2016 MLB Postseason Predictions

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October baseball is less than five months away. Yeah, there is a lot of season left, and many story lines that are about to unfold. Yet, here I am, predicting how October will turn out, and who will be crowned the 2016 World Champions of Baseball. Take a look with me here:

In case you missed it, I predicted both the National and American League playoff pictures leading up to this.

AL Playoff Picture

WILD CARD GAME

Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles

This is one of the toughest things to predict in baseball, as it is truly one game take all, a spectacle that is rarely seen in baseball.Baltimore would be the home team by virtue of better record in my predictions, but Kansas City will have the edge in starting pitching. I’m going to say that it’s time for a changing of the guard in the American League and have the Orioles’ bats carrying them to a victory in this game, and leading them to the ALDS.

AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays

In what would be a very competitive series between division rivals, I’m going to give the

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Blue Jays P Marcus Stroman will lead Toronto’s pitching staff into the postseason.

edge to the Blue Jays. I believe Toronto will be the better team and take the division because of its superior starting pitching, and that’s exactly the reason they should be able to beat Baltimore in the postseason. I’d look for ace P Marcus Stroman to win the first and last game of this series to move to the ALCS.

Cleveland Indians v Houston Astros

I expect that this series would be highly competitive, as both teams boast great pitching. However, I’m going to give the edge to the Astros, as they have more postseason experience than the Indians, and are led by SS Carlos Correa who will no doubt have some postseason heroics ready for October 2016.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays

I believe this series would go 7 games. The Blue Jays boast the better offense, while the ‘Stros have the deeper pitching staff. However, I feel as if the Blue Jays are a team of destiny this season, with everything seeming to click for them at the right time. I think reigning AL MVP 3B Josh Donaldson and OF Jose Bautista will have some heroics that will carry the Jays to the World Series for the first time since 1993.

NL Playoff Picture

WILD CARD GAME

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals

Division rivals facing off once again in the Wild Card Game. The Cardinals will have the home field advantage, but I predict that the Pirates will come out with P Gerrit Cole and jump on the Cardinals starter early to clinch their spot in the next round of the playoffs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs

The Pirates will be faced with another division rival in the playoffs. Obviously these rosters will change from present day, but the Cubs are simply deeper than the Pirates and are built for the playoffs. In a full 5 game series, I expect the Cubs to pull it out at Wrigley to move on to the NLCS.

San Francisco Giants v New York Mets

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San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner has been a consistent postseason performer.

While the Mets are the reigning NL Champs and have one of the best rotations in baseball, I’m giving the edge to the Giants in this series. San Francisco’s lineup is loaded with players who have past postseason heroics under their belt, and the best rotation that this team has taken into the playoffs in years. In 5 games, I think the Giants take the series at the Mets’ Citi Field behind P Madison Bumgarner.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs

I’m taking the Giants to take the NL Crown. The Cubs are a youthful but inexperienced team. I believe that is where the Giants will benefit under this spotlight, and ride their starting pitching to their fourth World Series appearance in the last six years. I expect C Buster Posey to have one of his best postseason series of his young career.

WORLD SERIES

San Francisco Giants v Toronto Blue Jays

Obviously, home field advantage is decided by the 2016 All-Star Game, but I think it’s a safe bet to take the AL in that game. This match up truly puts the game’s best hitting team against the game’s best pitching team in Toronto and San Francisco respectively. In a full 7 game series, I’m taking the Giants to come through with more postseason heroics and take their fourth World Series Crown in six years. The team’s rotation has a lot of playoff experience, and Ps Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija have pitched against the Blue Jays in the past year. Overall, I believe this match up favors the Giants, who will continue their dynasty towards the future.

Let me know what you think of my predictions, and enjoy what should be a very entertaining 2016 MLB Season!

World Series Game 7 Preview

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Game 7 is amazing to watch in any sport. My favorite sport is baseball, so I’m probably biased, but I believe Game 7 is the best in baseball. After such a long series, with both teams still even, both teams prepare themselves to give everything they have for one game. That means that every pitcher and hitter is available, no matter how tired or how many pitches they threw in the series. This year, we get the treat of a Game 7 in the World Series.

This is a scenario that anyone that was a fan, coach, or player of baseball has fantasized about for hours in their

Will the San Francisco Giants or the Kansas City Royals capture the World Series crown tonight?

Will the San Francisco Giants or the Kansas City Royals capture the World Series crown tonight?

lifetime. You imagine the giant stage, with the possibility of your performance being the deciding factor in your team taking home the World Series title. It’s truly an all-or-nothing game and it will be exciting to watch.

The match up tonight is the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants and they are playing Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The Royals are starting P Jeremy Guthrie and the Giants are starting P Tim Hudson. Both pitchers will have a short leash, as any pitcher will be available for both teams. Giants’ ace P Madison Bumgarner should appear in the game tonight despite starting Games 1 and 5. It’s even possible that P Yordano Ventura, who won Game 6 for the Royals, could appear tonight. “All hands on deck” as they say. Both lineups will be at their offensive peaks, as both benefit from the DH use in the American League ballpark. It allows them to enter an extra bat in the lineup, without sacrificing any fielding.

This game could honestly go either way, as they are both extremely talented and have performed in clutch situations throughout the series. The Royals have the home field advantage, but I don’t think that will phase a team like the Giants. All in all, I believe that San Francisco will find a way to get things done, and add their third World Series trophy in the last five years. Could we be on the verge of a dynasty? Stay tuned, and watch Game 7 on FOX.

Best Possible Deals for the Top Available MLB Pitchers

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The MLB Trade Deadline is now just a day and mere hours away, and there will be plenty of player movement in these next hours. As usual, most of the transactions will revolve around pitching. This year, there are a few ace-quality pitchers that appear to be available because their clubs are out of the playoff race or their contracts are expiring. However, when trading one of these pitchers, a GM must try to get the best package of players in return. This can be very hard, as now more than ever, teams are trying to develop their teams through their farm systems, and are reluctant to trade their top, young talent for players that can be a rental of 2-3 months.

Here I will take a look at what I view to be the best possible deals for the teams dealing pitchers, as well as the best situation for each of the pitchers.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers trade OF Matt Kemp, minor league OF Joc Pederson, minor league P Chris Reed and cash to the Boston Red Sox for P Jon Lester, P John Lackey

The Dodgers have been rumored to be shopping Kemp, and the Red Sox have been rumored to be interested. These teams have a history of pulling off blockbuster trades, and this one would fill a need for both teams. The Dodgers would acquire Lester and Lackey, which would form the most dominant starting rotation in baseball, with the likes of Ps Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. It would also alleviate the Dodgers’ outfield jam, allowing them to play OFs Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, and Yasiel Puig everyday. That is definitely not a team I would want to face in the postseason.

On the other hand, the Red Sox would acquire a big-right handed bat that they need in Kemp, as well as a centerfielder in Joc Pederson. By also acquiring another one of the Dodgers top pitching prospects in Reed, it should make the Red Sox much more willing to eat the remaining $108 million on Kemp’s contract. Overall, this trade would fill the Dodgers’ immediate need, as well as set them up to be real World Series contenders, while the Red Sox would be acquiring what could be major pieces to their future.

2. Tampa Bay Rays trade P David Price to the Atlanta Braves for P Alex Wood, minor league C Christian Bethancourt, minor league P Cody Martin, and minor league P Wes Parsons

This deal appears to be lopsided, at least in terms of the amount of players. The only way for the Rays to get close to adequate value for Price is to get four players, including three of the Braves’ top twenty prospects. In Price, the Braves will get an ace starting pitcher, and someone that can anchor their rotation for the rest of the race in the NL East, as well as the postseason. I would think that the Braves would have a decent chance at resigning Price after the season, as they are always a competitive team, and play in the National League, which could be intriguing for Price.

As is the case with most trades the Rays complete, they would acquire a boatload of prospects that they can rebuild their team with. Wood gives the Rays a strong left-handed option for their rotation to attempt to replace Price. The two pitching prospects are intriguing because the Braves have a history of producing quality pitching from their farm system. However, I think the real key to this deal might be Bethancourt, who the Braves values highly, and could serve as a solid big league catcher for years to come.