2017 MLB Postseason Preview

post-previewThe MLB Postseason is the time when things get serious for everyone involved and that is not only for the players on the field.

Of course, the intensity ratchets up for the players who are now in the final stretch to achieving a dream.

There is no room for mistakes right now as the best players have to be at their best in order to get themselves to that ultimate goal.

They are under tremendous pressure to achieve that goal and that they are that much closer to the title.

This time of the year also puts some big pressure on the people in the front office that are also looking to achieve their own goals.

The front office staff cannot be measured on their stats because they don’t have stats to look at.

They are instead judged solely on how the team that they have put together does and getting to this point is a big accomplishment.

For some teams, this is not good enough though as the front office has brought them to this point before and although it is better than missing it is time to step things up.

For many of the favourite teams in the division the postseason is simply not enough and so the front office staff needs them to do much bigger things.

It is World Series or bust for a number of teams this year but only one team can get there while the others go back home disappointing.

There are a few teams that could see changes in their future should they not be able to take the World Series.

That is the pressure that they are under for the postseason but the worst part about it is that they have little to do with the outcome at this point.

They can only sit back and watch their teams perform in the hopes that the choices they made were good enough to win it all.

Those choices came at many different points whether it be drafting and developing or singing big free agents but one moment can truly change everything.

That is on July 31 when the front office of all of these teams looked to make an impact in the trade market for this part of the year.

The trade deadline is a moment when the teams look to the future and try to add a piece or two that can help them first get to the postseason and then help them win the World Series.

Trades are always an interesting part of the league as they can be some of the most debated moves in every season.

Teams need to make a choice at that moment as to whether or not they think they have a legitimate shot at winning a championship.

To get the boost that they need teams need to usually give up prospects that can help them in the future.

Teams that are willing to give up big stars are looking to rebuild and they want young prospects to help build around.

That means that the teams getting the big names need to weigh the future of their team with the immediate impact a big name can provide.baseball-sidebar

It is the question that every team has to ask themselves as they head into the postseason as buyers and some teams take the chance.

They can come out on top in a big way or fall short but that will all come out when the postseason starts and teams have a chance to see what their new players have.

For a handful of teams that is going to be the case as the second season begins as they made some big moves and all were for this point in the season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been a team that has come so close for so long and as they were heading to the postseason they made a splash.

They traded for Yu Darvish at the deadline to help take some of the pressure off of Clayton Kershaw in the postseason.

The Dodgers weren’t the only team to go get a big arm that they might need as the postseason moves on.

In New York they got Sonny Gray to compliment Luis Severino and CC Sabathia while in Chicago the champions added Jose Quintana to add to an already great pitching staff.

The same can be said for the Astros who made the final trade deadline move when they traded for Justin Verlander.

Pitching wasn’t the only position that teams went to find as the Diamondbacks went out to get J.D. Martinez.

Other teams couldn’t find that piece but the fact is that the postseason teams are here means they can find a way to win.

Whether the difference will be that one piece some teams added could mean the difference between a top front office or a new front office.

American-League

The American League is full of very impressive teams that are making their runs right now when they are hot. Often the best results at the end of the season can mean a great start to the postseason and on this side of the bracket has two of those teams. The Houston Astros went 21-8 in the final month of the season while the Cleveland Indians went 25-4 in the final month. Both teams are clearly the teams to watch this year as they have been good all season not just at the end of the season. The fact that they have been winning at the end of the season helps though as they are clearly putting things together. In Cleveland, Corey Kluber has led a pitching staff that finished the season with the best team ERA in the MLB. In Houston, the name of the game is offence as they have put up the most runs in the MLB this year. Both teams also do well in the other aspects of the game and are going to be very tough to beat this year seemingly having everything they need to win the World Series. There are other teams that will try to knock them off and surprise everyone. The Minnesota Twins are riding the greatest turnaround in MLB history where they have been a great offensive team but do struggle on the mound. The AL East will look to make their own impact as the New York Yankees got in with the Wild Card thanks to a young team with some veteran pitchers. The Bronx Bombers are truly back as they led the league in home runs last year thanks in large part to super rookie Aaron Judge who broke rookie records for home runs. Boston took the AL East title and they did it the way they always do it, finding ways to win. Their pitching staff is a good one with Chris Sale leading the charge and a number of young stars doing what the Red Sox have done for years. They seem to find ways to win and that could be with home runs, base running, hitting for contact or anything else because they have at least one player for every aspect. The American League is going to be a battle as the two hottest teams in the league are heading into the postseason with very few holes. The other teams all have a shot though as the Yankees and Red Sox know how to win in big games and the Twins could ride their momentum of making the postseason to surprise wins. That is going to be tough though and although anything can happen there seems to be an expected outcome, at least to the ALCS.

al-prediction

National-League

In the National League, things are a little dire for a number of teams as they are not looking to just make the postseason and be done. They are teams that have been here before but never been able to make their way to the World Series. Those teams would be the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals who have been regularly considered favourites to win the World Series but have not been able to finish the job over the last few seasons. The Dodgers began to rise when they raised their salary to massive levels and became favourites thanks to the big names they added. They could never finish the job in the postseason though struggling to even get through the first round. They enter this year’s postseason as the best team in the MLB though after putting on an amazing regular season. New additions to their rotation are meant to give Kershaw less responsibility and pressure that he has not been able to manage in past years. They enter this season with two great top pitchers which will be their biggest advantage as their offence has not kept pace. The Nationals are a much more balanced team as they don’t do any one thing particularly great but they do everything pretty good. With Bryce Harper back they have the extra firepower. After drafting the two can’t miss prospects in Harper and Stephen Strasburg they were supposed to be a team to watch. It seemed like every year they entered the season as a favourite to win it all yet they continued to fall short every year in the postseason. Both the Dodgers and the Nationals will try to shake that history and actually make an impact this year. There are challengers to those teams though as the National League has some great teams. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies both had great seasons and were only not division champions because of the Dodgers great year. It will likely be a very close wild card game between the two should be a good one. The Rockies have finally solved their pitching issues while the young D-Backs have one of the top pitching staffs in the league. Meanwhile, the defending champions are still here and with some extra help as the Cubs have a good pitching group that includes their newest addition although their run production has been lacking this year. Just like in the American League the postseason in the National League is going to be interesting. There are some great teams that have a shot at surprising but there are two very strong teams. It looks like they still have what it takes to go to the World Series but you never know what is going to happen at any given time.

nl-prediction

2017 World Series:
Two teams playing great baseball all season will meet for the ultimate prize and it could be a tight one. The Dodgers bring a deep pitching staff while the Astros bring the league’s best offence. The two will clash but in the end, the Astros are just better in the other aspects of the game than the Dodgers are. They will overcome the great parts of the Dodgers team ending their hopes of a winning a title while the Astros take their first title ever.

ws-prediction

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