Thursday, March 7, 2019

Predicting the 2019 Season: The Postseason

162 games are in the books, the field is set, and the new season is upon us. Welcome to October, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the postseason. If you tuned into the blog yesterday you saw the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics win their respective divisions in the American League while the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros clawed their way to the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. In the National League the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers captured their respective divisions while the Washington Nationals and the Colorado Rockies will battle it out in the one-game Wild Card playoff game in the National League. Who will win the pennant? Keep reading to find out!

American League Wild Card Game

Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros

Anything can happen in a one-game playoff, which is why the Houston Astros, despite how much pitching they lost during this offseason, at least have a chance in this game against the Boston Red Sox. Undoubtedly the Red Sox will have Chris Sale on the mound against Justin Verlander, so I expect a low-scoring affair for much of the night. The Astros are a scrappy team, and the Red Sox have a great offense, but the battle of the bullpens may decide it. If this were a seven-game series, or even a five-game series, I’d be inclined to pick the Astros because of the state of the Red Sox bullpen, but it’s not and I think Boston will be fine. Alex Cora will do whatever it takes to win, whether that is pitching David Price or Rick Porcello in relief, or simply running Sale out there until his arm falls off. Cora will do whatever he has to in order to win, and I think at the end of the day he will.

Winner: Boston Red Sox

National League Wild Card Game

Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies

You have to wonder who the Nationals will pick to start this game. Will it be Max Scherzer or will it be Patrick Corbin? If it’s Scherzer you have to give the clear advantage, in my opinion, to the Nationals, but if the team uses Scherzer down the stretch to clinch this game at home the Rockies have a lot more of a fighting chance. At the end of the day I think the Nationals will win the game regardless, but only because I feel like they are a more complete team than the Rockies this season.

Winner: Washington Nationals

American League Division Series

New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox

The rematch of the century, but this time the Yankees have the home field advantage. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what I mentioned just a few paragraphs above in the AL Wild Card Game prediction. The Red Sox and their bullpen can, and in my opinion will, be exposed in a five-or-seven-game series. The Red Sox will likely have to use a starter in the AL Wild Card Game that they would prefer to start twice against the Yankees, but you can’t really plan for that and look past a team like the Astros. This will all work in the Yankees favor, but I still don’t see how this goes at least four or five games before we crown the New York Yankees the victor.

Winner: New York Yankees in five games

American League Division Series

Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians have great pitching, but their bullpen is suspect, and their offense is not as high-powered as you would like. The Indians have really benefited from a weak division in the AL Central and that will never be more obvious than it will be in the ALDS against the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics have a great, young team that is only getting better, and I think the team will make easy work of the Indians in four games… and Billy Beane won’t see a single inning of it.

Winner: Oakland Athletics in four games

National League Division Series

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the most games of any team in the league in 2019 and that will continue heading into the postseason. The Washington Nationals will give the Dodger their money’s worth in my opinion, pushing the series to five-games, but if Clayton Kershaw is healthy, I cannot see a way the Dodgers go out this early in the postseason. They are too talented and far too good to lose in an extended series.

Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers in five games

 National League Division Series

Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers

The Atlanta Braves are the new kids, literally and figuratively, on the block while the Milwaukee Brewers just grind out victories and find ways to win. If I were a betting man, I’d guess that we would see more Atlanta Braves highlights on Top Plays on Sportscenter and such than we will see the Milwaukee Brewers, yet I think it will be the Brewers that edge the Braves in four games in this series. Playing in the Midwest means a lot of casual fans don’t get to watch your games or pay attention to your team much, but the Brewers have a pretty damn good team that is stacked with talent. I can see first baseman Eric Thames having a huge 2019 season and an even bigger postseason, leading Milwaukee at least to the National League Championship Series.

Winner: Milwaukee Brewers in four games

American League Championship Series

New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics

In a rematch of the 2018 American League Wild Card Game the New York Yankees will play host to the Oakland Athletics in the 2019 ALCS. I think these two teams are more evenly matched than most people would admit or give Oakland credit for, but I think the Yankees are a much deeper and complete team. The Athletics may push the Yankees to six games, but I can see New York clinching their first American League pennant in front of the Bronx faithful since the 2009 season.

Call me a homer if you want to, but I truly believe in this team and I TRULY believe this team can be special.

Winner: New York Yankees in six games

National League Championship Series

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Classic David vs. Goliath. The Los Angeles Dodgers and their roughly $209 million payroll vs. the Milwaukee Brewers and their roughly $121 million payroll. The names on the Brewers roster will only pale in comparison to names like Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, and others, but where the Brewers lack in “names” they more than make up for it in the talent department. Christian Yelich is the reigning NL MVP, Eric Thames is one or two injuries away from having a huge breakout season in 2018, guys like Jimmy Nelson, Corey Knebel, Chase Anderson and others now have Yasmani Grandal to pitch to, and guys like Ben Gamel, Josh Hader, and others can only get better in 2019 in my opinion. The Dodgers will presumably want a fight, and a fight they will get from Milwaukee. Just remember though, LA, sometimes even the most dominant fighter gets caught leaning, ask Anderson Silva, and I can totally see that happening again this year.

Winner: Milwaukee Brewers in six games

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2019 World Series will include the New York Yankees and the Milwaukee Brewers. May the best team win, and good luck to both teams. Tune in tomorrow to find out the winner.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)