October is finally here, and with that, brings the most exciting time in baseball, the MLB postseason where legends are made. Many teams have been working since February for an opportunity to prove themselves in the postseason, struggling and grinding through a tough MLB season. Despite all this, nothing matters in the regular season if you don’t win in October.
Many teams are hopeful that this will finally be their year, and it very well could be, but where will my predictions place the final 10 of the 2019 MLB season? Let’s start with the wild card matchups.
NL Wild Card: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals
Max Scherzer will take the bump for the Nationals against the Brewers high octane lineup featuring key players such as Lorenzo Cain, Keston Hiura, and Yasmani Grandal who are trying to make a splash in the absence of their superstar Christian Yelich, who is out for the season with a fractured kneecap.
The Brewers will throw out Brandon Woodruff and will most likely rely on a bullpen relay of sorts to get through the Nationals core of Trea Turner, MVP Candidate Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto.
Although the back end of the Brewers pen has been outstanding, I think the Nationals will get to Woodruff early, and Scherzer will dominate, showing why he is one of the top pitchers in the league. The Nationals will defeat the Brewers and advance to the NLDS to face the Dodgers.
AL Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Oakland Athletics
The Athletics take on the Rays in the AL Wild Card in Oakland. The Rays are tossing potential Cy Young candidate Charlie Morton against Sean Manaea, who has looked impressive in five starts this year coming off shoulder surgery.
The Rays and Athletics match on several fronts whether it is their fantastic pitching staff, and bullpens, or their starting lineups filled with familiar faces and players you have never heard of.
I see Manaea being untouchable in this start at home with Morton matching him until Matt Chapman and breakout shortstop Marcus Semien knock the Rays out of the playoffs and set the Athletics up on a date with their AL west Rivals the Astros.
NLDS: Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers will sweep the Nationals in three games and advance to the NLCS for the fourth consecutive year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the best team in the National League with a stacked lineup, and rotation highlighted by MVP favorite Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw, and surprise Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Nationals having wasted Scherzer in the wild card game will have to rely upon Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg to get them wins in LA, and I just do not see that happening.
Scherzer potentially pitching game three will not save the Nationals from the broomstick leading to a Dodgers series win.
NLDS: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves
The Cardinals will face the Braves in the other NLDS matchup. The Braves lineup is filled with offensive studs like Ronald Acuna Jr, Ozzie Albies, and Josh Donaldson, while their rotation has the likes of breakout rookie Mike Soroka, former Astro Dallas Keuchel, and the incumbent Mike Foltynewicz.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, feature a reignited offense with top players such as Yadier Molina, Paul Goldschmidt, and the underrated Tommy Edman, while they will rely on the performances of 2019 breakout Jack Flaherty and 2018 breakout Miles Mikolas to shoulder rotation.
The series will be close and will come down to a decisive game five in Atlanta where the Cardinals will win.
ALDS: Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros
The Houston Astros will play the Oakland Athletics in the first ALDS matchup. Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zach Greinke will be too much for the Athletics batters to handle and the Astros monstrous lineup with familiar faces Bregman, Altuve, Springer, Correa, and AL Rookie of the Year candidate Yordan Alvarez will annihilate Oakland's pitching.
The Astros will win the series 3-0 over Oakland and head to the ALCS for the first time since 2017.
ALDS: Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees
The New York Yankees will play the Minnesota Twins. This series will be a game of fireworks with two of the best offensive teams playing each other. The Yankees totaled 306 home runs, and the Twins tallied one more at 307 home runs. This series will be tightly contested, and I would not be surprised if there were ten runs a game. The Yankees, I think, will pull out the series win 3-1.
ACLS: New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros
The ALCS matchup will be the Yankees and the Astros where I think the Yanks get revenge for 2017 winning the series in 4-3. The Yankees will be the first team this year to put a massive dent in the big three of Verlander, Cole, and Greinke and will win the series due to their high-octane offense and excellent bullpen.
NLCS: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
In the NLCS the Los Angeles Dodgers will face the St. Louis Cardinals. The matchup which has haunted Dodger fans in recent memory won’t change this year. The Cardinals will beat the Dodgers in a six-game series where the Cardinals will wrap up the string in Dodger Stadium, as the Dodgers will be outplayed by a Cardinals rotation and lineup that are peaking at the right time.
2019 World Series: St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Yankees
The 2019 World Series will be the St. Louis Cardinals vs. the New York Yankees. This world series will put the two most World Series-winning baseball teams against each other in the fall classic.
The Yankees will win the world series in six games, and the World Series MVP will be Aaron Judge. The Yankees will win the world series off their momentum from winning the ALCS and will cool down a hot Cardinals squad with their excellent pitching staff.
So, in the words of Frank Sinatra “start spreading the news,” the Yankees are going to win their 28th Fall Classic.
*preview photo credited to SportsCity.com
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