2016 MLB Postseason Preview

9877__mlb_world_series-special_event-2016

The best time of the season is finally here as the MLB Postseason is ready to begin and teams are ready to take a step towards becoming the next World Series Champion.

The last two years have seen very different results in the postseason and they express the diversity of what the postseason can provide.

Two years ago the San Francisco Giants represented one of the most dominant teams in the league since 2010 found their way to the World Series title.

They didn’t do it in the most dominant way though as the Giants found themselves barely in the postseason.

They took a bad season and turned it around to take the final wild card spot barely sneaking into the postseason.

From their though they had one of the most dominant postseasons ever losing only two games in the entire postseason.

They ran through everyone until the World Series where they took a championship, their third in five years, in seven games.

It was a part of an overall dominant postseason that included the Kansas City Royals running through their side of the bracket without losing a game.

The Royals also came from the wild card to the World Series in a match-up of the last teams into the postseason.

In 2015 the story was very different as the Kansas Coty Royals were one of the best teams all year easily winning their division and looking like World Series favourites.

They did not have the easiest path to the World Series but they eventually got there and took home the title.

Their opponents were also division winners as the New York Mets had taken the NL East title and took that to the World Series in a tough few series.

The Royals also had a much easier time taking the World Series in four games rather than the seven games they lost the World Series in the year before.

With the new postseason year set to begin the question remains whether or not an unexpected team can take the title or one of the expected teams can take it all.

That is the nature of the postseason as there is nothing known with a brand new season wiping away everything.

The records from the regular season mean very little when the postseason begins as all they do is grant one team home field advantage.baseball-sidebar

No matter how good or how bad the season ended the fact is teams are now in the postseason and all that matters is what happens in the future.

The season series between the teams means nothing when they face off with much more on the line and anything can happen.

The last two years have shown that whether you are on the top or you just snuck into the postseason there is always a chance of taking home the World Series title.

This year has plenty of teams with plenty of chance to take the title home and some in need of a win.

The Blue Jays, Orioles, Mets, and Giants will all look to take the path of the 2014 league champions from the wild card to the World Series.

The Red Sox, Indians, Nationals, and Dodgers all look to take solid seasons that gave them division titles to the World Series with all playing well right now.

Then there are the Rangers and the Cubs who finished on top of their respective leagues to get home field for the entire postseason.

They have had great seasons and look like the two favourites right now before the postseason begins.

All of these teams have a chance and it takes a group of players coming together to perform at the top of their game.

If they can do that they will find themselves at the top of the MLB as the World Series Champions.

American-League

The American League was not an easy one to figure out this year as there were no dominant teams from start to finish. Every team that ended up making the postseason did not have a season where they could walk through into the postseason. At some point in the season, all of the teams saw some kind of a dip in performance only to find their way back by the end of the year. Some limped into the postseason while others finished strong and took over at the end of the year. The Texas Rangers began the season in a battle with Seattle that lasted a good amount of the start of the year. They weren’t consistent throughout the season but eventually they found their groove and consistency ruled out. They weren’t dominant but they were more consistent than anyone else and so they took the top spot. The Cleveland Indians were the biggest surprise of the season as the division that produced last year’s champion was all of a sudden up for grabs. In a serious battle in the first half of the year, more than one team took the lead but eventually the Indians took over. They began to play great baseball to take the lead and they were consistently good to find their way to the division title at the end of the year. The Red Sox weren’t expected to do much this year as the division was going to come down to the Orioles and the Blue Jays. After an initial poor start, the Red Sox came back and began to take over with a strong performance. Their great second half led them to the east title while the Blue Jays and Orioles collapsed in the second half to find themselves fighting for the wild card until the last day of the season. The entire league was up in the air for a long time and the start of the season was not an indication of how everything ended. Now these teams all in the postseason where their season doesn’t really matter. It now all takes a team playing their best at the best time and in that case any team can actually win the World Series. Finding that level of play is easier said than done though as teams need to find a way to get everything going at the right time.

tex_rangers.fw

Their pitching isn’t deep and their offence has fallen off in the second half as the Rangers shouldn’t really be at the top. Still, they find ways to win as they are a team that does what they need to win games.

cle_indians.fw bos_redsox.fw

Injuries have ravaged the Indians’ pitching staff while their offence disappears away. They have the talent but they might not be deep enough to win.

The Red Sox turned things around to create a very well-rounded offence. Their pitching is not consistent but with their offence, it doesn’t need to be.

tor_bluejays.fw baltimore_orioles.fw

Their pitching was unexpectedly good and their offence can be the best in the league. They have some real issues in the bullpen and their offence disappeared in the second half.

The power of the offence is among the best in the league with a massive amount of home runs. Their pitching could be their Achilles Heel in the postseason.

al-prediction

National-League

The National League was not the same as their counterparts as the league had a lot more figured out a lot sooner. The National League still saw a great battle to end the year as the last few days were needed to find the last two playoff teams. The entire league was at the mercy of the best team in the entire MLB this year as the Chicago Cubs ran away with their division and the National League. This is the best team they have had in a very long time and they look to make it through the postseason and back to the top for the first time in over 100 years. They will have challengers though as the other division winners have been very good for the entire year. The Washington Nationals were under the radar for the first time in a long time and that lack of pressure seems to have helped them in a big way. They took over the east pretty quickly this year and by the halfway point they seemed like sure bets to take the title. They did just that and now they look to the Cubs to continue to take the pressure off of them in hopes that the lack of pressure can get them over the hump. The Los Angeles Dodgers took over the west for another year and despite an early fight with the Giants, they found their way to the top of the division and like the Nationals seemed like good bets to win the division by the midway point of the season. All three division winners have had solid seasons throughout the year and they are all ready to take their seasons into the postseason to take home a title. The wild card was slightly different as both the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants had high expectations this year but fell short. Both started the year on top of their divisions but began to fall off of the pace until the end of the season where they fought until the last week of the season to earn their spots. Whether that fight can keep them in the running is the question as the Cubs are the team to beat in the National League and everyone will be trying to catch them on their path to the World Series.

chi_cubs.fw

They are an all-around good team this year with one of the best pitching staffs in the postseason and an offence to back them up. There are few weaknesses and they seem to be World Series bound unless the Billy Goat curse makes itself known.

was_nationals.fw la_dodgers.fw

With all of their roster intact this is a tough team to beat. That won’t be the case for them though as the Nats were hit with injuries at the wrong time and lost depth.

Clayton Kershaw is the linchpin for the Dodgers as his performance could determine how far they go. Without great outings, they will fall to other great pitching.

ny_mets.fw sf_giants.fw

The opening day roster is devastating but that roster is far from the one they have in the postseason. Injuries have ruined the depth of a team that was tough to beat.

The same story for the Giants as they have a terrible offence but an amazing pitching staff. It is also an even year so who knows what can happen with this team.

nl-prediction

2016 World Series:
The World Series is a match-up that a couple of decades ago would have been more of a joke than anything else. The Red Sox broke one of the longest championship droughts in sports back in 2004 after 86 years without a title. The Cubs were always worse with what has now stretched to over 100 years without a championship. Curses were to blame for both but eventually the Red Sox got through their Curse of the Bambino and now the Cubs will break the Curse of the Billy Goat against a fitting opponent. It won’t be easy as the offence of the Red Sox is better than the Cubs but the well-rounded nature of this Cubs team is just too good to ignore.

ws-prediction

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 131 other followers

%d bloggers like this: