Dodgers, White Sox and Braves are other contenders for Fall Classic crown
wirtten by: JOE LAURICH, staff writer
The MLB postseason is here, and it’s time to make some predictions. With an unprecedented 16 teams in the field this year, things are expected to get crazier than normal.
Every team is playing a three game series, with all three games at the stadium of the higher seed. The Astros already clinched their series against the Twins, who have lost 18 straight postseason games.
In the other series, I expect the Rays, White Sox and Yankees to win in the first round in the American League, and then the Dodgers, Padres, Cubs, and Braves to come on top in the National League.
While usually there’s potential for upsets in baseball, I think there’s too much separation between the higher seeds.
So, this year, the only upsets I’m taking are the No. 5 seed Yankees over the No. 4 Indians, as well as the No. 7 White Sox over the No. 2 Athletics.
The Yankees were expected to do a lot better than they actually did, but the talent is there for a deep postseason run. They have an explosive offense featuring American League (AL) batting champ D.J. LeMahieu and home run champ Luke Voit. Their rotation is anchored by Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka, who have a ton of playoff success.
As a result, I’m taking the Yankees to knock off the Rays in the division series, and then the White Sox to beat their division rival Twins to set up a White Sox-Yankees AL Championship Series.
The Dodgers had the best record in baseball this season. I think they’ll handle the Padres, especially with the Padres missing Mike Clevinger -and possibly Dinelson Lamet -in their rotation.
The Dodgers have too much talent not to make a run to the World Series, which is where I think they end up after they beat the Braves in the NL Championship Series.
The Braves will advance to the NLCS by beating the Cubs in five games in the divisional series.
I think the Yankees’ offense will be too much for the White Sox to beat in the ALCS, and they’ll advance for a matchup between two teams who are very familiar with each other in the World Series: the Yankees and the Dodgers.
Ultimately, I think the Bronx Bombers will take the World Series in six games, and Gerrit Cole will win World Series MVP by winning two games and striking out 22 in 17 innings pitch, including getting a save in Game 6 to clinch the series.