About two months after the start of the regular season, it’s time for the playoffs. This year the postseason will feature eight teams in each league instead of the usual three plus the wildcard, and each first round (wild-card) series is best of three games. With this in mind, get ready for a lot of potential upsets.
Also, see our end of season TSW MLB Awards
Los Angeles Dodgers (1) vs Milwaukee Brewers (8)
The Dodgers have been the most complete team in the MLB all season long, as they’ve scored the most runs in baseball while allowing the fewest. The Brewers, on the other hand, have been quite mediocre, though they have the ability to get hot. LA is mentally locked in on getting their first World Series since 1988, and the first step will be to easily beat Milwaukee.
Atlanta Braves (2) vs Cincinnati Reds (7)
The Braves have one of the best offenses and perhaps the most talented overall roster in baseball. A good counter to this, however, is one of the best pitching staffs in the game led by Cy Young candidate Trevor Bauer. There could easily be an upset here, but Atlanta’s overall better roster gives them the edge over Cincinnati’s superior pitching staff.
Chicago Cubs (3) vs Miami Marlins (6)
The Marlins are the surprise of the season, but they have a negative 41 run differential, which implies that luck and timeliness played a huge role for them. The Cubs, meanwhile, have been a top three team in the National League for most of the season and they have a lot of postseason experience on the team. Miami’s Cinderella run could continue, but in a season that has made little sense, Chicago makes much more sense to advance.
San Diego Padres (4) vs St Louis Cardinals (5)
The Padres have been very impressive this season threatening the Dodgers for the division title. The Cardinals have been underwhelming, at least offensively. And yet, St Louis is the pick. Late season injuries will likely be hard to overcome for San Diego and they don’t have the experience that the Cardinals have. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Padres advance or even go to the World Series because of their abundance of talent, but it feels like they’re still a year or two away.