Ultimate MLB Second Half Guide: Analysis and Predictions for Trade Deadline, Standings, Awards, and the Playoffs

Playoff Predictions:

American League:

AL Wildcard:

Seattle Mariners @ Boston Red Sox

Projected Pitching Matchup: James Paxton vs. Chris Sale

Prediction: The Boston Red Sox defeat the Seattle Mariners, 7-3.

ALDS:

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Projected Pitching Matchups:

G1: Luis Severino vs. Rick Porcello

G2: Michael Fulmer vs. Eduardo Rodriguez

G3: Hector Velázquez vs. Masahiro Tanaka

G4: David Price vs. J.A. Happ

G5: Chris Sale vs. Luis Severino

Prediction: Luis Severino shuts down the Red Sox offense in game one while the Yankee offense gets to Porcello eventually en route to a 6-2 victory. Michael Fulmer and Eduardo Rodriguez both pitch extremely well in game two but a late two-run home run by Giancarlo Stanton is the difference. The Red Sox get to Masahiro Tanaka early in Game 3 and get their first win of the series in dominant fashion. David Price struggles against the Yankees yet again and lets down the Red Sox in a bad loss. The New York Yankees advance to the ALCS with a 3-1 series victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians

Projected Pitching Matchups:

G1: Justin Verlander vs. Corey Kluber

G2: Gerrit Cole vs. Carlos Carrasco

G3: Trevor Bauer vs. Lance McCullers Jr.

G4: Mike Clevinger vs. Charlie Morton

G5: Corey Kluber vs. Dallas Keuchel

Prediction: Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber both dominate Game 1 on the mound but the Astros bullpen helps them prevail late in a low-scoring defensive game. In Game 2, the Astros will get to Carlos Carrasco early en route to a victory with Gerrit Cole dominating on the mound. The Indians will strike for their first win in game 3 in Cleveland with Trevor Bauer dominating on the mound. They will even the series at two apiece with Mike Clevinger out-dueling Charlie Morton in another pitching duel. Cleveland will take Game 5 as well en route to a 3-2 series victory behind Kluber’s magnificence. The Cleveland Indians will advance to the ALCS with a 3-2 series victory over the Houston Astros.

ALCS:

New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians

Projected Pitching Matchups:

G1: Michael Fulmer vs. Mike Clevinger

G2: Luis Severino vs. Corey Kluber

G3: Carlos Carrasco vs. Masahiro Tanaka

G4: Trevor Bauer vs. C.C. Sabathia

G5: Mike Clevinger vs. J.A. Happ

G6: Michael Fulmer vs. Corey Kluber

G7: Luis Severino vs. Carlos Carrasco

Prediction: In Game 1, Fulmer will outclass Clevinger in the battle of the Mikes. In Game 2, it will be a pitcher’s deal with two of baseball’s best on the mound. But the Yankees bullpen is more trustworthy than Cleveland’s and that will be the key to a Yankees game 2 win. With the Yankees up 2-0, Cleveland will take game three with Carrasco dominating throughout. In Game 5, Trevor Bauer won’t survive long against the fierce Bronx Bombers in a horrific loss. And Kluber will struggle in Game 6 as the Yankees put the Indians away in six games. The New York Yankees will advance to the MLB World Series with a 4-2 series victory over the Cleveland Indians.

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