162 games have come and gone, and playoff baseball is finally here. Some of the staff from Fan Source Network has predicted the outcomes of the Divisional Series matchups.
Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals
B.J. Martin: Braves in 5
Mike Foltynewicz has been equally outstanding over the past four weeks. He, along with Dallas Keuchel, Max Fried, and Mike Soroka, will be enough to tip the advantage in favor of Braves in this short series.
Chris Totaro: Cardinals in 5
The Braves are still a little banged up and the Cardinals have been one of the hottest teams in baseball since the All-Star break. If the Cardinals’ pitching can shut down the Braves’ potent lineup, they will continue to ride their hot streak into the NLCS.
Andersen Pickard: Cardinals in 5
The Atlanta Braves are an extremely good baseball team, don’t get me wrong. While they have home-field advantage, the Cardinals will get the better of them considering they get five games to prove their skill is greater than their counterparts in Atlanta.
Ryan Potts: Braves in 4
With a hitting core that is finally healthy, the Braves should be able to win their first playoff series since 2001.
Emma Marion: Braves in 5
With Ronald Acuña, Jr., the Braves seem to be able to just tip the scales towards themselves. If they make good starting pitching decisions, they can have the upper hand in this matchup.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals
B.J.: Nationals in 5
The trio of Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin are going to quiet the Dodgers’ line-up. Veterans like Howie Kendrick, Asdrúbal Cabrera, Kurt Suzuki, and Gerardo Parra will play key roles in the series.
Chris: Dodgers in 4
The Dodgers are once again a juggernaut. They have great pitching and great hitting. The Nationals’ pitching trio of Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin has been excellent this season, so they may steal a game in this series, but they just don’t have enough firepower to compete with the Dodgers in this series.
Andersen: Dodgers in 4
The Nationals’ Wild Card appearance started off slow, but they managed to secure the win on what some may deem a lucky late-inning bounce. There are no lucky bounces when you’re playing the Dodgers, and L.A.’s entire roster is superior over the Nats’.
Ryan: Dodgers in 4
After one of the most clutch comebacks in recent MLB history, the Nationals run into the buzzsaw that is the Dodgers. The Dodgers have won four straight NL playoff series, and they should make it a fifth by dispatching the Nats.
Emma: Dodgers in 4
As they have been in the past two years, the Dodgers will be back in the World Series this year. The rest of the National League is doing well, but the Dodgers have control. The Nationals seemed to have a slight chance at advancing, but with the Dodgers at home, they will be the dominant team.
New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins
B.J.: Twins in 5
The Twins offense will strike early with power and take momentum away from the Yankees. There will be a lot of runs scored in this series, but the Twins bullpen will shorten games and beat the Yankees in five games.
Chris: Yankees in 5
Both teams have decent but not great pitching. Considering the Twins hit 307 home runs and the Yankees hit 306, expect this series to be a slugfest. Home-field advantage and a healthy lineup (finally) will be the difference for the Yankees in this series.
Andersen: Twins in 5
Through the first two Wild Card games, we have seen that home runs are crucial in the postseason. While the Twins hit just one more homer than the Yankees did this season, the Twins’ starting lineup should be able to hit more dingers than the Bronx Bombers this round and Minnesota’s bullpen should prove to be superior, leading to a Twins series win in five.
Splash: Yankees in 4
The Bronx Bombers own the Twins in the playoffs. The Twins have lost 13 of 15 playoff games against the Yankees, including a pair of sweeps and the 2017 Wild Card game. The Twins might shine offensively, but historically speaking, they are toast.
Emma: Yankees in 4
The Yankees are the more experienced team in history and in the recent years. With Gary Sanchez and Edwin Encarnación healthy, they will have an even more stacked lineup. Aaron Boone decided to give the first start to James Paxton and leave C.C. Sabathia off the roster for the ALDS, which are two moves that could pay off big time if the Yanks are successful.
Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays
B.J.: Astros in 4
Verlander, Cole, and Greinke. Bregman, Altuve, Alvarez, Brantley and Springer. The Astros are finally healthy and just in time for the postseason.
Chris: Astros in 3
The Astros will be sending out the top pitching trio in the league as well as one of the best lineups in the league, which is finally healthy. The Rays won four of seven against Houston this season, but the Astros have too much firepower for the Rays, not to mention they have been historically great at home. The Astros win this series with ease.
Andersen: Astros in 4
I have no doubt the Rays will be able to take one game, but they can’t take three while holding the Astros to two. The Astros are arguably the best team in baseball, and they will prove it this October.
Splash: Astros in 3
A sweep boils down to three names: Verlander, Cole, Greinke. Plus, the Astros have the superior offense even if their pitching fails.
Emma: Astros in 3
The Astros have essentially everything to win another World Series. With a starting rotation consisting of Verlander, Cole, and Greinke, they have to be more focused on their defense at other positions. Bregman, Brantley, and Correa should be able to generate a lot of offensive power to get them on the board.