Playoff baseball starts tomorrow. The last few months of the season have been quite a lull for me. Following my roadtrip – the Giants stopped playing competitive baseball and fell out of contention. The organization has been milking the Bochy retirement for all it is worth – and now our season is over.
Just because the Giants season is over does not mean that baseball is done. We have finally made it to the playoffs. The time of the year when we get to see the best teams square off. Also, the time of the year when Mike Trout starts his vacation – because he is never in the playoffs. If he was really that good, wouldn’t the Angels be perennial contenders? That is a post for another day.
Here we go – my thoughts on each series, and who I think will win the 2019 World Series.
Brewers @ Nationals
We have Brandon Woodruff facing Max Scherzer on the mound. I am not sure if I really need to write more about this. Scherzer is one of the best pitchers in the game, who else would you rather have on the mound in a win or go home situation? (Madison Bumgarner/Justin Verlander)
Rays @ Athletics
This is an interesting game. These are two teams I pull for year in and year out. Small budget teams able to put together consistent playoff seasons. It is really too bad that they are playing in a wildcard game. I think that playing in Oakland will be a huge advantage in this one. The fans will be electric. Marcus Semien is also one of the most underrated players in the game.
Twins @ Yankees
Two teams that hit over 300 homeruns! Can either team pitch though? The Twins are 0-5 in the playoffs against the Yankees. I think this is the year they end that streak.
Twins in 5.
Cardinals @ Braves
This is the most interesting series for me. I love both of these offenses. I think that the Cardinals have greatly underachieved this year – they have a solid mix of veteran and young bats throughout their lineup. I have been waiting for Goldschmidt to go off this season – I think that him and DeJong have a great series. The Braves have a similar mix of their own on offense, and are even more explosive with Freeman, Acuña, and Donaldson. The difference in this series is going to be the pitching – something tells me that the young arms for the Cardinals will show up – especially with Yadi behind the plate.
Cardinals in 4.
Athletics @ Astros
The Astros should sweep the Athletics. I do not see the A’s being able to take down Verlander, Cole or Greinke. Especially after burning their own ace in the Wildcard round.
Astros in 3.
Nationals @ Dodgers
The Dodgers have the experience, the pitching, the bats, the everything. The Nationals never live up to their ridiculous expectations. I give the edge to the Dodgers, especially with Scherzer not throwing game 1 for the Nats.
Dodgers in 4.
Twins @ Astros
The Astros are a complete baseball team, the Twins are still a few years away. The Twins will come back to earth after a big series win over the Yankees, The Astros will keep chugging along on their way to the World Series.
Astros in 5.
Cardinals @ Dodgers
The Dodgers have a better offense and a better pitching staff. I think the trio of Kershaw, Ryu, and Buehler will be hard to get past. The Cardinals are relying on a couple of young arms that are not quite experienced enough to get them over the hump.
Dodgers in 5.
Dodgers @ Astros
Oh man. A rematch of the 2017 World Series. The Dodgers will be returning for their third straight appearance, and playing to win their first title since 1988. So will this year be any different than the last two years?
Yes. I think this is where the Dodgers get over the hump. Why? They have to. This is their chance to avoid being Baseball’s Buffalo Bills. Clayton Kershaw will have an electric series and finally put to bed all of his questionable appearances in the postseason.
Dodgers in 6.
For entertainment purposes – I truly hope I am wrong with my predictions. I would love a Rays vs Brewers World Series, or Braves vs Athletics World Series. I am rooting for new story lines to come out of the playoffs this year and for new stars to be born.
Who do you think will end their 2019 season in a parade?