Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Playoff Predictions: 2018 Edition

On what I believe was the first day in Major League history with two tiebreakers played, both teams I was rooting for lost. Needless to say, I'm not terribly thrilled as I write this post. But I have a duty to the baseball community to record these predictions which will almost certainly be wrong so that we can all have a good laugh over them someday. My preseason prediction was a Yankees-Dodgers World Series. Do I stand by that prediction? Let's just take this round by round.

Stupid Wild Card Games That Nobody Wanted

Cubs over Rockies
Yankees over Athletics

While it was fun pulling for the Rockies as they marched to the playoffs, the fact remains that they simply are not a great team. The Cubs have much more depth, and when you throw in the fact that Chicago has home field advantage, they're the easy favorite here. Obviously, anything can happen in one game, but I'm going with what I think is the more likely outcome.

As for the American League, I think the Yankees have just a bit more magic on their side, and I'm not going to bet against them.

Division Series

Brewers over Cubs
Dodgers over Braves
Yankees over Red Sox
Indians over Astros

The way the Brewers have been playing lately, I don't think my beloved Cubs are in a very favorable position if they face them. They've been unbeatable. If you recall, I actually picked them at the beginning of the season to be the surprise division winner, so I'm not always wrong.

I'm taking the Dodgers over the Braves, just because I'm not confident that the Braves are all there yet. The Dodgers have been a lot better in recent postseasons than earlier this decade, and I think they have the be the favorite this year too.

Yankees over the Red Sox? The Red Sox team that won 108 games? Yes, I'm going to make a bold prediction that the juggernaut from Boston is actually overrated and will choke in the first round like the Indians did last year. Besides, this Yankee team ain't exactly Jell-O pudding, with 100 wins of their own.

But wait...I'm also predicting the Indians will beat the powerhouse Astros? Now I'm just loony, right? Two huge first round upsets in the same league? I'll admit that the Astros are a much better team than this year's Indians, but the postseason really is a crapshoot, and I think these Indians could pull it off. They have unfinished business from last year, and they might be just a little more determined than the defending champs.

League Championship Series

Brewers over Dodgers
Indians over Yankees

So it looks like I'm not sticking with my preseason pennant predictions! I have both of them losing in the LCS.

First, the Brewers. I think their momentum has given them the confidence to ride this thing all the way to the World Series. They're playing like a team whose time has come, and despite them beating the Cubs, I have to tip my hat to them. This team looks special.

Indians over the Yankees? Yup. The Indians looked like a team of destiny last year, but the Yankees spoiled the party in the first round. Remember that unfinished business I mentioned above? Yep. It's time for the Indians to get their payback.

World Series

Indians over Brewers

Remember the Cardinals of 2004-06? In 2004, they won 100 games and the pennant, but lost to the Red Sox, who were breaking the once-famous 86-year drought. In 2005, they won 100 games again, but this time they lost in the LCS to the Astros. In 2006, they squeaked into the playoffs by winning a weak division, but unlike the prior two years, they won the whole thing. Go figure.

I'm predicting the Indians to follow a similar pattern: Lose to a team getting a monkey off its back, lose before the World Series, then win the World Series with a team whose record isn't that impressive but played in a weak division. We have the precedent. It's all there for the Indians' taking. Can this be Cleveland's year? That's what I'm going with. And unlike last year, I might even be correct.

So there you have my predictions. Be sure to come back in a month and have a good chuckle at how wrong they were!