05 October 2016

2016 MLB Postseason Predictions: Division Series

The Major League Baseball Postseason rolls on as the Division Series kicks off Thursday on the American League side and Friday for the National League. Your Wild Card victors take on the division champions in a battle to get to baseball's equivalent of the Final Four. Who will get to the ALCS and NLCS? Here are my predictions.

TV Schedule
W1 Rangers (95-67) vs. WC Blue Jays (89-73)
Texas Rangers (2013 - Pres) American League (1977 - 2012)Toronto Blue Jays (2012 - Pres)
This should be a fun series as these two clubs absolutely hate each other after last year's epic ALDS showdown and, of course, this. You have to give a guy like Jeff Bannister credit for him to crank out an AL-best 95 wins from a team with only a +8 win differential. But I think that luck will catch up with them here as I like the Jays. They have the better pitching and their offense is that good to help carry them to the ALCS.
Blue Jays in 4

C1 Indians (94-67) vs. E1 Red Sox (93-69)
Cleveland Indians (2011 - Pres) American League (1977 - 2012)Boston Red Sox (1997 - Pres)
This series would be a different story if the Indians had their full rotation healthy and ready to roll. But without Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, and with Corey Kluber not 100% either, I find it tough to see how they are going to handle a tremendous Boston offense. And now that it looks like the Sox have the pitching edge now as they can throw out Rick Porcello (who is unproven in the postseason) and David Price (who has consistently struggled in the playoffs as well), I like them to roll.
Red Sox in 3

C1 Cubs (103-58) vs. WC Giants (87-75)
Chicago Cubs (1999 - 2002)  National League (1998 - 2012)San Francisco Giants (1973 - 1976)
Of the two teams in the Wild Card playoff, I think the Cubs would have rather seen the Mets than the Giants due to the deeper pitching rotation that the latter features at the moment (including the feared Madison Bumgarner). That said, the Giants feature a bullpen that nobody should have any confidence in and Chicago certainly has the superior offense. I like that to push the Cubs to the NLCS.
Cubs in 4

E1 Nationals (95-67) vs. W1 Dodgers (91-71)
Washington Nationals (2005 - Pres)  National League (1998 - 2012)Los Angeles Dodgers (1958 - 1971)
This may be unfair but I don't care: even after an impressive debut season with the Nationals, I just don't have faith in Dusty Baker come playoff time. Granted, Dave Roberts is completely unproven in the postseason so my rationale could look really dumb in a week. The Dodgers have been a mess on the road this season but they won't have to worry much about their struggles against left-handed pitching since the Nats will only throw out there Gio Gonzalez. I think Clayton Kershaw will redeem himself in the postseason here and their much-improved pitching as a whole will help power them through.
Dodgers in 5

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ben
    My Jays squeezed through with help from the BP and closers I had maligned so much. Texas will be no pushover and have a score to settle but I feel better about my team now... Like you I fancy Boston to trample over Cleveland. The Cubs ought to have too much for the Giants and the Nats tend to slide away at this time.