Wednesday, March 21, 2018

TGP 2018 Predictions: The Playoffs



Welcome back to Prediction Season here on The Greedy Pinstripes. With the standings, division winners and Wild Card winners now predicted here on the blog by yours truly it is time to move on to the postseason. Just as a reminder, not that I have to remind any of you reading because you are all dedicated and hardcore Yankees and MLB fans, the first Wild Card winner will host the second Wild Card winner in a one-game playoff. The winner of that game heads out on the road to face off with the team with the best record from their respective league, who has a “bye” in the first round of the postseason. ALDS and NLDS series are best-of-five while the ALCS, NLCS and the World Series are of course best-of-seven. Let’s get to it!



American League Wild Card Round

Seattle Mariners @ Boston Red Sox

The first time in what feels like forever that the Seattle Mariners make the postseason. Is this 1995 all over again? Honestly, I don’t think so, but I went with it anyway… because to hell with the Red Sox. Anything can happen in a one-game playoff. Anything. Even the Mariners taking down the might, mighty Red Sox. Dave Dombrowski should be fired at the end of the game, but he won’t be which is great news for Yankees fans.





National League Wild Card Round

San Francisco Giants @ Chicago Cubs

These two foes have matched up time-and-time again it feels like in the postseason, so what is one more time for old times sake, right? The Chicago Cubs will, in my opinion, take a step back in 2018 in terms of production from their previous two seasons, which will suit the Giants just fine. The Giants have potentially a strong starting staff and enough veteran leadership to get them over the hump in Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen and I truly think they will find a way in the later innings to take down the Cubs. Chicago goes home, San Francisco moves on in an even-numbered year. Both road teams winning the Wild Card Round? That has to be unheard of, oh well.




American League Division Series

Seattle Mariners @ New York Yankees (Yankees win series 3-1)

I am going to give the tie-breaker for home field advantage to the New York Yankees (a) because I am a homer that owns a Yankees blog, and (b) because of some head-to-head matchups or something like that. With the Mariners high off their “1995 all over again” victory of the Boston Red Sox in the AL Wild Card Round the New York Yankees are here to remind the Mariners of another playoff series they were both a part of, the 2001 American League Championship series where the 116-win Mariners came into the series the heavy favorites over the Dynasty Yankees. The Mariners lost, and sometimes history repeats itself. Sometimes it just takes 17 years to do so. Yankees win.



Cleveland Indians @ Houston Astros (Astros win series 3-2)

In a matchup of two titans, two powerhouse offenses and two dynamic pitching staffs this series has all the makings of being an instant classic that will undoubtedly go all five games. These kinds of series remind me of those games that come down to the last second with the winner being the last team who has the ball, the last team to take an at-bat, whatever the case may be. I truly think both teams will be amazing once again in 2018, but the pitching staff and the depth that the Astros have will prevail in the five-game series. Plus, I wanted a rematch of the 2017 ALCS between the Yankees and the Astros, I mean who doesn’t? Right? It is time for Justin Verlander to eat his preseason words regarding the Yankees.




National League Division Series

San Francisco Giants @ Washington Nationals (Nationals win series 3-1)

The window for the Washington Nationals to win is just about closed, hell it will be all but closed once the calendar turns to October of 2018, and the Nationals will play like it this postseason. The Giants are a great team but having to presumably burn Madison Bumgarner in the Wild Card Round will come back to bite them as the Nationals dominate the series on all sides of the game. The Nats will pitch better, they will hit better, they will defend better and they will do the little things they have to do when it counts in order to win. Nats in 4.

St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodgers win series 3-2)

Here is a series we haven’t seen before in recent memory, a playoff matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are younger than ever, and subsequently hungrier than ever, in the ever-changing aspect that is Major League Baseball. This is truly a David v. Goliath type situation, but in this one I think the Cardinals, like the Yankees from 2017, have one more year to wait before they can knock off the big boys. The Cardinals will be back in 2019 with another year under the wings and a chip on their shoulder, but this year it will be the Dodgers once again moving on after a hard-fought five-game series.





American League Championship Series

Houston Astros @ New York Yankees (Yankees win series 4-2)

Here we go again, so much for parity in Major League Baseball, huh Commissioner Manfred? In a rematch of the 2017 American League Championship Series the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees will once again square off head-to-head. This time around the Yankees will have homefield advantage, and this time New York will have Giancarlo Stanton and a slew of others at their disposal that they did not have last time around. The young, inexperienced Yankees took the Astros to an eventual Game 7 before falling to the reigning World Series Champions, but that was last season. This is 2018 and the New York Yankees are on a collision course with a certain team from the National League, and not even Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander or some dude with a long beard could stop them. Call me a homer, call me an optimist, just don’t call me late to the Canyon of Heroes. Yankees in six.



National League Championship Series

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals (Nationals win series 4-3)

Remember how I said the Cardinals and Dodgers series was a David v. Goliath type series? Well if that is the case then this series is a Goliath vs. Goliath type series as both teams here matched or exceeded the 95-win plateau during the 2018 regular season. This will be a hard-fought battle that will go all seven games, but one man in particular will be the difference maker in my opinion. Bryce Harper knows what he is playing for. Bryce is playing for a chance at a World Series ring, his legacy as a part of the Washington Nationals and his next free agent contract after the season ends, and for that reason I think we will see a version of Harper that we have never seen before. We will see a focused, yet unruly, and disciplined, yet unyielding, version of himself both at the plate and in the field that will go unmatched by anyone wearing a Dodgers uniform this series. It won’t be easy, but it will be fun to watch as the Washington Nationals shock the World and head to the World Series to face off with the New York Yankees.



BOLDED teams are predicted as the winner in each respective series.




The 2018 World Series, folks. The New York Yankees and the Washington. Let us keep in mind that the last two seasons I didn’t have the Yankees making the World Series, but I did have them winning a second Wild Card in both, so my predictions, albeit biased, are usually pretty spot on with them. “Haters gonna hate” though, am I right?

Two million strong and counting folks! I can’t say it enough. Leave your thoughts, comments and predictions down below in the comments section, or drop us a line on Twitter @GreedyStripes. Another day closer to Opening Day, can you smell the fresh cut grass yet? Because I can…

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