years’ series.
This series wont be short on runs, two high powering offenses that love the big stage. The Blue Jays have the edge there with Donaldson/ Edwin/Joey Bats combo. I give the pitching edge to Texas though, the Cole Hamels trade last year has really worked out for them and they will have the fresher arms with the Jays using their 2 starters to win the WC. Dont get me started on how big of an impact the loss of Jaquim Benoit will be for the Jays pen either (way to go Joshie, idiot!).
Cleveland Indians vs Boston Red Sox
I have been going back and forth with this one all week. This just seems like a Red Sox team of destiny right? Steriod Papi, I mean Big Papi, in his final year with a team that is fun to watch. How would of thought Rick Porcello and Hanley Ramirez would of worked out this well. Not I sir, not I. My biggest thing though is you have to start Price game 1 besides the big money I have a thoery. Well not a theory a fact, Price isnt a big game pitcher! If IF the Sox lose game 1, I have zero faith in Price in game 2. If the Sox lose they will go down 2-0. It is a tough decision but I want Porcello game 2.
This is an all heart pick but give me Andrew Miller and good ole Cleveland. Thing are coming for Cleveland (minus the Browns, think you might want Carson Wentz??). The Sox lineup can win the whole thing but their staff and bullpen will blow it for them.
INDIANS in 4
Time for the NL, which I think is much easier to predict. (I am probably wrong).
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Washington Nationals
The Nationals were my team to win it all going into the season but that has changed. Bryce has a down year for him ( can a 22 year old have a down year) and is ready for pinstripes. More importantly the Dodgers have convinced me that are a real threat . Kershaw seems healthy and if he goes 2 games sorry Washington you don’t have a chance. I think this one is quick
Dodgers in 4
(Editor note: I’m hungover AF so if you think my writing is normally bad, it wont be better, trying to get this out by first pitch today 3pm)
Chicago Cubs vs San Francisco Giants
The journey to break the Billy Goat curse has to start somewhere. Thankfully Bumgarder went 9 innings and cant pitch 2 games or esle this would be alot closer.
The Cubs have been so good its impossible to pick against them and we won’t. The SF streak ends but now within out a fight. This will be a close series but that Chicago lineup has too much fire power
CUBS in 4
ALCS Indians vs Rangers
I said I like the Rangers and I’m sticking with it. Rangers would love the Indians here and will make quick work of them. The bullpens won’t matter cause Texas will score early and often
RANGERS in 5
NLCS Dodgers vs Cubs
You don’t come to AVS for normal prediction ( well lets be honest no one comes to AVS…yet) but Chicago is cursed and that is not changing. Sports have a mind of their own and this years Vin Scully matters. Him retiring is more important than baseball to some people, I couldnt care less about the guy, can hold a candle to Suzyn Waldman but “that’s just baseball Suzyn.
This will be the best series all year, theres always next year Chicago
Dodgers in 7
World Series Dodgers vs Rangers
Did I mention Vin Scully? Also the Rangers seem to fuck up one playoff game a year so need to count that in.
Dodgers in 6
(Great research and analysis Steve. go home you’er drunk)
Also published on Medium.