Before I start, this is all bias aside. Picks are all educated guesses, and are all my initial thoughts and statistics.
AL Wild Card: Houston Astros @ New York Yankees
Houston Astros 5
New York Yankees 2
Dallas Keuchel (My pick for the AL Cy Young) has recorded 16 scoreless innings against the New York Yankees this season. With a struggling Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, even with home-field advantage, expect a few big flies coming from the meat of the Astro’s order.
NL Wild Card: Chicago Cubs @ Pittsburgh Pirates
This could go either way, and I hate it; if the Pirates win this game, they could easily make it to the World Series – all bias aside.
I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say they will get it done. The key to this game will be how effectively the Pirates stay true to their ways in jumping on that first pitch, especially Gregory Polanco.
With a blacked-out PNC, and a fiery Gerrit Cole on the mound, anything can happen.
Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Chicago Cubs 2
ALDS: Houston Astros VS Kansas City Royals
The Astros will be searching for the long-ball, but coming up short, in this one. Kauffman stadium is very pitcher-friendly, and although I believe they’ll put up a good fight, I don’t believe they will have their cake and eat it too.
Royals in five
ALDS: Texas Rangers VS Toronto Blue Jays
This will be short and sweet. Toronto has more pitching, batting power, AND home-field advantage. Texas will not compare.
Toronto in three
NLDS: Pittsburgh Pirates VS St. Louis Cardinals
Although a long-shot, even without the struggling St. Louis pitching staff (even with the return of Adam Wainwright), the Pirates have proven they are evenly matched with this Cardinals team posting a 9-10 record in the regular season against the best team in the MLB, record-wise. If the Pirates can ride the motivation coming off of the do-or-die wild-card game, they’ll be golden. Squeak 1 of 2 out in St. Louis, win 2 of 2 at home in Pittsburgh.
Pirates in 4
NLDS: New York Mets VS Los Angeles Dodgers
The one-two punch of Kershaw and Greinke is lethal. Although the Mets seem to have a superior offensive presence, it has shown to like to hide in its shell and be very inconsistent; that just won’t work against this Dodgers pitching staff.
Dodgers in 4
ALCS: Toronto Blue Jays VS Kansas City Royals
Although Kauffman stadium, like I said before, is very pitcher-friendly, the big-flies still come. I believe they will in abundance during this series, with Toronto coming out on top. They’re just too overpoweringly balanced.
Toronto in 6
NLCS: Los Angeles Dodgers VS Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates could potentially have already gotten past Jake Arietta and the stingy St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff. If the NLDS goes longer than three games and Kershaw/Greinke are pitching on short rest, the Pirates could hop all over that; they already proved they can beat Kershaw in August. I just don’t see anything different with this Dodgers team than last, but I see a lot different with this Pirates team than the team who got knocked out of the Wild Card game just a year ago.
WORLD SERIES: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto-native, Drake is dropping his album this year. That’s all the info you need on why the Blue Jays will win the World Series.
In reality, the Pittsburgh pirates DO have the second best record in Major League Baseball. A few games go another way during the season, the pirates get a divisional series off the bat and suddenly everyone is picking them as a favorite. It could happen.
That being said, this is as far as the train will go for Pittsburgh. The pitching in this matchup may suppress each other, although I believe it weighs a little more toward the ‘Jays, but the overall ability to swing the bat for Toronto is impeccable. That will be Pittsburgh’s greatest downfall.
Toronto in 6
I’m holding true, but if the Pirates totally lay an egg Wednesday night in this bogus one-game do-or-die format, then I got Toronto over the Dodgers.