We have each made our division predictions now, and so the time comes when we must figure out the next step: how our predicted playoffs will go.
It is worth noting I believe that I correctly predicted both the Cubs in 2016 and the Astros in 2017 to win the World Series (albeit with the Mariners making the ALCS)…with that record on the line, I (Daryll) will go first:
So I see Ronald Acuna and the Braves taking the Brewers in the Wild Card game when Acuna steals home in the 7th, and going up against the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals win out though with Bryce Harper hitting .400 with a .600 OBP and 3 home runs in the 4 game series.
The Dodgers and Cubs battle it out once again in the playoffs, with the Cubs winning this year again and going up against the Nationals once again. The Cubs win out once again and advance to the World Series.
In the American League, the wild card teams will be the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels, with Shohei Ohtani, sent to the minor leagues in May but came back in August pitching 7 strong innings and hitting a go-ahead double to boot in the one-game playoff. These two teams have had their own share of clashes over the years including of course the famous Dave Henderson game in 1986.
The Astros win the National League West with the best record in baseball and defeat the Angels in 4 games, just as they dominated them most of the season.
The Yankees meanwhile battle it out with the upstart NL Central Champion Minnesota Twins in the other ALDS and win this one in 5 games, thanks to of all things a Gary Sanchez squeeze play.
So the defending World Series Champion Astros against the 27 World Championship Winning New York Yankees. The “new” Yankees though, if you will. No more Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera left on this team to conjure up the ghosts of Yankees past. The Astros prevail once again and head back to the World Series. They become the first team to make it back to the World Series the year after winning the World Series since the 2001 New York Yankees.
The Cubs and Astros square off, the last two World Series winners. As I scroll through the World Series participants – this would be the first time since the 1958 World Series that pitted the two years previous champions against each other. The Yankees won in 1956, the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 (they wouldn’t move to Atlanta until 1966) and they faced off in 1958 where the Yankees won 4 games to 3.
While that is a long time ago, keep in mind we are talking about one franchise that won its first ever World Championship and one that one its first since 1908. They have patience when it comes to history.
In this matchup, the Astros win again, riding the dominant arms of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Dallas Keuchel to victory and baseballs first repeat champions since the 1998-2000 Yankees.
The Postseason captures the imagination of every baseball fan. It gives every fan hope, and the chance to become a champion. it is always fun to predict something that is impossible to predict, so allow me to begin my Postseason predictions with the National League.
If you have been keeping up with our (Daryll and myself) division previews, you would be aware that I have predicted the Los Angeles Dodgers (1) to win the National League West, the Washington Nationals (2) to win the National League East, and the Milwaukee Brewers (3) to win the National League Central. As far as the Wild Card Game goes, I’ll take the Chicago Cubs (4) at the No. 1 spot and the Colorado Rockies (5) with the No. 2 spot.
The NL Wild Card Game
Chicago Cubs (4) v. Colorado Rockies (5)
I know I am going to get attacked for this, but I am going to go with the Rockies reigning victorious over Chicago. With their potent lineup and improved bullpen, the Rockies will continue to prove to the baseball world that they have one of the best offensive lineups in the sport, and win the game in order to face their division rivals in the NLDS.
National League Division Series
Washington Nationals (2) v. Milwaukee Brewers (3)
The Washington Nationals will finally catch a break in the first round of the Postseason in 2018 and will prevail over Milwaukee in 4 games. The lack of Postseason experience will show with Milwaukee and Bryce Harper, who will most likely be playing his final season with the club, will be better than ever in an attempt to bring it home and boost his market value.
National League Division Series
Los Angeles Dodgers (1) v. Colorado Rockies (5)
The Dodgers and the Rockies will face off in the NLDS and with both teams having a chip on their shoulder from last year’s defeats, it will be interesting. The series will be a high scoring back and forth battle that will keep fans on the edge of their seats the entire time. Unfortunately for Colorado, the Dodgers are just too powerful and the Dodgers will win the series in 5. The defending National League Champs will face Washington in the NLCS.
National League Championship Series
Los Angeles Dodgers (1) v. Washington Nationals (2)
The Dodgers are right back in the National League Championship Series, and the Nats have finally gotten over the hump and won a Division series. Both teams will be desperate to get to the World Series, the Dodgers after last year’s defeat, and the Nationals in order to not become the next Buffalo Bills. The Series will go 7 games and will end with a Bryce Harper 3-run home run in Game 7 to put the Nationals ahead in the bottom of the 8th, the Dodgers will not come back, cementing Washington’s fate.
Before I unveil my World Series prediction, here are my American League predictions for the Postseason.
For the American League, I have the New York Yankees (1) winning the American League East, the Cleveland Indians (2) winning the American League Central, and the Houston Astros (3) winning the American League West. For the Wild Card Game, I have the Los Angeles Angels (4) with the No. 1 spot and the Boston Red Sox (5) at the No. 2 spot.
American League Wild Card Game
Los Angeles Angels (4) v. Boston Red Sox (5)
The Angels, with their revamped lineup and the anomaly that is Shohei Ohtani, will face off against the Red Sox and Chris Sale. In a back and forth game that will be mainly dominated by offensive horsepower, the Angels will prevail after Justin Upton and Mike Trout (who has been eager to prove himself in the postseason since 2014) give Ohtani all the help he needs with two long balls from Trout and one from Upton.
American League Division Series
Cleveland Indians (2) v. Houston Astros (3)
The Houston Astros will fulfill Dallas Keuchel’s claim that the Astros will not choke in the 2018 Postseason (for now) and put out the Indians’ hopes of a championship for the first time in 70 years. In full Indians fashion, Cleveland will go up 2 games to none, and the Astros will win the next three, causing a riot in Cleveland and Houston (both for very different reasons).
American League Division Series
New York Yankees (1) v. Los Angeles Angels (4)
After an entire season of waiting, baseball fans will finally get to see just how dominant the 2018 New York Yankees are in the Postseason as they steamroll the Angels in 4 games (I am an Angels fan so this is not easy to say). Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez will provide the Yankees with all the power that they need as the Angels’ pitching staff falters, and the Yankees will get a rematch in the ALCS against Houston.
American League Central Series
New York Yankees (1) v. Houston Astros (3)
After falling to the Astros in the 2017 American League Championship Series, the Yankees will be back with a big power boost and will end the Astros’ run with an epic series full of home runs. Stanton and Judge will do what they do best, and power the Bronx Bombers past Houston and into the World Series against the Washington Nationals.
2018 World Series
New York Yankees (1) v. Washington Nationals (2)
The New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals will face off in a true clash of the Titans. The Nationals will come at the Bombers with Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman, Trea Turner, and Anthony Rendon, as well as a star-studded pitching staff led by Max Scherzer. New York will counter with a solid pitching rotation along with one of the greatest power trios the game has ever seen, as well as an all-around dominant lineup. Both teams will fight gallantly, but in every World Series, there is a winner and a loser. I predict that the New York Yankees will win the 2018 World Series after a 6 Game series with the Nationals.
Make sure to tune in tomorrow for Giuseppe and Daryll’s 2018 MLB Awards Predictions.