The 2015 Major League Baseball season has been exciting from start to finish and the drama this last week of the season should set up a very dramatic postseason.
This year there have been a couple rule changes. In addition to the three division winners who automatically get in the playoffs, there is a one-game playoff between the top two wild-card teams to determine who goes on to the divisional round. The other new rule is if you get suspended for use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, you are automatically ineligible for the postseason.
The American League has been more unpredictable the National League, with three teams battling for one wild-card spot. Heading into the weekend, the Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are all battling for the last wild card spot and a probable showdown with the New York Yankees in the Bronx. The American League West is the league’s most competitive division with only four games separating the Angels, Astros and Texas Rangers.
I love the Minnesota Twins, but with their pitching still a bit of a question mark, I think it’ll be another year or two before they are legitimate contenders. Plus, they have a three game set with the league-leading Kansas City Royals over the weekend. The Angels have a huge four- game showdown against the Rangers, in what will decide the division. The Astros travel to Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks.
I think the Astros have the best chance to get in to that one-game playoff, because the Diamondbacks aren’t as talented as they’ve been in the past. The Rangers have figured out their pitching issues, and boast one of the more productive offenses in the league. However, any team with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols will have a fighting chance. I’m sure the Royals are going to want to gain some momentum heading into what will be a very competitive postseason. The Twins have been fighting all year so they’re not going to give up easily.
The Yankees will win the wild-card playoff against the Astros. Something about playing in October seems to bring out the best in the Yankees. Sorry Rangers fans, but I have you guys losing to the Royals simply because the Royals have one of the best pitching staffs in the American League. I think the Blue Jays will defeat the Yankees because of pitcher David Price and the bats of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. In the championship series, the Blue Jays will prove to be just too powerful and will beat the Royals to get to the World Series.
In the National League, the Pirates will beat the Cubs in the one-game playoff. The Dodgers, led by former Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, will defeat the Mets and the Pirates will lose to the powerful St. Louis Cardinals. In the championship game, the Cardinals, led by Matt Carpenter and Jason Heyward, will take down the Dodgers because the Cardinals have a better supporting cast.
Now it’s time for my World Series predictions. Two of the best offenses, Toronto and St. Louis, will square off, with Toronto having home field advantage because the American League won the All-Star game. Toronto will win the World Series because when it comes down to it, they have the better pitching staff, which is led by Price, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, and Mark Buehrle. Chris Colabello is a solid, underrated power hitter, but he gets overshadowed by Bautista and Encarnacion. I think this series will go all the way to seven games.
What are your post-season predictions?