October Baseball: Divisional Series Breakdown

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Just for the record, these are my MLB Playoff picks (Which I will gloat if I’m right and accept if I’m wrong).

AL Wild Card: Indians over Rays = Wrong

ALDS: Red Sox over Indians in 4 games – Tigers over A’s in 5 games

ALCS: Red Sox over Tigers in 6 games

NL Wild Card: Reds over Pirates = Wrong

NLDS: Cardinals over Reds in 4 games – Braves over Dodgers in 5 games

NLCS: Braves over Cardinals in 7 games

World Series: Red Sox over Braves in 7 games…Yes I picked my favorite team to beat my 2nd favorite team, deal with it.

Here’s my breakdown of how Divisional Series will shake out:

ALDS – Red Sox vs. Rays

The Sox are simply better both hitting and pitching wise. The Sox have a relentless lineup with guys who can come off the bench late to provide a spark, whether is be Carp with the bat or Berry with his legs. Sure the Rays have David Price on the front end, but it drops off from there, with Alex Cobb (I know he was great in the Wild Card game) and Matt Moore (inconsistent) being their #2 and #3. Sox have better rotation depth (Lester, Lackey, Buchholz, Peavy) and both teams have had their share of ups and downs in the bullpen. Sox win in 4 games

ALDS – A’s vs. Tigers

The A’s ended the regular season in a great way to run away with the AL West title, whereas the Tigers spent the majority of the season comfortably in 1st in the Central. The A’s have a poor postseason record in the Billy Beane era and if you ask me, his pure “Moneyball” strategy is a regular season system, not built for the postseason. I think you need proven talent to win in the playoffs and the Tigers are full of that talent. And if you can roll out soon-to-be Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in Game 1 and perennial all-star Justin Verlander in Game 2, you’ve got a great chance in any series. Tigers win in 5 games

NLDS – Cardinals vs. Pirates

To start, I cannot get myself to buy into the Pirates. I don’t think they have rotation depth or talent or a deep or talented lineup. I cannot see how they did so well this year. They have a solid bullpen, but that is all I see in them. The Cards on the other hand seemed to go under the radar again this year, yet they are one of the best. They have great pitching as usual led by Adam Wainwright and one of my favorites, Michael Wacha. They have an incredibly deep lineup that will put up runs on any team. Cardinals win in 4

NLDS – Braves vs. Dodgers

This is looking like it will be the best series. Many are overlooking the Braves because of public-hype over the Dodgers. The Braves are the kind of team that can get hotter or colder than any team in the league, and I think this year they will get hot in the playoffs. I love the top 3 of the Braves in Medlen, Minor, and Teheran. Granted its no Kershaw and Greinke but I think the Braves will be able to survive against those 2 and take advantage of the LA bullpen. Atlanta has the best pitching overall in the league with by far the best bullpen. Bullpen strength and depth is immensely important in the playoffs, and the Braves thrive in this area. The Dodgers are simply too over-hyped and not as good as they are made out to be. Braves in 5 games.

-Will

Photo Credit: Nick Aguilera

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