The best time of the year is upon us, October baseball. Every single season the MLB playoffs just refuse to disappoint, giving us story book endings you’d think were written for the movies. Whether it was the magical run by the Kansas City Royals last season or the famed 0-3 comeback by the then cursed Boston Red Sox. The point that I’m trying to make here is easy, postseason baseball never disappoints; and I don’t expect this year to change that.
(1) Kansas City Royals vs. (5) Houston Astros
Before the 2015 MLB season kicked off, the Houston Astros were given 150-1 odds to win the World Series. This means that if you put up $20, you’re looking at a $3,000 return. Not a bad investment, right? The Astros are lead by the top of their lineup, which boasts one of the best middle infields in the game; Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. The Astros got a huge win in the Wild Card game behind Cy Young candidate, Dallas Keuchel. As much as I’d love to see the Astros continue the magic, I just think the Royals are too much. The Royals have one of the deeper lineups in baseball, which may hurt the Astros when they get into their bullpen. The Astros will keep it close, but the Royals postseason experience will get them over the edge.
Prediction: Royals in 5
(2) Toronto Blue Jays vs. (3) Texas Rangers
I really find this first round matchup to be a huge coincidence, because both of these teams were essentially out of the playoff picture before the trade deadline. We all know that after the deadline, the Blue Jays and Rangers propelled into the playoff picture stemming from their blockbuster deals. Overall, this looks to be a horrible matchup for the Rangers. The Blue Jays have excelled all season against left handed pitching, lead behind the dangerous right handed bats of Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. This could cause a problem for the Rangers, who are obviously lead by their left handed ace, Cole Hamels. On the other side of things, the front part of the Rangers lineup is getting incredibly productive at the right time. If Delino Deshields or Shin-Soo Choo can effectively get on base at the top of the lineup for Prince Fielder, then watch out. As much as I love the underdogs in all of sports, I just don’t see it happening against this Blue Jays offense.
Prediction: Blue Jays in 4
(1) Kansas City Royals vs. (2) Toronto Blue Jays
This could be one for the ages, right? A potential 1-2 matchup of two of the most consistent teams in baseball, the Royals and Blue Jays. The Royals have been playing great baseball all season and I don’t expect them to slow down for the Blue Jays, who has been just as good. The Royals have the edge in one of the biggest parts of this series, the pitching. The Royals have an incredibly deep bullpen, which has been key to them by holding late leagues. The Blue Jays have a better offense then the Royals, but not by much. If the Blue Jays get down early, they may be in some deep trouble. I see this being the closest series of the postseason so far, but with the Royals coming out on top.
Prediction: Royals in 7
(1) St. Louis Cardinals vs. (5) Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are good. It’s kind of amazing to hear those words of late, but it is definitely true this year. Coming off an amazing 97 win season, the Cubs look to continue their success past their division rival St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are kind of a question mark right now after suffering some big injuries to their team. The Cubs are currently the hottest team in baseball, which should be a key factor in this series. With the Cardinals major injuries to Yadier Molina and Carlos Martinez, I just don’t think they will pull it out. The Cubs will be led by their young studs on offense, while being complemented by their pitching.
Prediction: Cubs in 4
(2) Los Angeles Dodgers vs. (3) New York Mets
If you love pitching, then you’ll definitely be in heaven watching this series game by game. The Dodgers are back in the playoffs for the third straight year, and they are ready to win this time. The Dodgers have been led all season by arguably the two best pitchers in baseball, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. These two should cause big problems for this Mets offense that has been no hit twice this year already. Alongside their offense, the Mets have the youngest pitching rotation in MLB history. In the first four games they’ll be sending Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz to the mound, a staff that has an average age of 25! In the end, the Dodgers postseason experience and excellent pitching should be overwhelming for this inexperienced Mets lineup, I don’t see much of an upset going down here.
Prediction: Dodgers in 5
(2) Los Angeles Dodgers vs. (5) Chicago Cubs
If this matchup can arise, it has the potential to be one of the best series’ we’ve seen in recent memory. Give me two of the best 1-2 punches in baseball and have them throw against each other in the playoffs. The last time Kershaw threw against the Cubs, he struck out 14 over 8. The last time Arrieta threw however, a no-hitter. This Cubs offense is very good, but are they good enough to give the best pitchers in baseball fits? I think they are, especially when they have Arrieta and Lester on the mound. The Cubs aren’t the Mets, so the Dodgers will see increased struggles. The Dodgers will continue their postseason failures, while the Cubs will continue on to the Fall Classic.
Prediction: Cubs in 7
World Series Preview
Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago Cubs
On Opening Day 2014, if you have said that Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs would have been in the 2015 World Series, you have been hit with something. These two teams this season have been incredibly consistent, which is really what the postseason is all about. You have to be consistent to win the games that mean the most, and both of these teams can. This series would definitely be a small ball series, as both managers love to keep their guys moving. The Royals bullpen should be able to hold leads, while the Royals lineup is built perfectly to go up the likes of Lester and Arrieta. I think if there is a lineup in baseball that can figure out the great pitching of the Cubs, it’s the Royals. Sorry Cubs fans, you’ll have the next 6-10 years to dominate; the Royals want this.