Thursday, August 30, 2012

Playoff Predictions : The Teams

We are a little over a month away from the playoffs with almost half the teams fighting for a playoff spot. With MLB adding a second wild card it has definitely made these games more interesting and maybe a little more parity to Major League Baseball. If the season were to end today this is how the playoff teams would rank and stack up:

East - New York Yankees (3.5 game lead) 

 Central - Chicago White Sox (3) 

 West - Texas Rangers (4.5) 

Wild Card 1 - Oakland A's (0.5)

Wild Card 2 - Baltimore Orioles (0.5)

 East - Washington Nationals (5 game lead)

 Central - Cincinnati Reds (8) 

 West - San Francisco Giants (3.5)

 Wild Card 1 - Atlanta Braves (3)

 Wild Card 2 - St. Louis Cardinals (0.5)

If the playoffs started today this is how the first round of the playoffs, including the one game playoff for the wild card teams, would look according to records and such:

Baltimore Orioles vs  Oakland Athletics

Wild Card Winner vs Texas Rangers

Chicago White Sox vs New York Yankees

St. Louis Cardinals vs Atlanta Braves

Wild Card Winner vs Washington Nationals 

San Francisco Giants vs Cincinnati Reds

I fully do not expect these standings to look like this come October baseball. There are too many teams out there who would love to spoil a playoff run. Here are the changes that I think are going to happen this September and early October:

I do not buy the Oakland Athletics as real contenders. They walk off a lot of games and it is to the point where they almost expect to walk off, which is great for confidence, but it is almost like they are relying on the walk off too much. Are the Angels good enough to make a run?

I really see Detroit making yet another second half push behind Verlander, Fister, etc. The White Sox are dealing with a tired arm of Chris Sale and a rookie in Jose Quintana to name a few. I expect the young pitching, mixed with the second half's biggest spoilers the Minnesota Twins, to knock the White Sox off their throne and all the way out of the playoffs. Plus they have Baltimore in front of them for the 2nd Wild Card and I see them as a much better team then the Orioles.

I do not buy the Pittsburgh Pirates. I did until they just continued to fade away from the Reds. They have a scary pitching staff that I would not want to see in a 1 game or 3 game series but they have to get their first and the Dodgers are MUCH improved. I see the Dodgers finding a way to get in that second playoff wild card spot. How can they not when getting Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, and Carl Crawford (for next season).

I think we see 3 playoff teams come from the AL East this season and 2 each from the NL West and NL East to round out the playoff teams.

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