By: Kelly Byrnes
For the first two months of the season the Astros were the best team in baseball. They fell back to the pack a little bit but since added another ace in Justin Verlander. All he did in 5 starts with Houston was go 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA. He will start Game 1. The Red Sox will give the ball to Chris Sale for Game 1, who is making his first postseason start. I think the best chance for the Red Sox to even win 1 game will be when Sale is pitching. The Astros are on a mission and have the much better offense. They will win the series in 3 or 4 games.
ALDS: New York Yankees (91-71) at Cleveland Indians (102-60)
The Indians are the hottest team in baseball going into the postseason and that’s what you hope for as a team. The Yankees do have the momentum by winning the Wild Card game. The Indians probably have the best rotation of any playoff team. Last year the Indians rode their bullpen to the World Series. I don’t know if they will be able to do that again, in fact the Yankees may have the better bullpen this year. I would like to say that I think these may be some low scoring games but if you have watched the 2 Wild Card games you know that isn’t the case so far. Aaron Judge will need to have a huge series and I just don’t see that happening. The Indians win in a well-played series.
The Nationals are looking to get out of the first round but they run into the defending champs, Chicago Cubs. The Cubs may be right where they want to be, overlooked. The Cubs turned it on after the All-Star break but were in a weak division. The Nationals could be in trouble depending on how injured Max Scherzer is. It’s unlikely he will pitch in Games 1 or 2 which would limit his impact to only 1 game against the Cubs. The Cubs rotation will have to step up in a big way. Bryce Harper just came back from the DL as well. Sorry National fans but too many questions here. Cubs return to the NLCS.
NLDS: Arizona Diamondbacks (93-69) at Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58)
The trendy pick I’m seeing is the Diamondbacks over the Dodgers. As a Dodgers fan the D-Backs scare the bejeezus out of me but so do most the NL playoff teams. Dodgers are a 104 win team that most everyone is looking past because of a bad 20 game stretch in late August. The Diamondbacks are a scary hot team with a great offense. The Dodgers starting pitchers are stacked and if their bullpen is in midseason form they should be able to cool down these D-Backs. The D-Backs put a whooping on the Dodgers in their last six games but the Dodgers have their eye on the World Series and anything less would be a disappointment.