Baseball season is grueling. 162 games over the course of six months leaves a lot of room for, well, a lot of things. In the last six months, the season has given the average fan a lot to think about. Between injuries, accusations of using PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) and the games played in between, this season is proving to be one of the more eventful seasons of the last few years.
After 162 games, here is what we’ve discovered.
The Angels aren’t that good. The Dodgers put on a historic streak that showed us they are that good. Alex Rodriguez is a cheater. Ryan Braun is a cheater and a liar. Yasiel Puig’s baseball abilities far surpass his maturity level, and Mariano Rivera is a legend. Enough about what happened in the last six months, the focus now should be on what will happen in the next two. Starting with the NL wild card matchup between the Pittsburg Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds will likely put Mat Latos on the mound, to go against the Pirates’ Francisco Liriano, in a game that will probably go down to the wire. I can’t see the Reds beating the Pirates in the one-game playoff. Prediction: 3-1 Pirates.
In the AL Wild-Card Matchup, the Cleveland Indians will face the Tampa Bay Rays. Assuming the Rangers don’t miraculously enter the post-season, this matchup will likely feature Corey Kluber and David Price. I don’t see the Rays losing this matchup, especially with the way they’ve been playing as of late. Prediction: 5-2 Rays.
After the Wild Card round, the NLDS is going to be a battle between the Cardinals, the Braves and the Dodgers. In the first matchup, I can see the Pirates upsetting the top-seeded Cardinals. They’ve been hot as of late, and have beaten the Cardinals the last three times they’ve played. Prediction: Pirates in 5.
On the other side of the NLDS, the Dodgers will face the Braves. The winner of this series will likely represent the NL in the World Series. The Dodgers have been the hottest team in baseball, led by Kershaw and Greinke on the defensive end and having the firepower of Ramirez, Puig and a healthy Kemp will propel the Dodgers past the Braves. Prediction: Dodgers in 5.
In the NLCS, the Dodgers deep pitching staff will have no problem handling the Pirates. The only comparable counter to the Dodgers veteran pitchers would be the Pirates’ A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano, and neither will be able to carry them through this series. Prediction: Dodgers in 7.
The first matchup of the ALCS would then feature the Red Sox and the Rays. The Red Sox offense will prove to be no match for the Rays. Especially in the post-season where offensive firepower is everything, the Rays don’t stand a chance. Prediction: Red Sox in 4.
The other side of the ALCS would feature the Detroit Tigers against the Oakland A’s. The A’s have been the feel good story of the year with their no-name roster, the Cinderella of the year, but it ends here. The Tigers all-star pitching squad will prove to be too much for the A’s to handle. Prediction: Tigers in 4.
That would lead to an ALDS matchup featuring the Red Sox and the Tigers. This one would be the closest series in the entire playoffs, with the Tigers remarkable pitching, against the offensive prowess of the Red Sox. Prediction: Red Sox in 7.
This brings us to a world series featuring the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. This matchup would be the most intriguing offensive matchup in recent history. Expect a high scoring affair and a lot of star power in a series that would feature two of baseball’s biggest stages. The Dodgers win this one, barely. Based on the way they’ve performed on the road in the second half of the season, I can’t see the Red Sox maintaining home-field advantage. Prediction: Dodgers in 7.
After 162 games, it comes down to this: 10 teams fighting for their playoff lives, hoping to cement their place in history. This is the MLB postseason, and it could not have come any sooner.