It has been an incredible season highlighted by historic pitching performances and ridiculous rookies. As usual, some of my preseason picks worked out, some did not. What follows will be a rundown of each of the playoff matchups and my picks for the winners, starting with the wild card round. My picks for the winners are in bold, but I’ll also include why that pick could be wrong – meaning what would happen to cause the series to swing the other way. Enjoy the playoffs everyone. Baseball is awesome.
American League Wild Card
Yankees vs Astros
The baseball playoffs kick off tonight with Dallas Keuchel leading the Astros on three days rest against Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees. I’m taking New York despite Keuchel’s history of dominance against the Yankees. For the Yanks to win, they’ll need their right handed bats led by Alex Rodriguez to come up big and put a few balls in the air against Keuchel’s groundball-centric arsenal. For the Astros to win they’ll need Tanaka to falter in a big game situation and their 1-3 in the order of Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa to string some timely hits together.
National League Wild Card
Pirates vs Cubs
In what is probably the most fun matchup on paper for a wild card game in its brief history, Jake Arrieta leads the Chicago Cubs into Pittsburgh to take on Gerrit Cole and the Pirates. With this matchup you can pretty much flip a coin, but I’m taking the Pirates in what could ostensibly be an upset. Arrieta has been on an absolute tear for the last few months of the season, vaulting him into the conversation for the NL Cy Young with the Dodger Duo of Kershaw and Greinke, and it would be easy to make the prediction that that tear will continue into the postseason. But the Pirates are possibly the best team in the Majors, and with an ace of their own, a deep bench, and a fan base that has been waiting a calendar year for redemption in the one-game playoff, I’m taking the Pirates in this one. Expect a low-scoring, tense affair. This one is going to be fun to watch.
American League Division Series
Yankees vs Royals
Blue Jays vs Rangers
National League Division Series
Pirates vs Cardinals
Dodgers vs Mets
American League Championship Series
Royals vs Blue Jays
National League Championship Series
Pirates vs Dodgers
Pirates vs Blue Jays