With about 30 games left in this years MLB season, there is an astounding fourteen teams still in the hunt for the last wild card spot in each league. This has already been a historic season in the MLB, with the home run totals rocketing through the roof. This is of course lead by Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who just annihilated his fiftieth home run of the season. Yankees rookie phenom Aaron Judge has been a huge story as well. I am predicting a very entertaining post season this year similar to what we got last year with the Cubs shocking the world. These are my predictions for this years postseason as well as an X-Factor for each championship series through the World Series.
Cubs vs Nationals– This will be a huge test for the defending world champions if they can keep up their momentum from their longest season in over one hundred years and the early season slump this year to knock off a very dangerous Washington team that has had tremendous historical postseason struggles. I am predicting a 4-2 series win for the Nationals.
X-Factor: Washington’s bullpen
Dodgers vs Rockies– The Rockies will enter this game having knocked off the Diamondbacks in a nail-biting one-run wild card game that ended with a Nolan Arenado walk-off home run last season. The Dodgers have the clear advantage in this series with better, more experienced pitching and a returning lineup that has postseason experience. The Rockies are a Cinderella story led by a young yet effective pitching staff which is always fun to watch. The Dodgers will get out to an early 2-0 lead and end up winning it in five games.
X-Factor: Clayton Kershaw’s Health
Astros vs Yankees– The Yankees will enter this game coming off a wild card win versus the Mariners at Yankee stadium last season. The Astros come into the series having claimed a second straight AL West title in 2016 and will look to advance further in the postseason. The Yankees have made an immediate turn-around from last season and traded some of their highly rated prospects for premier starting players to help boost their already great depth. This will be a tight series in the beginning, but the Astros will prevail with a 4-2 win over the Yankees.
X-Factor: Astros Starting rotation and Carlos Correa Health
Indians vs Red Sox– The Red Sox come in after winning a highly contested AL East division last year aided by newly acquired ace Chris Sale and their signature ¨Killer B¨ offense. The Indians return after almost ending their great World Series drought when they battled to the final out competing in one of the best World Series in this generation. This will go to game seven and the Indians will come out on top in an amazing game seven with a classic pitching duel between Corey Kluber and Chris Sale.
X Factor: David Price’s postseason struggles
Dodgers vs Nationals– This series will undoubtedly test the will of the Washington Nationals. So far, the Dodgers have proven that they are a true force with unbelievable depth, winning nearly one hundred games this season. This will probably be Dusty Baker’s hardest task he has encountered in his stent as the National´s manager. I am predicting a 4-2 series win for the Dodgers because the Nationals still cannot find their postseason identity even with loads of talent and with vital contracts ending in the immediate future.
X-Factor: Can the Nationals start clicking?
Indians vs Astros- I am predicting this to be the best series in the entire postseason. This matchup will have the best offenses in the American League going at it. The Astros, led by premier youth, and the Indians, who have debatably the best bullpen in the American League. This series will go the distance and come down to a one-run game seven and the Indians will ultimately win their second straight American League title.
X Factor: Astros batting vs Indians Pitching
Indians vs Dodgers– While last year’s classic is hard to top, the matchup from top to bottom could not be better. The premier pitching matchup between Corey Kluber and Clayton Kershaw will be the best matchup in the postseason. The Dodgers high powered offense led by rookie slugger Cody Bellinger and gold glove shortstop Corey Seager will try to top the Indians top offensive efficiency team led by All Star Francisco Lindor and veteran slugger Edwin Encarnacion. With the editions of Yu Darvish for the Dodgers and Joe Smith for the Indians, this series will be another classic and go seven games and drain every ounce of energy out of each team. I am predicting a Dodger victory for the first time since 1988.
X Factor: Who wants it more?