It’s finally October and if you’re an MLB fan, you know what that means: playoff baseball!
The regular season concluded this Sunday and playoffs officially kick off today. All teams are set for the two wild card games and division league series. The playoff pictures and first game of every matchup for each league are included below. On their website, the MLB also released a full schedule of the playoffs, starting pitching, and how to watch each game.
American League First Round Schedule:
Wild Card Game (1 game series): Twins @ Yankees, Tuesday October 3rd
Division Series (5 game series): Red Sox @ Astros, Thursday October 5th
Division Series (5 game series): Twins/Yankees @ Indians, Thursday October 5th
National League First Round Schedule:
Wild Card Game (1 game series): Rockies @ Diamondbacks, Wednesday October 4th
Division Series (5 game series): Cubs @ Nationals, Friday October 5th
Division Series (5 game series): Rockies/Diamondbacks @ Dodgers, Friday October 5th
Matchup by Matchup Predictions: American League
AL Wild Card Game (1 game series): Twins vs. Yankees
ALDS (5 game series): Red Sox vs. Astros, Thursday October 5th
PICK: Red Sox in 5
ALDS: (5 game series): Yankees vs. Indians, Thursday October 5th
PICK: Indians in 4
ALCS (7 game series): Red Sox vs. Indians
This should be an exciting matchup of two experienced and deep starting rotations, where contenders Chris Sale and Corey Kluber face off in a rematch of last year’s ALDS. Cleveland most definitely has the edge offensively with players such as Fransisco Lindor, but Boston had been getting hot in this department towards the end of the regular season. It will be a tough task to stop this Cleveland team that won 22 straight games towards the end of the season, and the Red Sox will definitely need their young stars, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, to play to their best abilities. In the end, I do not think the Red Sox’s starting rotation has enough firepower to silence the bats of the Indians.
PICK: Indians in 6
Matchup by Matchup Predictions: National League
Wild Card Game (1 game series): Rockies vs. Diamondbacks
Division Series (5 game series): Cubs vs. Nationals
PICK: Cubs in 5
Division Series (5 game series): Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers
PICK: Diamondbacks in 4
ALCS (7 game series) Diamondbacks vs. Cubs
After a slow start, the Cubs finally look like they are a championship team again. In this series, I think the talented Diamondbacks lack experience even with a strong starting roster while the Cubs have recent playoff wins. Although on paper the D-backs may have a better record and stronger overall play, the Cubs picked up their play and are going into the postseason on an upwards swing. The Cubs roster with their young studs like Kris Bryant and Addison Russell will pull through and get them to the World Series for the second year in a row.
PICK: Cubs in 7
World Series Analysis and Prediction:
WS (7 game series): Cubs vs. Indians
A rematch from last years World Series, but with different looking teams. The Indians were an offensive powerhouse this year, while the Cubs had their moments of struggle throughout the season. It is widely known that a strong bullpen wins games in late October, and the Indians have just that with names like Andrew Miller and a team ERA of 3.30. The Cubs have that experience of being World Series champions last year, but the Indians were right there with them, and this year Cleveland has the edge on paper. Chicago just hasn’t had the dominant type of season they did last year, and won’t be able to overcome the Indians for the second time in a row.The Indians have the second fewest fielding errors in the league, and their defensive skill paired with hot hitting from the 22 win streak late in the regular season will lead them to revenge this year.
PICK: Indians in 5