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

National League:

NL Wildcard:

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Milwaukee Brewers

Projected Pitching Matchup: Zack Greinke @ Tyson Ross

Prediction: The Diamondbacks defeat the Brewers, 6-4.

NLDS:

Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Projected Pitching Matchups:

G1: Jon Lester vs. Robbie Ray

G2: Kyle Hendricks vs. Patrick Corbin

G3: Jose Quintana vs. Zack Godley

G4: Chris Archer vs. Zack Greinke

G5: Jon Lester vs. Robbie Ray

Prediction: The Cubs clearly have a better and deeper pitching rotation than the Diamondbacks. However, I think the Diamondbacks potent offense can keep them in this series, especially with their new slugging addition in second baseman Brian Dozier. I think the teams split the first four games before Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks put the Diamondbacks to bed in five games. The Cubs will move on once again to the NLCS. The Chicago Cubs will advance to the NLCS with a 3-2 series victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Projected Pitching Matchups:

G1: Julio Teheran vs. Clayton Kershaw

G2: Sean Newcomb vs. Alex Wood

G3: Rich Hill vs. Nathan Eovaldi

G4: Kenta Maeda vs. Mike Foltynewicz

G5: Ross Stripling vs. Anibal Sanchez

Prediction: I believe in the Atlanta Braves so much. I know they are young but this is a great baseball team especially in offense. They are somewhat thin in terms of pitching but I believe that their powerful offense can overcome all. The Dodgers have been injured and injured all throughout this season. If they’re still banged up heading into the NLCS, then I would pick the Braves in possibly a sweep. But even with a mostly healthy Dodgers club, I believe in the Braves so much that I think that their offense and unexpected pitching brilliance will still carry them to a five game series victory. The Atlanta Braves will advance to the NLCS with a 3-2 series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

NLCS:

Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs

Projected Pitching Matchups:

G1: Nathan Eovaldi vs. Jon Lester

G2: Mike Foltynewicz vs. Chris Archer

G3: Kyle Hendricks vs. Anibal Sánchez

G4: Jose Quintana vs. Julio Teheran

G5: Jon Lester vs. Sean Newcomb

G6: Nathan Eovaldi vs. Chris Archer

G7: Mike Foltynewicz vs. Kyle Hendricks

Prediction: The Cubs and Braves are the two best teams in the National League in my opinion and it makes sense that they would meet in the NLCS. The Cubs have been here before and are experienced while the Braves are young, and relatively new to this big stage. The offenses will battle throughout and pitching will be an up and down roller coaster. But I believe in this Atlanta Braves team so much that I think the Cubs will be passing the torch onto them this year, much like the Giants did to Chicago a few seasons back. The Braves will return to the World Series for the first time since 1999 after putting the Cubbies away in Game 6. The Atlanta Braves will advance to the MLB World Series with a 4-2 series victory over the Chicago Cubs.

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