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MLB Postseason Preview & Predictions

The postseason starts up tonight as the Minnesota Twins travel to New York to face the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game. Before that begins, we give our postseason predictions!

AL Wild Card Game

Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees

Nick LoPrinzi

In a one-game winner takes all playoff, I believe it is all about the pitching. Luis Severino will take the ball for the Yankees, while Ervin Santana will start for the Twins. Severino has taken a huge leap this year and is in the Cy Young race. He has become a true ace, while Santana is a good pitcher, but he is not dominant like Severino. On top of that, the Yankees have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball and this guy named Aaron Judge.

Winner: Yankees

Nick Arleo

Playoff baseball is back in the Bronx for at least 1 game in October as MLB veteran, Ervin Santana of the Twins, faces the Yankees rising young star, Luis Severino. In a battle of two teams that no one expected to be still alive at this point, I’m taking the evil empire in this one. The Yankees are built for this game with the best bullpen in the game along with the fact that over the last month, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, and Gary Sanchez have caught fire. The combo of the stellar starting pitcher on the mound, the bullpen being the best the game has to offer, and the teams young stars starting to get going again, I would be stunned if the Yankees didn’t win this game and advance to play the tribe in the ALDS.

Winner: Yankees

Joe Toscano

The Yankees have owned the Twins since forever it seems. The Twins haven’t won a series against the Yankees in 16 years.

Winner: Yankees

Ismael Diaz

Call me a homer, but I think the Yankees win a close one here. I see them getting a couple of runs off Santana in the middle innings, Severino shuts them down for 6 innings, and the Yankees bullpen closes it out.

Winner: Yankees

NL Wild Card Game

Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Nick LoPrinzi

Two NL West teams will battle it out in the NL Wild Card game. As mentioned before, in games like this it is all about the pitching. The Rockies have a great duo in their lineup with Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. However, I do not think Jon Gray can get the job done for them. Zack Greinke will take the hill for the Diamondbacks. Not only is Greinke the better pitcher, but he has been here before.

Winner: Diamondbacks

Nick Arleo

If I told you that at the beginning of the year, two NL West teams would be in the Wild Card game, you would have thought no doubt the Giants would be one of them. You would be wrong. These two teams have shocked baseball as well and no one expected them to be here. Im taking the Diamondbacks in this game with the seasoned veteran, Zack Greinke, taking the hill for them and their trade deadline addition J.D. Martinez has been a home run hitting machine since he arrived in the desert. Should be a great game but Arizona advances.

Winner: Diamondbacks

Joe Toscano

In Wild Card games, all it takes is one pitcher having a dominant game. Zack Greinke will have that dominant game and help Arizona win.

Winner: Diamondbacks

Ismael Diaz

D’Backs are just firing on all cylinders led by J.D. Martinez, Paul Goldschmidt, and Zach Greinke, who is on the mound. This really goes down to pitching, which Arizona has the better of the two teams. If I’m the Rockies, I’m looking for some frontline starters come the off-season.

Winner: Diamondbacks

National League Divisional Series

Dodgers vs. Wild Card Winner

Nick LoPrinzi

Once again, we see two NL West teams battle it out. The Diamondbacks are already at a disadvantage since they had to use their ace, Zack Greinke, in the Wild Card game, but they still do have a solid rotation. However, it is going to be hard to match up with Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish. I think this is the year Kershaw shuts all the critics up and dominates in the playoffs. Both teams have seen each other plenty of times, so they know how to play each other. The Dodgers went cold for a good stretch after a dominant start, but they ended the season playing very good baseball. The Diamondbacks won the season series, 12-8, this season against the Dodgers, while sweeping the final two series against LA. I give the Dodgers the edge because they will be able to throw Kershaw out there twice and he has dominated the Diamondbacks over his career. The current Diamondback hitters are a combined .207 with 5 HR over 227 career at-bats against Kershaw.

Dodgers over Diamondbacks 3-2

Nick Arleo

It seemed almost certain not to long ago that the Dodgers would ultimately win the World Series without question. Well times have changed as they barley held on to the best record in the National League towards the end of the season. However the Dodgers are just too talented to lose to the inexperienced Diamondbacks. Im taking LA in a 4 game set based on talent alone.

Dodgers over Diamondbacks 3-1

Joe Toscano

Why are the Dodgers so dominant in the regular season every year then fall apart in the playoffs? This year will be no different.

Diamondbacks over Dodgers 3-2

Ismael Diaz

Is it boring to predict that each division series will be decided in 5 games? If so then call me boring all you want, this just means more baseball for the diehard fans. Think here’s a best shot of an upset, especially with Arizona winning 11 of 19 against the Dodgers this past season, basically saying they know what to do to beat them. They each feature very good lineups, but I believe the Dodgers have enough pitching depth to help them towards the end of the series. It’ll be close all the way through, the Dodgers manage to squeak by.

Dodgers over Diamondbacks 3-2

Cubs vs. Nationals

Nick LoPrinzi

The Nationals have finally got their superstar, Bryce Harper, back and they are ready to roll. They have a dominant pitching staff with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. On top of that, Harper, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman all have at least a .300 batting average, 20 homers and 80 runs batted in. Putting all that together in a short, five-game series is tough to beat. However, they are facing the defending World Series Champs in the Chicago Cubs. During the second half of the season, the Cubs have gotten back to their true form. They are looking, ALMOST, like the team that won the World Series a year ago. I think the Cubs’ starting pitching is what will hold them back. Jon Lester and John Lackey have not looked very good this year, while none of their starting pitchers have been very dominant. The Nationals starting rotation is deadly and their weakness at the beginning of the year, their bullpen, has been fixed.

Nationals over Cubs 3-1

Nick Arleo

Another October where the Nats seem to be primed for a deep post season run. They’re getting their star back in Bryce Harper back from injury just at the right time. Sadly that wont help. Chicago after starting off slow picked up right where they left off right when it mattered most, the second half of the season. They’re back to winning baseball. The type of baseball that wins in October. They know how what it takes to go win it all. Washington always seems to fall flat on their face at this stage of the season and I expect more of the same as the Cubs desire to repeat moves onward as they advance to the NLCS.

Cubs over Nationals 3-1

Joe Toscano

The Nationals are another team that underperforms in the playoffs and Max Scherzer’s injury won’t help.

Cubs over Nationals 3-2

Ismael Diaz

Cubs really teetered around up until the all-star break leading some to believe that they may not have the legs to make a run to the postseason. They prove those people wrong and had a pretty solid 2nd half lead by Anthony Rizzo and Co. The Nats fought through injuries and still won the NL East convincingly and locked up the #2 spot in the playoffs. I have the Nats winning this because I just don’t see that same fire the Cubs rotation had a year ago with Lester and Lackey each having down years and Arrieta having trouble staying healthy. I think even with all those moves they made at the deadline, they’ll still come up short. I really like the Nats front 3 starters in Scherzer, Strasburg, and Gonzalez. Scherzer is once again a CY Young candidate, Straburg has shown to be dominant when healthy, and Gonzalez has really stepped it up this year. I also like the Nats lineup lead by Harper, Murphy, Rendon, and Zimmerman. They just seem to have the formula right this time and will have enough to beat the defending champs, which is real exciting way to win your first playoff series in your team’s history.

Nationals over Cubs 3-2

American League Divisional Series

Indians vs. WC Winner

Nick LoPrinzi

Aaron Judge has been rolling as of late and so have the Yankees. When he goes, they go. However, they are facing a Cleveland Indians team that has been downright historic this year. The Yankees have an ace in Luis Severino and a very good two man in Sonny Gray, but where do they go after that? The Indians, on the other hand, have a starting rotation, led by Corey Kluber, that boasts three arms that have won 17+ games this year. The Yankees will be behind the eight-ball as well since they have to use Severino in the Wild Card game. This Yankees team is very good and very young, but this match up for them will be really tough. They have shocked a lot of people this year, but their road will end here.

Indians over Yankees 3-0

Nick Arleo

Arguably the two best teams in the American League, this series showcases two teams on the opposite end of the spectrum. On one end, the Indians are a bunch of hungry players who want to redeem themselves and go back and win the World Series this time around with the players who have had the taste of what its like to win in October. On the other end, The Yankees are one of the youngest teams in the league with an extremely bright future but with very little post season experience. Both teams are nearly identical with the dangerous line ups, outstanding starting pitchers, and a bullpen that can close down any game at any point of any game. Im taking the Indians in this series but the series win wont come as easy as many may think. Cleveland takes a lead in the series early, New York claws back, but ultimately Cleveland closes it out in a do or die game 5 with Kluber on the mound at home.

Indians over Yankees 3-2

Joe Toscano

Nobody is stopping the Indians. It’s their year. Okay, maybe the Astros.

Indians over Yankees 3-0

Ismael Diaz

I think the potential and fire match-up here pretty evenly between these two teams. Each have very potent offenses lead by CY Young candidates and a stacked bullpen. If the Yanks can somehow beat Kluber in game 1, think they have a legit shot in stealing the series away from the Indians. Seems unlikely though since he’s had their number for the longest time. I just like the championship pedigree that the Indians have, mostly stemming from their world series runner-up finish last year. They have all the makings of a championship team, beating the Bronx Bombers in the first step in that process.

Indians over Yankees 3-2

Red Sox vs. Astros

Nick LoPrinzi

I am not sold on this Red Sox team. I do not think they are as good as their record says. I actually think the Yankees were the best team in the AL East this season, but the Red Sox were the division champs. They will be taking on an Astros team who ended the season on a hot streak, while the Red Sox have been playing mediocre baseball. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts have been good, but not the superstar caliber players that they are supposed to be. Andrew Benintendi is a rising star, but can he handle the big game? I do not see a “go-to-guy” in the Red Sox lineup. They do have one of the most dominant arms in the game in Chris Sale, but no one else in their rotation would scare me if I am the Astros, especially not David Price. The Astros are a complete package and I think this series is theirs to lose.

Astros over Red Sox 3-1

Nick Arleo

This matchup puts two young, star studded teams up against one another. The Red Sox led by arguably the best pitcher in the game, Chris Sale, go up against MVP candidate Jose Altuve and the Astros. The Red Sox as of late have been playing some shaky baseball while the Astros have been consistently one of the hottest teams in baseball all season long with a prime MVP candidate in Altuve leading the way. Couple that with the resurgence of newly acquired Justin Verlander to lead the way with his experience, I’m taking Houston here but both teams just like the Yankees, will be playing in October competitively for many many years to come with their new young nucleus.

Astros over Red Sox 3-1

Joe Toscano

This is going to be a great series. Both teams are loaded, but the Astros have the edge in talent.

Astros over Red Sox 3-2

Ismael Diaz

Astros just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, so they sorta know what to expect. I think top to bottom the Astros have a more well-rounded rotation, but not by a wide margin. They played well on the road this season, which should help them out here in the playoffs. Without David Ortiz, most of the Sox’s offensive numbers went down and have shown lack of consistency. The Astros have the lineup to beat almost anyone, they will be tested but will move on to the ALCS.

Astros over Red Sox 3-2

National League Championship Series

Nick LoPrinzi

I think this Nationals team is the best team in the National League. They are the complete package and they would have won 100 games this year if they were not without their best player for a month. Even without him, they were still successful. That just shows how complete this team is. The Dodgers’ pitching is very good, but so is the Nationals’. I think this series will come down to the team with the better lineup. To me, that team is the Nationals. The Dodgers do have some great talents in Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig. However, they cannot match the Nationals’ firepower with Harper, Murphy, Rendon and Zimmerman. I think they are very even in the pitching department and the Nationals’ powerful lineup will be the difference maker.

Nationals over Dodgers 4-2

Nick Arleo

Here we get a rematch of last years Championship League Series. Expect more of the same from last year. It just feels like everyone is sleeping on the Cubs for some reason. The truth is their line up is still deadly and Joe Maddon is one of the top managers in baseball. The Dodgers shaky play the second half of the season finally bites them in the behind and the Cubs advance for a World Series rematch with the Indians.

Cubs over Dodgers 4-2

Joe Toscano

The Diamondbacks are a great story but their Cinderella run ends here.

Cubs over Diamondbacks 4-1

Ismael Diaz

Similar to the AL, the two best records in the NL face-off in the NLCS, with the Dodgers coming out on top. I think pitching favors the Nats by a bit but I like the Dodgers’ offense ability to put up runs against anyone and their consistency all throughout it. The Dodgers just finally seem poised to reach the world series and I think this roster will get them there.

Dodgers over Nationals 4-2

American League Championship Series

Nick LoPrinzi

The Astros have a very underrated pitching staff led by Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock all won at least 13 games this year, while having sub 3.65 ERAs. They also have MVP candidate, Jose Altuve, leading the way on the offensive end. They have a very good lineup, all in all, with Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel. However, the Indians can match, if not one up, the Astros’ rotation and lineup. Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Mike Cleavinger and Trevor Bauer have been very good for the Indians this year. They too have an MVP candidate in Jose Ramirez leading their lineup. On top of that, their lineup contains Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Edwin Encarnacion and Jay Bruce. The difference maker in this series? The bullpen. The Astros have a very good bullpen, but the Indians have arguably the best in the game. The duo of Cody Allen and Andrew Miller at the end of games, with Bryan Shaw, Dan Otero and Nick Goody rounding out the bullpen is hard to beat. The playoff experience for the Indians will be a factor as well.

Indians over Astros 4-2

Nick Arleo

Cleveland at this point will be 4 wins away from their shot at redemption while Houston will be new to the ALCS party. Its October baseball. What wins in October? Hot bats and great pitching. The Indians have been the best team in baseball for the last month and I see that carrying over into October. With their pitching staff and shut down bullpen, they get their shot at redemption in the World Series after winning a series of 5 close games with Houston.

Indians over Astros 4-1

Joe Toscano

This is going to be awesome! The irresistible force vs the immovable object. The Indians’ postseason experience will give them a slight edge.

Indians over Astros 4-3

Ismael Diaz

Two of the best records in the AL clash in the league’s championship series, but the Indians win it convincingly. I trust their bullpen a lot more, they have a more well-rounded rotation than Houston does, and I think the Indians’ offense is hotter than ever. It’ll be tough for anyone to get even a win against this team.

Indians over Astros 4-1

World Series

Nick LoPrinzi

Two very, very complete teams. This series will be one for the ages, I believe. I predicted three months ago that the Indians will win the World Series and I am sticking to that notion here. The Nationals are a very good team from top to bottom. However, once again, the difference maker in this series will be bullpen and experience. Who does that edge go to? The Indians. The Nationals have shored up their bullpen, but it is no where near what the Indians have. On top of that, the Nationals have seen some early playoff exits in recent years. I am not sure if they are ready, both mentally and physically, to play this deep into the year.

Indians over Nationals 4-3

Nick Arleo

Last fall was one of the most memorable World Series ever. The match up was perfect. The teams were hoping to put long droughts away. The Cubs prevailed in an incredible game 7 in Cleveland. But this time around, Cleveland gets its revenge. Their line up is stellar and we’ve seen a starting pitcher single handedly carry a team to a championship as Madison Bumgarner has done for the Giants in the past. I believe Corey Kluber mimics that type of performance in this years playoffs and carries the Indians to redemption from last year. As Mike Breen said when the Cavs shocked Golden State a few years ago… “Its over, its over. Cleveland is a city of champions once again.” The Indians have a parade as only Cleveland can and a shirtless JR Smith makes an appearance.

Indians over Cubs 4-2

Joe Toscano

Gee, where have I seen this before? The Indians have waited all year to redeem themselves from losing in 7 games last year. They’re better than last year and the Cubs aren’t.

Indians over Cubs 4-2

Ismael Diaz

Is it also boring to choose the teams with the two best records to be in the championship game? I don’t think so, especially since Baseball has probably the most parity in all of the major sports. Like I said earlier, the Indians just have that championship pedigree that is very difficult to match, and the Dodgers kinda being new to this part of the game will make them more vulnerable here. I see Jose Ramirez finishing off his tremendous season by having a fantastic series, earning him the honor of World Series MVP. The Cleveland Indians win their first championship since 1948.

Indians over Dodgers 4-2

 

Photo Credits: MLB.com
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Nicholas LoPrinzi View All

I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.

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