If anything helps to subdue the increasing about of work this fall and as SMF finals roll through this week for the 1st half of the year, something needs to keep one sane. For me, it’s the MLB Playoffs. Both of my teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cleveland Indians, failed to make it this year, but there are some “new” teams to the playoffs this year. By new I mean, some teams that haven’t been in the playoffs lately. I have my predictions on who will advance and who will find themselves with a world championship.
American League Divisional Series’
Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees- As I am writing this on Monday, the Orioles are already down in this best of 5 series. However, Baltimore’s younger pitching staff and more versatile offense still has the edge in my opinion. My predictions depend on this series, but I still have faith in Baltimore who is playing in the playoffs for the first time since 1997. Baltimore wins series 3-2
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics- Oakland entered the season with the 28th lowest payroll in MLB (out of 30) and found themselves with an excellent second half run. Bob Melvin, manager of the A’s has experience in the playoffs yet playing against the repeat AL Central champs in the Tigers is a rough task. Detroit has stable, power hitting, and a great staff to back it up in the pitching department. Detroit wins series 3-1
National League Divisional Series’
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals- The Nationals boasted the best record in the NL after a breakout season. The controversial closing down of starter Stephen Stausberg caused many to wonder if the National’s still had a chance? In my opinion this is the most balanced team in terms of age, production and performance. Washington makes its first return to the playoffs since the 1980s when they were the Montreal Expos. St. Louis squeezed into the playoffs yet again, but their run will be short lived. Washington wins series 3-1
SF Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds- The Reds easily rank near the top in terms of MLB teams, and their pitching staff and offense are the best rounded in baseball. However a recent potential injury problem to starter Johnny Cueto could be an alarming point for a deep playoff run. The SF are literally finished as I write this, so Cincinnati wins series 3-0
American League Championship Series:
Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers- Perhaps in what will be the closest series of the playoffs, the Detroit pitching staff will fall just short of Baltimore’s power hitting offense and will find enough pitching to sustain a trip to the world series. Baltimore wins series 4-3
National League Championship Series:
Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds- While the Reds are the favorite of many, the magic rests with the Nationals and bringing playoff baseball back to Washington for the first time since the 1930s. Nats will win a nail bitter of a series. Washington over Cincinnati 4-3.
THE WORLD SERIES:
The world series will see 2 fresh faces. The Orioles who last made it to the Fall Classic back in the early 1980s will be thirsty for a championship, however the Nationals will prevail. The Nationals win the world championship and set a president for future championship. Washington over Baltimore 4-2.
Only time will tell how accurate my predictions will be, but it should be a fun time. Fall is always perfectly transitioned into with playoff baseball!