The Wild Card Games have come to an end and the Washington Nationals and the Tampa Bay Rays will advance to play in their respective league division series. Now that the complete playoff picture is set, eight of baseball’s best teams will duke it out for the chance to hoist that coveted World Series trophy.
It is now time for me to put out my predictions (including absolutely no personal bias…) as to who I think will win it all.
Houston Astros (1) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (5)
I will start by saying that I absolutely love what the Rays have been able to accomplish this season and it is a testament to how well they were managed and how well the team as a whole was able to perform with the lack of payroll space that every single team in the playoffs relies on. That being said, this will not be much of a challenge for the 107-win Houston Astros and the Stros’ will torch the Rays and take them for everything they have. It was a great run, but the Astros are simply too good.
Atlanta Braves (2) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (3)
This looks to be the most evenly matched series in the Divisional round with the Braves and Cardinals comparing rather similar on many fronts. These two have faced off six times this season with the Braves winning the season series 4-2. The Cardinals have a solid offense led by Paul Goldshmidt, Paul DeJong, Marcell Ozuna, and Yadier Molina. Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty head to pitching core that helped the team to a division crown. Despite the firepower in St. Louis, I’m taking the Braves on this one with the young talent of Ronald Acuna, Dansby Swanson, and Ozzie Albies combined with season veterans Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, and Nick Markakis reigning supreme.
New York Yankees (2) vs. Minnesota Twins (3)
The Minnesota Twins had a phenomenal season in 2019 and were able to win over 100 games. Their lineup is armed to the teeth with power and they have had a solid pitching staff this year which is the recipe for success in this day and age. I’m taking the Yankees to win simply because their pitching and particularly their bullpen is superior to Minnesota and I believe that power hitter Giancarlo Stanton will be a major X-Factor in this series. The Twins and Yankees gave us some great games this season and watching them meet up in the playoffs will be electric. Home field advantage for the Yankees also gives them a major edge over the Twins. This will certainly be an exciting series if history repeats itself.
Los Angeles Dodgers (1) vs. Washington Nationals (4)
After an awesome Wild Card win against the Milwaukee Brewers, it is difficult to imagine the Nationals topping the almighty Dodgers in the Division Series. The Dodgers have looked unbeatable this year and while the Nationals have had a great run, they are as far as they can be from the favorites. There is no love lost between these two teams and while I’m predicting an exciting and close series, the Dodgers will win this one.
Houston Astros (1) vs. New York Yankees (2)
Ask any Yankees fan and they will eagerly tell you that this whole decade without a World Series thing is getting old, and in the Bronx, where a 10-year drought feels more like a 100-year drought, the city of New York will be rocking for this one. The Astros are trying to get back to the series after a crushing loss to Boston last year. This 2017 ALCS rematch will be glorious with two of the most powerful teams in recent memory facing off in an all-out blood match. While I like the team that the Yankees have and I think the addition of Stanton will be a huge presence in the lineup, the Astros pitching is incredible and will be the reason why the Astros make their second World Series appearance in three years.
Los Angeles Dodgers (1) vs. Atlanta Braves (2)
The two best teams in the National League facing off for a chance at a World Series title will be an epic battle and after the Dodgers eliminated the Braves in the Division Series last year, the stakes will be even higher. Atlanta and Los Angeles are both loaded and have the playoff experience to match. Unfortunately for Braves fans everywhere, the Dodgers are destined for another World Series appearance and few National League teams stand a chance. The Braves are the best team to take them down, but baring a massive hot streak on the Braves’ side, the Dodgers will be National League Champions for the third year in a row.
2019 World Series
Los Angeles Dodgers (1) vs. Houston Astros (1)
I was very bold with my predictions as you can see, picking two teams with a combined 213 regular-season wins. Nevertheless, this 2017 World Series rematch would be an epic battle between a team that hasn’t won a Series in 31 years and the team that is fresh off taking that chance from them in 2017. I have this game going all seven and the Houston Astros will defeat the Dodgers once again in Houston and in the most brutal of fashions, making LA the first team to ever lose three consecutive World Series matchups.
Feel free to drop your predictions in the comments below and let me know what you think of my 2019 MLB Postseason Predictions.