By Hector Duran
National League Wild Card: I am going to be going with the Nationals over the Brewers in this one. Us baseball fans were not exactly treated to a game 163 unlike last season but a good consolation prize is getting to watch Max Scherzer take the ball to kick off October. Scherzer does not have the best postseason numbers but he is going to be facing a team that is without their star player in Christian Yelich. Although the Brewers have been hot, I see their season ending tonight at the hands of Anthony Rendon and the Nationals.
American League Wild Card: This should be a fun game with two smaller market teams who play the game the right way. In this game, I have the Athletics beating the Rays. Charlie Morton will take the ball for the Rays and although he has had a great season on the tail end of his career, I think the A’s will find a way to grind out a W. The coliseum will be electric with Mount Davis open and the fans are going to play a huge part in this game. Although the A’s have not named a starter yet, I think they will be able to contain the bats of the Rays. The best part about the wild card games is that it is all hands on deck and both managers will utilize the bullpens to get the best matchup possible.
National League Division Series: I will be going with the Braves over the Cardinals. The Braves have looked good all season and they have been firing on all cylinders. Freddie Freeman, who is very underrated, will take the October stage and I have a feeling he will have a good series. With the youngsters Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, and Dansby Swanson with the addition of Dallas Keuchel and an upgraded bullpen during the season, the Bravos are primed for a deep October run.
National League Division Series: I have a feeling in my bones that the Nationals will beat the Dodgers in this series. The Nationals are on a hot streak right now and there is no better time for a team to be playing well than heading into October. The Dodgers will find a way to choke per usual and I do not see them making it past this round. Kenley Jansen will be someone to keep an eye on as he looks to bounce back this postseason after having a rough go at is last October. The pitching matchups should be awesome in this series and even though the Nationals have had a sloppy bullpen just about all season, I think they will be able to squeak out a couple close wins in this series.
American League Division Series: If the Twins can play anyone except the Yankees in the postseason, then they might have a chance to win a series, but I just don’t see them beating the mighty Yankees. Yankees should take this series pretty easily. The Twins have been getting the wrong end of the deal in October and this series won’t be any different. The Yankees are just too stacked, and their bullpen is significantly better than Minnesota’s and as just about everyone knows, having a good bullpen can carry you deep into October.
American League Division Series: The Astros should make quick work of the A’s in this series. With a trio of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke, this should be an easy sweep for Houston. They have been on another level all season and even when they lost some key guys in the regular season due to injury, they had contributions from the rest of the lineup. That in addition to a good bullpen should help the Astros cruise in this series.
National League Championship Series: In this series, I have the Braves over the Nationals. The Braves are poised to make a run to the World Series and even though both teams played each other well over the regular season, I have to give the edge to the Braves. Their bullpen is a lot better than Washington, and although Atlanta may have the upper hand when it comes to offense, but in October, pitching wins championships. Dallas Keuchel has the October experience and I think that will be a huge advantage for Atlanta.
American League Championship Series: This is going to be a fun series with the two heavyweights of the American League duking it out. Both teams are excellent in all aspects of the game and this should be a classic 7 game series. For this one, I will be going with the Astros defeating the Yankees. The Astros clearly have the upper hand when it comes to starting pitching and all their starters can go deep into ballgames. I think the Yankees will have trouble scoring runs and in the games that they do manage to win, they will all be by small margins.
World Series: In the fall classic I have the Astros defeating the Braves. The Astros have the experience and know what it takes to win in October and the Braves are just a young bunch who I am sure will be making more deep runs into October for years to come. The Astros have been there before, and I think their starting pitching will be the ultimate factor that will let them raise the trophy. The Astros bats have been hot just about all season and I think that they will be able to handle the pitching staff of the Braves.