October 03, 2018
By: Dan Fremuth
October is here and for me, that means it’s time to engulf myself in some MLB playoffs.
Sure I’m disappointed the Phillies won’t be participating this year (I know I’m in the minority but I actually think the Phils had a great season overall) but their absence won’t stop me from trying to soak up as much October baseball as possible.
For starters, I’m a huge fan of the addition of the second Wild Card team. It adds drama and intrigue to the end of the regular season and gives the MLB playoffs the unique characteristic of now incorporating both a single-elimination game and the traditional series format into its postseason. It also helps that this year’s postseason is absolutely packed with stars and some of the best teams we’ve seen in recent memory.
Just think, the 100-win New York Yankees, who set an MLB record for most HR in a single season, could face the 108-win Boston Red Sox, who boast three legitimate MVP candidates in JD Martinez, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. That is, of course, if the Yankees can top the 97-win Oakland Athletics, who feature the MLB leader in homers (Khris Davis, 48) and one of the impressive defensive third baseman of the 21st century in Matt Chapman. Meanwhile, the defending champion Houston Astros, who boast the best starting rotation in baseball, will face off against the Corey Kluber, Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez-led Cleveland Indians, who are the AL underdogs having won a measly 91 games during the regular season.
Meanwhile, over in the National League, the youthful Atlanta Braves (with two of the game’s brightest young stars in Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna, Jr.) will take on the defending NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers who still have Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger and bolstered their lineup in July by adding one of the game’s premier infielders in Manny Machado. Finally, the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers (who won an NL-best 96 games this season and have the NL MVP in Christian Yelich) will battle the Colorado Rockies who advanced Tuesday after bouncing the Chicago Cubs in an historic 13-inning Wild Card game.
It’s the best time of year to be a baseball fan and I can’t wait to immerse myself in as much postseason baseball as I can. Here are my predictions for what I think could be one of the most memorable Octobers in baseball history.
ALDS (best-of-5 series)
Red Sox over Yankees in 5
Astros over Indians in 5
NLDS (best-of-5 series)
Braves over Dodgers in 5
Brewers over Rockies in 4
ALCS (best-of-7 series)
Astros over Red Sox in 7
NLCS (best-of-7 series)
Brewers over Braves in 5
World Series (best-of-7 series)
Astros over Brewers in 6