As the season marches on and more games go into the books, I find myself, like last year, taking longer to get my team and divisional breakdowns out. For that reason, I’m going to jump ahead and put out my playoff predictions before too much time goes by, which include standings for each division. I will then return to the seasonal breakdowns, which won’t be adjusted after today and will still be based on my preseason rankings.
New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs (1st Wildcard Winner)
San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks (2nd Wildcard Winner)
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
I feel good about my picks for this league. I made no changes from my preseason picks, which just haven’t been posted. Obviously, picking 2 NL West teams to make the playoffs is looking rough right now. And picking the Phillies to finish behind the Braves looks unlikely too. However it’s still early, though if I were to make new picks today I might be changing those two things. As far as the rest, the Cubs are hotter than I thought and the Cards aren’t playing as well, but I still like that to even out a bit. I feel good about all my playoff teams at this point, even if the seeding changes.
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays (1st Wildcard Winner)
Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees
Kansas City Royals
Detroit Tigers (2nd Wildcard Winner)
Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Angels
This league requires some explanation. I posted one division breakdown already, the AL West. But upon viewing my notes, I realized that I picked three wildcard winners in my un-posted divisional breakdowns. That’s not good. So, the one I’m rescinding is the one that I gave to the Astros. While I will maintain that I liked the Tigers and Blue Jays better this year anyway, the fact that the Astros are in last place right now is making this revision look more suspect. I understand that. You either believe me or you don’t. But even in my initial post I casted doubt over the Astros, who were very average last year after their hot first month. So, the Astros are NOT a wildcard pick of mine.
But let’s talk about the rest. At this point, the White Sox hot start is making my AL Central picks look suspect. Also, the Mariners are playing far better than I expected while the Astros are playing far worse. And while I was right about the Yankees being bad, the Orioles and Blue Jays have both surprised me in completely opposite ways. I like my division winners still and also still think the Blue Jays can make up some ground and take a wildcard spot. While I don’t know that the rest will be right, I still think all of my playoff teams are alive and well at this point in the season.
NL Wildcard- Diamondbacks over Cubs
AL Wildcard- Blue Jays over Tigers
NLDS 1- Nationals over Diamondbacks (3-1)
NLDS 2- Cardinals over Giants (3-2)
ALDS 1- Rangers over Blue Jays (3-2)
ALDS 2- Royals over Red Sox (3-0)
NLCS- Nationals over Cardinals (4-2)
ALCS- Royals over Rangers (4-2)
World Series Nationals over Royals (4-2)
Those are the picks. Right now, the Diamondbacks beating the Cubs in a one game wildcard game looks unlikely. And while I generally go with pitching over hitting in the playoffs, I broke that rule with the Blue Jays over the Tigers in the AL wildcard round, because I think Toronto really tends to raise it up in the playoffs, based on last year. And I expect them to be playing at home. But after that, I generally went with the better pitching staff. Now, that being said, Toronto does seem to have an ace that I wasn’t expecting them to have, so maybe they can upset the Rangers, because that offense is insane. But I don’t see them getting past Kansas City. And while the Giants might be able to upset the Cards in the NLDS, I like the Nationals to beat either team. And ultimately, I think they win the whole thing this year. (And I say that as a Braves fan).
Okay, full divisional breakdowns starting back up. To read my AL West breakdown click HERE. NL West will be next. Stay tuned!