I know I know this is a day late. I apologize to you all for that. For what it’s worth I 100% was going to take the Nationals. If you do not believe me, you should just ask my brother Arf. We had a nice convo about how the Nats and their -175 betting line was worth every penny.
If it wasn’t for that error by Grisham, then I’d still tell you today I took the Nats and I’m 0-1 for predictions. Why would I lie about a prediction? That’s just petty! Anyways, here are my remaining predictions for the MLB playoffs.
For reference, here is my preseason predictions where I for the most part did alright. I had the Yankees winning it all so stay tuned on if that changes. I had 4/6 division winners right but whiffed badly on my assessment of some teams including NL east champs in the Atlanta Braves, and the atrocity that currently is the Pittsburgh Pirates. At that point in time, I was convinced they’d turn heads as a team. I actually got that right considering they turned heads away from the franchise after their ugly post All Star break free-fall down the standings. I’m not going to dwell too much into the season because it’s October, so let’s get to the magic!
NL Wild Card: Nats over Brewers
Again I promise you this was my pick before this article. I can’t believe how this ended. The Brewers were in full control until Hader came in the 8th inning. He’s been incredible all year and for him to blow this was unexpected to say the least. That’s the magic of October though. This Nats team has been scrappy since I wrote them off in May. If I’m the Dodgers, I’m scared of this team. This time around, there’s no pressure for the Nats to succeed. That’s a team I do not want to face especially with the amount of pressure on the LA Dodgers.
AL Wild Card: Rays vs A’s
As a fan of a small market club, this is a dream scenario. Two small market clubs where their respective GMs are smarter than everyone of their peers. Both franchises operate on low budgets and still find ways to consistently compete. The Athletics’s have quietly been one of the more solid teams in baseball during the 2019 season. This is a franchise year in and year out just does it without big household names. This team is not one of those teams. They are sending out Sean Manaea who just returned from a year long absence due to shoulder surgery. Since his return, he’s done nothing but dominate. In 5 starts, he’s 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 30 strikeouts. This offense is what will be the key here for the A’s. This club hits a ton of home runs with 1B Matt Olsen and stud 3B Matt Chapman leading the club in 36 a piece. If the A’s want to win, these are the 2 guys who are going to have to come to play tonight. The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of the better teams in baseball since the start of the season. They’re sending one of the best FA acquisitions in Charlie Morton on the hill and recency bias has me leaning Rays. Let’s not forget, he started and dominated Game 7 during the 2017 World Series so he knows how to get it done in do or die situations. If you’ve listened to the Heart of the Order pod, you already know which way I’m going.
Rays over A’s
NLDS Dodgers vs Nationals
There is something to be said for the Dodgers continued dominance. They are a large market team who builds their teams with the best homegrown talent. They spend when they need to and fix holes without dumping the farm. They won the NL pennant the last 2 seasons and are the favorites to do it again. They have one of the deepest lineups top to bottom in all of MLB. It starts with MVP candidate Cody Bellinger who has had an insane season. They also have the most pressure out of every team in the playoffs to win. They are playing a team with nothing to lose and that’s a team I do not want to face. In a 5 game series, they will see Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin who are one of the best big 3 SPs in the MLB. Nats got some bats too despite losing Harper. For this one it’s going to come down to the bullpens and who can hold up best because that is the weakest link in both teams.
Dodgers over Nationals in 4
NLDS Braves vs Cardinals
This has to be one of the quietest division championships for the Cardinals in recent memory. They made a splash in the off-season by acquiring Paul Goldschmidt. He once again started off super slow but rebounded come summer to hit 34 dingers and driving in 97. He hasn’t had the typical season he’s used to having but he’s still Paul Goldschmidt. This team though is the New England Patriots of Major League Baseball. I expect Goldie to be Goldie in the big time moments, but odds are it will be someone we have never heard of or least expect be the hero. Maybe Harrison Bader or Tommy Edman? All I know is Jack Flaherty is pitching lights out. He’s going to have to continue to do so to stop these Braves. This team is also stacked from top to bottom with an insane amount of young talent. Ronald Acuna Jr. is an MVP candidate who almost had a very rare 40 homer/40 stolen base season and at 21 years of age. Dansby Swanson before getting hurt was enjoying a nice breakout season at shortstop. If he finds his grove again that’ll go a long way. They also boast young 2B Ozzie Albies who I think is already the best 2nd baseman in MLB. Pair them with studs in Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson and why can’t they get it done? This series is simple and it’ll come down to is the moment too big for the young Atlanta Braves. They’ve ready to win and have done so from April-September…but this is October where the Cardinals shine the brightest.
Cardinals over Braves in 5
Stay tuned for ALDS breakdowns as well as the 2nd half of the #DrePredictions