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.
Tampa Bay Rays (1) vs Toronto Blue Jays (8)
The Rays have been the best team in the AL this season and probably the second best team in the league. Their offense has been average, but the pitching has been excellent, as they boast the 3rd best ERA in baseball. The Blue Jays have been surprising and better than their record suggests. Their offense has been very good, but it’s going to be hard to produce against the Rays’ pitching staff.
Oakland Athletics (2) vs Chicago White Sox (7)
The A’s must feel like they got really unlucky here, having to face a top ten team in the league as the two seed. Both teams have had impressive seasons, but of course only one can advance. Not having Matt Chapman will hurt for Oakland and assuming Chicago’s end-of-season slump is behind them, the White Sox’ solid pitching and near elite hitting should get them past the A’s, but it will be close.
Prediction: White Sox
Minnesota Twins (3) vs Houston Astros (6)
The Astros are lucky to be in such a weak division, and the Twins were the winners of what is likely the strongest division in baseball. The Twins’ pitching has been great this season, which is vital for a postseason run. The Astros have been an average team since opening day and unless their stars suddenly start performing like stars, Houston won’t be able to keep up with a healthy Twins roster.
Cleveland Indians (4) vs New York Yankees (5)
One of the only teams in the MLB who can hope to compete with the Indians’ dominant starting pitching is the Yankees. They look healthy, which is a scary thought for opponents. Cleveland really can’t catch a break. They’ve been one of the best teams in baseball all year and a high seed shouldn’t have to play a team as good as the Yankees. If they do pull it out, it will be on the backs of their pitching staff, but New York looks like they just have too much firepower.