2019 MLB Postseason Predictions

With game #162 in the books, we are officially done with the 2019 regular season; it’s time to take our best guess on what will happen, To do so, I’ll first give my official prediction, and then, examine each team’s chances to win the World Series.

Here are my official postseason predictions for the American League:

Wildcard Game: Rays Over A’s

ALDS #1: Astros Over Rays (Five Games)

ALDS #2: Yankees Over Twins (Four Games)

ALCS: Astros Over Yankees (Six Games)

and for the National League:

Wildcard Game: Nationals Over Brewers

NLDS #1: Dodgers Over Nationals (Four Games)

NLDS #2: Braves Over Cardinals (Three Games)

NLCS: Braves Over Dodgers (Seven Games)

and for the World Series:

Astros Over Braves (Five Games)

Now, let’s take a closer look on each team’s outlook heading into the postseason.

Wildcard Teams

  • Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays are quite the story; despite having the league’s lowest payroll, and playing in the very tough AL East, they’re a playoff team. If Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell are able to give them 5-6 innings, those two, and Charlie Morton give the team a trio of aces that could carry them, especially since they also potent an elite bullpen. Morton gives them a great chance to win the wildcard game, but with a lackluster offense and the fact that Snell and Glasnow may not be able to give them the quality innings they need to, I definitely wouldn’t bet on them getting past the Astros. Chances Of Winning WS: Slim, But Not Impossible
  • Oakland A’s: The A’s, another team with a very low payroll, are the polar opposites of the Rays. Their starting pitching is what could hold them back; Sean Manaea is the only starter they can really trust. Still, with closer Liam Hendricks, and multiple intriguing multi-inning lefty relievers in Jesus Luzardo and AJ Puk, they can’t be counted out, especially since they have one of the best offense-defense combinations in baseball. I’m not sure about their chances against Morton, however. Chances of Winning WS: Same As The Rays, But Slightly Lower
  • Milwaukee Brewers: Without reigning MVP Christian Yelich, the Brewers were able to claw their way to the playoffs. However, with Lorenzo Cain’s status up in the air with a sprained ankle, and without Yelich, this is a league-average offense at best. Plus, right now, ace Brandon Woodruff can only be counted for around three to four innings, the starting pitching depth is thin, and the same goes for the bullpen outside of Josh Hader and Drew Pomeranz. They definitely are the team least likely to win the World Series. Chances of Winning WS: >0.1 Percent
  • Washington Nationals: They may be a wildcard team, but the Nationals have the talent to be a serious World Series contender. Their starting pitching trio of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin is dominant, and Scherzer practically guarantees them the Wild Card game if he pitches anywhere near his capabilities. Meanwhile, their lineup, led by Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto, is also a strength. However, they may have the league’s worst bullpen, and even closer Sean Doolittle can’t be trusted. That’ll likely hold them back from moving past the Dodgers. Chances of Winning WS: Better Than Expected For a Wildcard Teams

The “Lower Tier” Division Winners

  • Minnesota Twins: With 101 wins this season and the league’s most powerful offense in terms of home runs, the Twins have been one of the biggest surprises this season. That powerful offense, led by the never-aging Nelson Cruz, gives them a chance against any team. Furthermore, their rotation won’t be a liability, as Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, and Jake Odorizzi are all capable options. Still, they certainly aren’t reliable, and though Taylor Rodgers and Tyler Duffy have been tremendous this season, the bullpen is still too inconsistent to match up against the Yankees and Astros. Chances of Winning WS: Possibly The Worst In The American League
  • St.Louis Cardinals: All the attention may have been on the Cubs this season, but the Cardinals were persistent throughout, and as a result, are the NL Central champions. Jack Flaherty has been the best pitcher in baseball in the second half, their lineup is decent, and the back-end of the bullpen is strong with Giovanny Gallegos and Carlos Martinez. Still, their rotation has been anything but ideal outside of Flaherty, their bullpen depth is non-existent, and their lineup is closer to average than elite. They played well down the stretch, but I’m not fond of their postseason outlook. Chances of Winning WS: Very Low, Less Than Nationals
  • Atlanta Braves: All the hype this past offseason went to the Phillies and Mets, while the Braves stood pat, outside of signing Josh Donaldson. Still, they were rewarded for that; they won the NL East this season with ease. Few teams can match up the star power Atlanta has at the top of their lineup with Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and Donaldson, and quietly, they’ve fixed their pitching. They have three trust-worthy starters in rookie Mike Soroka, Max Fried, and veteran Dallas Keuchel, and with the additions of Chris Martin, Shane Greene, and Mark Melancon at the trade deadline, they almost have too much bullpen depth. They’re young, hungry, and deep, and as a result, they have a great chance to upset the Dodgers. Chances of Winning WS: Solid, and Much Better Than It Looked Pre-Trade Deadline

The Super Teams

  • New York Yankees: The Yankees may have passed on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, and instead, they’ve counted on free-agent signing DJ LeMahieu, and a lot of minor-league signings, to get them to this point. They’re healthy now though, and as a result, their lineup is downright scary. The same goes for their bullpen, which contains a top-three reliever (Aroldis Chapman), two underrated options (Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle), and reliable veterans (Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino). The key will be their rotation; it’s unclear how many innings Luis Severino will be able to provide, James Paxton is both inconsistent and injured, and the group as a whole is suspect at best. That’ll likely cost them against the Astros, though they certainly shouldn’t be dismissed; this team is loaded with superstars. Chances of Winning WS: Good, But Nowhere Near The Astros
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: With 106 wins this season, the Dodgers have been an absolute powerhouse this season. Their rotation trio of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Hyun-Jin Ryu is amazing, and their lineup lacks a weak link. Said lineup has so much depth that they’ll be able to mix and match like they have in year’s past; they’ll score a lot of runs. Their major concern comes with the bullpen though, as they’re not as deep in that departments as year’s past, and closer Kenley Jansen has really struggled this season. They’re the favorite to win the National League, but the difference between them and the Braves isn’t as large as one might think. Chances of Winning WS: High, But No Guarantee They Make It
  • Houston Astros: What exactly is the Astros’ flaw? Not only does the rotation contain two of the game’s five best pitchers in Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, but they also have another front-line starter in Zack Greinke lined up for game three. Behind them, they possess a very deep bullpen that’s particualry strong in the back-end, as Roberto Osuna is a fine closer and Ryan Pressly is one of the best relievers in all of baseball. Then, there’s the lineup, which will be fine even if Carlos Correa (back) is unavailable; Alex Bregman was the second-best player in the AL this season, Yordan Alvarez is unbelievable, George Springer had a career year this season, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley are consistent contact hitters, and even Yuli Gurriel was fantastic this season. The only possible red flag with them in their lack of a true #4 starting pitcher, but if that’s their only possible fault, they’ll be just fine; they’re the overwhelming favorite to win it all this year. Chances of Winning WS: Very, Very High

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