Tha Sports Junkies 101

MLB Postseason Prediction: If It Starts Tomorrow

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MLB Postseason Prediction

September baseball. It does not get any better than that. The only thing better than September baseball would have to be October baseball. But there is still a full 22 days until the 2016 MLB postseason kicks off.

When reading this, please remember: This is my opinion based off of what I have seen all year from all 30 teams. I have selected these 10 in two ways. One being they are division leaders. The other being they currently, as of September 12, hold a Wild Card spot. I did not pick these 10 teams to fight but I picked one to win. If you have any opinion of my picks whatsoever, feel free to email me; I will be happy to read any comments or answer any questions, or argue if that is what you want to do.

AL Wild Card-10/4-One Game Elimination-Blue Jays beat Orioles

In a one game elimination series, it must be a battle of aces – which ever ace is willing to pitch his heart out with the season on the line. Between these two ball clubs, Marcus Stroman and Chris Tillman will be the matchup.

        If it comes down to pitching, the Blue Jays have the upper hand. If Stroman and contain Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo, the Jays should take this game easily. Unless they experience offensive woes as well, but I don’t see Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and company deciding not to be prepared for a playoff game.

NL Wild Card-10/5-One Game Elimination-Mets beat Giants

This matchup should be one of the most interesting pitching matchups. If the Mets can get him back in time, a Madison Bumgardner/Jacob deGrom matchup is inevitable.

Who wouldn’t want to see that game?

Although that should make for one hell of a game, and I should be giving the advantage towards a generally healthy and consistent Mad-Bum over the injured and inconsistent (this year) deGrom, but there is just something about those Mets.

In the most recent games, the Giants offense seems sluggish. Even if they do find a way to pick things up before October 5, it seems highly unlikely they would be able to perform well against one of the best in the business.

Of course a white-hot Mets offense helps their case.

I do not see the Mets forcing five or six runs out of Bumgardner, especially on this stage. I see them scoring two, or if they are lucky, three or four. I see the pitch count taking Mad-Bum out of the game early.

This Mets offense seems, for the most part, patient. If they are able to make Mad-Bum throw at or over 100 by the sixth, they have a good shot at winning, no matter how much they already have.

With the persistence of deGrom and the heart and sort of redemption mindset this Mets team has, I find it hart they will be knocked out first round.

AL Division Series-10/6-Best of Five-Indians beat Red Sox-3-1

With the Indians having the superior pitching rotation, the Bo-Sox need consistent production from all nine batting spots. With only four or five ligament offensive stars, I don’t see them advancing to the ALCS.

Because Boston’s bullpen is nothing to mess around with, the Tribe will have to jump on Boston’s starters early. And I see that happening for maybe two or three of the games.

This year’s offense in Cleveland is unlike anything I have ever seen. The depth of their bench is definitely different that previous years. Their new “boost” in strength and the matureness shortstop phenom Francisco Lindor should give the Indians more than they need to top Boston.

AL Division Series-10/6-Best of Five-Rangers beat Blue Jays-3-2

If you are going to watch any postseason baseball besides the World Series, watch this series. A rematch of the 2015 ALDS. Jose Bautista and company will be back. Only this time, it is the Rangers coming out on top.

Despite both teams having great offensive depth, it is the pitching staff that the Rangers have that gives them the advantage.

There will be bat-flip after bat-flip, but this series will come down to one thing: who can contain the other offense.

The Rangers pitching has been great this year. Finally, a full season for Yu. He’s going to be the difference maker.

Yu Darvish’s cutter and curveball must be on point, like it has been all year, for the Rangers to be able to top a decent rotation of the Blue Jays.

This series seems to be great. Expect a lot of bad blood either way bat flips.

NL Division Series-10/7-Best of Five-Nationals beat Dodgers-3-0

The injury bug has done more than bit the Dodgers in the butt. It took their entire lower body. Good thing some random guy named Clayton Kershaw will be conducting this, what seems to be, another train wreck of a season for LA.

Not necessarily a train wreck, but a disappointing loss in the playoffs are coming for Vin Scully and his Dodgers.

Do not get me wrong, though. This series might be the NL series I look forward to watching.

With Kershaw back, Max Scherzer will counterpart him in the first game. Then game two will be Gio Gonzalez vs. Kenta Maeda. In a tight and evenly matched-up series, the advantage would have to go to the Nationals just because of consistency.

I do not remember a time this year the Nationals were not in first. They dominated anyone who crossed their paths. With little to no experience on both sides, it should be interesting. Nationals and Dodgers will go to game five, but the Nats strong willed offence and lights out bullpen will take the series.

The absence of star and Cy Young candidate Stephen Strasburg should have an impact, but when a team breaks a record of most players on the DL, it is kind of hard to see them go deep into October.

NL Division Series-10/7-Best of Five-Mets beat Cubs-3-2

Yes, you read correctly; Mets beat Cubs. Before you north-siders bombard me with hate messages and death threats, hear me out.

Despite recent strong performances, what is one thing the Cubs lack? Starting pitching. After an inconsistent, but expected to dominate Jake Arrieta, reliable Kyle Hendricks and questionable Jason Hammel, there is no safety net for them.

Though all you need are three wins in the NLDS, I see them getting two.

The first game should be interesting: Arrieta (maybe Hendricks) vs Noah Syndergaard.

The white-hot Mets offense should, if they want to win, remain hot and take down Arrieta, Hendricks and Hammel early. Once you get into that back-end bullpen, there is no hope. If the Mets bullpen and keep together and not crumble like in the World Series last year, and that offense led by Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce stays on their hot streak, fans on the North-side will be disappointed once again being knocked out by these Mets.

AL Championship Series-10/14-Best of Seven-Rangers beat Indians-4-3

In a series expected to go seven games, the Rangers will have to keep their bullpen rested, sharp and focused. That is something their rotation can do.

Even though this Cleveland offense is great and should put up some problems for these Rangers, I see them not getting to this strong Ranger rotation and unable to knock them out to get to that questionable bullpen.

In a series as evenly matched as this one, it all comes down to who wants it more. Sadly, that is something you cannot measure, but I believe I can see it.

I can see a Ranger ball club hungry to prove wrong so many critics. Although same could be said on the other side of the diamond, the Rangers can get it done in seven games.

NL Championship Series-10/15-Best of Seven-Nationals beat Mets-4-2

Though being done in six games, not seven, do not expect a weak series. Yeah it will not be as highly anticipated or watched as my ALDS or ALCS for that matter, but it should be a fun watch for those impartial.

This series could be debated for being one of the most even of the year.

Though the Mets seems pretty solid, it is the Nationals bullpen giving them the extra push they need to finally reach the holy grail itself; the World Series.

The World Series-10/25-Best of Seven-Rangers vs. Nationals

Before the season started, I had the Astros and Rangers/White Sox squaring off in the ALCS and the Mets and Nationals/Cubs in the NLCS. Then I had the Astros beating the Mets in the World Series. Boy was I wrong (I only had the White Sox because I am a fan and expected them to win at least 88 games; again, boy was I wrong).

Now, the 2016 World Series will come down to Texas and Washington.

Both ball clubs that should feel confident headed into September and beyond because of pitching. To quote the White Sox part-time play-by-play caller Ken Hawk Harrelson, “Offense brings crowds, but pitching brings championships.” Though the Nationals bullpen is much more advanced than the Ranger bullpen, Texas’ rotation will assert dominance early in the series. I would call both overall pitching even for both clubs. So that only leaves one thing: offense.

Both clubs’ offense has been inconsistent all year, but it all comes down to who can show up when it matters most.

Bryce Harper has proven time and time again he is something not to mess around with. Unfortunately, this year has not been the case. With below average offense, his performance has disappointed mostly everyone in our nation’s capital. I do, however, see him stepping up in the postseason, just not when it matters. I believe the Ranger rotation can shut down the young star and show up most of the Nationals lineup.

The Texas Rangers will beat the Washington Nationals four games to two in the 2016 World Series.

2016 MLB Postseason Bracket