Written by: Alex Lake (@TheLakeEffect25)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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Let’s all be honest with ourselves for a second, we aren’t experts and until our work is published on a major baseball publication, we won’t be. So, that’s why I’m not going to waste your time with numbers and stats that you don’t care about. I was told that Our Sports Report is about guys and their sports “opinions”, so that’s what you’re going to get. This is my first time writing for OSR and no better debut than during my favorite time of the year, the MLB Playoffs. So here it is, my thoughts, my opinions and yes, my World Series Champion…
ALDS #1: Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Let’s start with the Texas Rangers, who in the eyes of many are completely out manned and out gunned. This remains to be seen, but I’ll say this for them, they’re red hot and they want to win. At one point in time their post season chances seemed done, over, finished. Then somewhere along the line, they had a revival. They took flight, caught fire and never looked back. These guys were counted out once they lost their ace Yu Darvish way back when in Spring Training. Then they did something bold around the trade deadline and traded for the highly-paid Cole Hamels. Everyone but the Rangers saw this as a move to bolster for next year; they saw it as a move to win and win now. Win is exactly what they’ve done with Yovani Gallardo righting the ship and Adrian Beltre taking his experience and telling everyone to jump on.
Now their opponent, the Toronto Blue Jays with their big hitters, big personalities and even bigger dreams. They seem to be world beaters and in my eyes they are. They have three or four guys with 30+ homers and 100+ RBIs. They also have, if I had a vote, the American League MVP in Josh Donaldson. The guy hits for power, contact, he can run, and plays amazing defense at the hot corner. By all accounts, he does it all. It’ll be interesting to see which third baseman in this series is bigger, Donaldson or Beltre. They have arguably one of the most intense lefties in the league, David Price. Price, who is in the running for another CY Young is going to get the ball in game one. Although, Price is 0-5 in postseason starts, he’ll notch his first win tonight.
My prediction: Blue Jays in four games, 3-1. Rangers will snag one game at home.
ALDS #2: Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals
Start with the young gun Houston Astros, who were kind of cold going into the WC, but it didn’t matter as Dallas Keuchel silenced all doubts about CY Young candidacy. The Astros have a good mix of young guns with some journeymen who bring life to the team. They don’t have any experience in the postseason, but they have what matters: confidence and that’s key in the postseason. I don’t have much to say about the Astros other than they’re fun to watch, they hit a lot of homers and they have Carlos Gomez, who you love to hate.
The fast, young and fiery Royals with their cult following and loud stadium. They fought their asses off in the WC last year and swept their way into the World Series. They have the core of that team back minus Billy Butler. They’ve added Cueto and to be honest, he’s been average at best, and we all know how his last postseason outing went in Pittsburgh. The Royals have a leg up here with what they did last year. They’re exciting to watch and have that same confidence in their corner.
My prediction: Royals over Astros in five games 3-2.
NLDS #1: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets:
Let’s start with the once again NL West Champion LA Dodgers as they once again reign supreme in the west. They have the best one two punch in all of baseball, and maybe best in recent memory. They’ll run out Kershaw in game one and then Greinke in game two, which I predict both to be wins for the Dodgers. However, outside of the two of them, I think they’re in trouble. We’ll see how much trouble because they’ll be able to score runs behind the veteran Adrian Gonzalez. Let’s not comment on Kershaw’s past postseason blunders because the man is dialed in and he’s hungry. No more Peyton Kershaw this year.
Now on to the NY Mets, who in my opinion are going to be great for years to come with their pitching and defense. I believe with the depth they’ve added on offense they’re ripe for a big run. They’ve added Yoenis Cepedes in left, adding protection for Duda who had a breakout campaign. They have Thor, DeGrom, and Harvey who will no doubt anchor a big postseason for their staff. This team somehow makes the spacious Citi Field look tiny. I think they make this thing interesting and maybe even move onto the LCS.
My prediction: Mets take this one 3-2 in five games over the Dodgers.
NLDS #2: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs:
The St. Louis Cardinals just keep winning and nothing makes me angrier. It’s not that I hate the Cards, but it’s just that I want the Pirates to win the division one time and be able to breathe. But, for that to be able to happen they have to stop doing what the Cardinals do best, and that’s win. They just win and win and win and they do it through injuries, they do it with nobody you’ve ever heard and they don’t care. They buy into the Cardinal way and doing so in grand style. The Cardinals are starting to get a little heathy aside from losing Molina. They’ll send Lackey to the mound for game one and then through some young arms with lots of postseason experience behind him. They know how to win when it matters and now that they face the Cubbies it’s just more fuel.
The Chicago Cubs knock the second best team in baseball out of the postseason with one great outing from their guy Jake Arrieta. While I may not have bought into the Arrieta hype like everyone else, there is no denying that the guy is scorching hot. But, with the WC they may not get him back until game three or four, so let’s hope that Lester, Hammel, and Kendricks/Haren can bridge that gap. I like what the Cubs have to offer and with Kris Bryant (NL ROY), Anthony Rizzo (MVP candidate), and Babe Schwarber. These guys will score on the Cards. It’s been 106 years since a World Series in Chicago and since 2008 for a playoff berth. These young guys won’t want it to end here. The one thing they truly have going for them is that I think Maddon is a better manager than the arrogant Matheny. This team will go as far as these young guys can take them.
My Prediction: This series is going 5 without a doubt, I have the Cubs 3-2 over the Cards because, why not?
Now on to the LCS and World Series. Since you’ve already heard my take on each team, I’ll get down to the nitty gritty and make my picks.
ALCS: Royals vs. Blue Jays:
This is going to be a fun series to watch with a ton of personality to go with it. The Royals come in with the highest team ERA of any team coming in, but that doesn’t really matter too much. What does matter is the Royals starting pitching isn’t going to be able to get past the bats of the Jays.
My Prediction: I’ve got this one going 6 with the Jays winning 4-2.
NLCS: Cubs vs. Mets:
This is the World Series that everyone wants to see but doesn’t have the balls to predict. So, since I have no street cred or a job to lose, I’m calling it. The Amazing Mets versus the North Side wonder-boys. This is going to be awesome and I hope we get to see it. I got the Cubs in 7 games in a lock duel of biblical proportions.
My Prediction: Cubbies over the Mets in 7, 4-3.
Now we are onto the Big Stage with two teams who haven’t been there in a long time. This has been a long time coming for both teams, especially for the Cubs. I assume if the Cubs get to this point Arrieta has been pitching quite well and he’s finally going to get a wakeup call. The Blue Jays can hit anyone and they’ll hit here too. While I think this will be a good series I don’t think it’ll go 7.
My Prediction: I’ve got this one belonging to the Jays with offense winning big, Jays 4-2 over the Cubs.