DIVISIONAL SERIES PREDICTIONS:
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
The old rivals will come face to face once again in the postseason. The Red Sox just capped off a historic 108 win season and will look to make it past the ALDS this season, a feat they failed at last season. The Yankees, fresh off a Wildcard Game victory, will look to ruin Boston’s season by ending it in the ALDS. It creates an exciting match up which is sure to field some buzz from the world as we witness it.
In the past few seasons, Boston has been horrific in the postseason, putting together great regular seasons only to be eliminated early in October. They don’t want it to happen again and all hands will be on deck for the club. The Yankees want to grab that elusive 28th World Series championship for their franchise, and they feel that this might be their year.
Boston takes the edge in terms of starting rotations, but New York has the by far superior bullpen. The Yankees also have a deeper lineup than the Red Sox do and have proven to be one of the few teams in baseball capable of beating the Red Sox. The Yankees will capitalize on the ever so prevalent postseason struggles of Boston’s team in order to do what is necessary to advance to the American League Championship Series.
The New York Yankees defeat the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS, 3-1.
Cleveland Indians vs. Houston Astros
A matchup of two of the best rotations in the major leagues in 2018, you won’t be expecting offense in this series. Houston boasts the most complete team in the MLB by far and will look to defend their World Series championship from 2017. Cleveland would love to bring home a World Series championship after being knocked out in the ALDS last season by the Yankees. We’ve seen these two clubs compete with each other before, and this has a chance to be the best series of the entire postseason.
Houston boasts a starting rotation compromised of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel, and Charlie Morton. Cleveland boasts a likewise strong rotation consisting of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, and Mike Clevinger. The Indians and Astros both have strong offenses as well, with Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman leading the way for Houston against Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez for the Tribe.
The popular pick here is the Astros, but there’s a reason I don’t always go with the popular pick. I think Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are ready to unleash on the Astros, and the Indians have just enough in their bullpen to compete with Houston in every game. Houston won’t go down without a fight, but I’ve got Cleveland upending the defending champs in five.
The Cleveland Indians defeat the Houston Astros in the ALDS, 3-2.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs
The matchup that broke the tie in the National League Central division, I don’t think Cubs fans would be upset at all if given another shot at the Brewers, especially in a five game series. While the two squads are similar in talent, the Brewers lack what the Cubs have a plethora of: postseason experience. It remains to be seen whether that comes back to haunt them during October or not.
Christian Yelich is my NL MVP and he’s carried the Brewers to this tremendous all-around season alongside power hitting Jesus Aguilar, fellow offseason acquisition Lorenzo Cain, and a very strong relief corps. The Brewers have a lot of questions to be answered surrounding their starting pitching, but this is a feel-good story with great players and heart. The Cubs were the feel-good story two years ago, but will be the underdog now. They are stacked throughout their lineup with Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant leading the way offensively. They have an extremely solid postseason rotation comprised of Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, and Cole Hamels.
Both teams are extremely talented, but I just like the Brew Crew more in this one. We saw what they are capable of in the tiebreaker game and I can’t wait to see them expand on that.
The Milwaukee Brewers defeat the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS, 3-2.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
I’ve been one of the biggest proponents of this Atlanta Braves team since the season began. Everyone said they were too young and not ready to compete, but I felt that they were talented enough to win now. They are going to be insane in the future, but they’re very good right now, being led by NL MVP candidate Freddie Freeman and outfielders Ronald Acuña Jr. and Nick Markakis. They’ve combined a solid pedigree of veterans and postseason experience with young studs to create a contending ball club.
The Braves are extremely hungry to compete back at the postseason level as fans have been accustomed to, but the same can be said for a Los Angeles Dodgers that has fallen up short in the past few years. They have the talent and pitching staff to go out and win the World Series, but will they continue to struggle in October when the lights shine brightest. All eyes will be on Clayton Kershaw as this could be his final postseason as a Dodger.
I like the Braves to handle the Dodgers in this series. The Braves have a solid rotation to compete with the studs in LA and they are just so dynamic as a baseball team. They’ll be fun to watch as they battle with the blue bloods this October.
The Atlanta Braves defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS, 3-2.