MLB Postseason Preview

The MLB Postseason has essentially already begun with the last day of the season seeing four teams playing for their chance at the Wild Card Spot. The Boston Red Sox lost a 9 game lead in their AL Wild Card race that was one in true comeback fashion by the Tampa Bay Rays. The same happened in the NL with the Atlanta Braves losing an 8 ½ game lead in their wild card race to the St. Louis Cardinals. With these four teams fighting it out to the end the there were another six teams sitting back, for the most part, and watching it play out as the division winners had clinched much earlier. In the AL the usuals are back with the New York Yankees taking the AL East and the Texas Rangers took the AL West. Meanwhile the always changing AL Central saw another new winner as the Detroit Tigers took home the title. In the National League saw a shift as the only usual suspect was the best team in baseball the Philadelphia Phillies. Meanwhile in the NL Central the Milwaukee Brewers were able to win the title behind the play of Ryan Braun. The NL West made a bigger change as the defending champion San Francisco Giants were eliminated from the postseason by the Arizona Diamondbacks. This postseason will see a new champion and although the major powers are the favorites there is still

 

American League

The AL has been ruled mainly by the AL East but the AL East champions have not always won the World Series. Last year the Texas Rangers beat out the Yankees in the ALCS and moved on to lose to the Giants in the World Series. This year the two favorites are again the Rangers and the Yankees. The Yankees are usually strong with their big names and their big payroll including their star pitcher C.C. Sabathia and their great batters including slugger Mark Texeira and possible MVP Curtis Granderson. With these strong players and the old faithfuls in Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez the Yankees seem to have few holes and yet again seem to pose a threat at the World Series. Meanwhile the Texas Rangers have flown under the radar for most of the season as they had one scare in early September when the LA Angels made it interesting. The Rangers are not as strong and consistent as the Yankees but behind the arm of C.J. Wilson and the bats of Michael Young and Josh Hamilton they have the ability to beat almost anyone. The Last divisional champion is the Detroit Tigers who have ridden the arm of Justin Verlander and the bat of Miguel Cabrera to their title. Although there are some other great players the Tigers will be leaning on these two all-stars as Verlander will make as many starts as he can and will probably win most as one of the best pitchers in the league this year. Finally the Tampa Bay Rays barely got into the playoffs but had a lot of help thanks to the Boston Red Sox collapse. The Rays have some strong pitching in James Shields and David Price but both may be unavailable immediately due to their stretch run. In the batter’s box the Rays do not have any overpowering players but almost all of their players can produce runs. Their biggest challenge will be Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria who showed what they do best in their last game. The AL is a tough league with many big names and stars that can dominate any series. If the postseason run is anything like the wild card race than strap in for a very exciting fall.

 

AL Predictions

 

ALDS

New York Yankees 3 vs. 1 Detroit Tigers

– The Tigers will put up a fight especially when Verlander is pitching but the Yankees are deep in their rotation and their lineup and could be too much for the Tigers.

 

Texas Rangers 3 vs. 1 Tampa Bay Rays

– The Rangers are not overpowering but have a lot of spot in their lineup that will give the Rays who will be reeling from their wild card race as they will not be able to use their top pitchers at the start.

 

ALCS

New York Yankees 3 vs. 2 Texas Rangers

– The Yankees are a strong contender yet again because of their deep pitching rotation as well as their deep lineup and the Rangers will struggle against a lineup with few weaknesses

 

National League

The National League has been the league who tends tobe closer as there is not one dominant team. Last year the San Francisco Giants rode their pitching and timely hitting to the World Series where they broke a long drought. This year the dominance of the NL will be tested as the Phillies look to continue their performance into the postseason. The Phillies are built on their great pitching with four top pitchers that could be the #1 in many teams. With almost no weakness in their rotation with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt all going to be involved they will be tough to overcome even with a less than stellar offence. The Phillies are a favorite whereas the underdogs will be the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers do not have the strongest pitching rotation but all of their pitchers give their offence the chance to win. The Brewers offence is led by Ryan Braun who is backed up by the powerful Prince Fielder and the speedy Niger Morgan and Rickie Weeks. The Diamondbacks were able to outplay the San Francisco Giants to win their division. The D-Backs are not outstanding in any aspect of the game but pull out wins with a balanced attack. Arizona will be looking towards Justin Upton for most of their offensive output but will also lean on their defence with their late additions in Aaron Hill and john McDonald. The final team made it in the last day as the St. Louis Cardinals were able to beat out the Atlanta Braves for the wild card.  The Cards will look to Chris Carpenter and Albert Pujols in the postseason to help them get past some tough competition. The NL will be a wild race to the World Series as all teams have the ability to beat each other and they will fight to the end.

 

NL Predictions

 

NLDS

Philadelphia Phillies 3 vs. 1 St. Louis Cardinals

– The Phillies do not have a weak spot in their rotation and the St. Louis Cardinals will find this out the hard way but could squeak out at least one win

 

Milwaukee Brewers 3 vs. 2 Arizona Diamondbacks

– The Brewers are on a high with a big offence and a good rotation and will make it close with the D-Backs but Arizona will not have enough firepower to match with the Brew Crew

 

NLCS

Philadelphia Phillies 3 vs. 2 Milwaukee Brewers

– The classic matchup of offence vs defence, or pitchers, will make this a good series but the pitching and offence of the Phillies will be too much for the Brewers

 

World Series

Philadelphia Phillies 4 vs. 3 New York Yankees

– In the dream matchup the Yankees will take on the Phillies and with both have a good offence and great pitching this series will be a close one but the strength of the rotation in Philadelphia is hard to overlook.

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