I couldn’t give a better intro than Giuseppe did – so read his first.
The American League had a huge surprise in the Oakland A’s, while in the National League many would consider the Braves and Rockies a big surprise…except for me. So let’s see what will happen next, shall we?
NL Wild Card: Rockies v. Cubs
I’ll go with the Cubs on this one. The Cubs look flat, and Kyle Freeland is a bona fide ace, but I think Jon Lester and the Cubs experience work through this one. Plus, I picked the Cubs to win the NL before the season started.
NLDS: Braves v. Dodgers
Completely biased of course here, but I think the young Braves can pull this one off…Freddie has been here, and Mike Foltyniewitz reminds me of a young John Smoltz. By the way – the last time the Braves went worst to first it was the beginning of their 14 year division title streak.
NLDS 2: Cubs v. Brewers
The Brewers continue their non-rivalry with the Cubs and pull it off not even with Christian Yelich but with Jesus Aguilar and Travis Shaw and…this team is loaded offensively, and with Yelich being carefully pitched around the others pile on. That bullpen…
NLCS: Braves v. Brewers
The Braves continue to amaze people as the world watched Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna. Johan Camargo hits .400 in the 7th inning on throughout the series including a dramatic home run in one game. The Brewers starting pitching can’t keep up.
ALWC: Yankees v. A’s
The Oakland A’s became the first team in history to start the season with the lowest payroll and make the playoffs. Unlike the original Moneyball A’s, this team DOES NOT have Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder at the front. Alas, they are a great story – but the Yankees won over 100 games and I do think that Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and company outmash Khris Davis and the Matt attack. Yankees take this one.
ALDS: Indians v. Astros
The Indians cruised to another AL Central title this year after good competition last year from the Twins, who fell flat on their faces. The Astros had the top three IP starting pitchers in Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Dallas Keuchel. Not to mention last year’s MVP Jose Altuve, future MVP Carlos Correa, and 2018 MVP Candidate Alex Bregman. Astros take it in 4 tops.
ALDS2: Yankees v. Red Sox
We all want this to be Yankees-Red Sox anyway, right? These two rivals last met up in the playoffs back in 2004 and gave us one of the best ALCS of all time. That was a year after one of the best ALCS of all time. Can we expect another classic? No – I don’t think so. While interestingly enough both teams have rotation issues – I’m going with the Red Sox to win out in five games tops.
ALCS: Red Sox v. Astros
The matchup that we have been expecting all season will arrive and not disappoint. Look for both managers to pull out all of the stops. I guarantee we will NOT see the trend of position players pitching continue in this matchup, but we will starters in relief especially as the series advances. Both teams are full of pitchers who have seen big moments and position players like JD Martinez eager to make a postseason name for themselves. I’m sticking with my preseason pick though and the Astros make the World Series.
WORLD SERIES: Astros v. Braves
Let’s be honest at this point: the Astros would dominate this World Series. That said – I have to believe for all the years the Braves had the best team and DIDN’T get the breaks – I think this 2018 version just might be the team that does. It is the most athletic and versatile team I have seen. Remember in 2013 the Braves actually played Evan Gattis in left field. This year they have a real Gold Glove Centerfielder in Ender Inciarte who has been very hot the second half and Ronald Acuna Jr who will grow up to win many Gold Gloves and an MVP in addition to his years likely ROY award.
This year Chipper Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame. His rookie year was 1995. The last year the Braves won the World Series. Look for Acuna and 2018 to be another milestone mark in the history of the Atlanta Braves.