MLB Postseason Predictions

Will both New York baseball teams advance to October?

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MLB Postseason Predictions

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September baseball is in full effect and it’s time to buckle up and prepare for the postseason. There are still several teams in contention and a lot of predictions to be made. Will the back-to back-to back AL Central Division Champs defend its title? Will the St. Louis Cardinals stay strong this year and take home their NL Central title? Is the 2nd NL wild card spot going to go down to the final day of the regular season?

Well, here are my predictions…

AMERICAN LEAGUE

The team in the AL West taking home the pennant is definitely the Houston Astros. With two Cy Young contenders at the front of their rotation, and an MVP candidate in the heart of the lineup, the 2019 division title is basically theirs…again. The AL Central has been a two-team race all season. The Minnesota Twins have maintained first place for most of the year. But it is certainly possible that the Cleveland Indians will sneak up on them, and take home an impressive fourth consecutive pennant. I felt this was going to be the case since the start of the year. Even with the injury to ace Corey Kluber, the Indians have a strong starting rotation that just needed to pitch to its potential. But with only two weeks left, time is running out. Since losing Jose Ramirez and Tyler Naquin, Cleveland can’t seem to overtake the surprising Twins. I see Minnesota taking the AL Central title for the first time since 2010.

The AL East is basically already locked up, and has been for a while. The Yankees were the first team to 90 wins. The Yankees will most definitely be taking back the AL East title, from the hated Boston Red Sox, for the first time since 2012. Although the Tampa Bay Rays were making it interesting in the beginning of the season in their division, the AL East, they have not been nearly as impressive as the Yankees. But the Rays do have an excellent front office that has helped put together an inexpensive roster good enough to play in the postseason. I see them taking the first AL wild card spot. And speaking of well-constructed teams, the Oakland Athletics’ front office has once again, somehow, put together a team that few people expected to be playing meaningful games this late. As interesting as it would be to see the Rays face off with the A’s in an elimination wild-card matchup, I believe the Cleveland Indians will sneak into the second spot after falling just short of overtaking the Twins.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Two of the three division races in the National League have already been locked up as the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers can now prepare their rotations for the postseason. In the NL Central, the St. Louis Cardinals have been playing outstanding baseball. They have a two-game lead but I believe they will continue to play well and make their rabid fan base happy once again.

The NL wild-card race has been one of the most exciting parts to this 2019 season. While the Yankees have been dominating the league, even with an unprecedented number of days of players on the IL, New York Mets’ fans had to suffer, and wonder if they were about to enter a rebuild. But the Mets heated up in late August, cooled down momentarily, and have somehow heated up once again by sweeping four games from one of their wild-card contenders, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Also in the race are the Phillies, who have just been way too inconsistent to be a likely postseason participant. The Diamondbacks had been picking up the pace prior to the series with the Mets. Even after trading away their ace, Zack Greinke, they have competed quite well, but I don’t see them earning a wild card either. The Nationals, at one point 11 games under .500, have really turned their season around. Washington’s bullpen is still a little shaky, but the starting rotation includes three pitchers (Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin) who are in the top five for strikeouts in the NL. They will secure the first wild card spot, and get great satisfaction in watching Bryce Harper remain home for the postseason. The NL Central is bound to have a team take the second wild card spot.

The Cubs fell apart in late September last year, forcing them to play, and lose, game 163. I don’t see them making the postseason this year either. That spot will go to the Milwaukee Brewers, a team whose overall pitching staff is improving. Even with the devastating injury to the likely MVP Christian Yelich, who appears to be done for the season, the Brewers will find a way to get its young roster into that wild card game.

With about 15 games to go, many teams are making it interesting. An exciting month of September baseball will induce an even more exciting postseason!