This is the full playoff preview, going over all the division winners and the wild card teams as well as my projected winners of each series. I will choose my World Series winner then cover my projected award winners for this upcoming season.
Based on my predictions for the MLB season the Dodgers would be the one seed having 104 wins, the Mets the two seed having 94 wins, the Cardinals the three with 91 and the two wild cards would be the Padres(94 wins) and the Braves(91 wins). The bracket would set up as the winner of the Padres/Braves game played in San Diego would play the Dodgers in the Divisional Series and the Mets would play the Cardinals with the Mets being the home team in the series.
San Diego Padres vs. Atlanta Braves
A Padres vs. Braves in a one game playoff is a game that we can all appreciate. Two great teams with great pitching staffs and large lineup depth playing in a winner take all game is amazing. In this game I would assume the pitching matchup would be Yu Darvish vs. Mike Soroka assuming he is back in full stride when the playoffs come around. In this I think Soroka has the advantage because Darvish can be hit or miss and I trust Soroka more. I think the Braves lineup has more depth and pop from top to bottom with Acuna, Albies, Freeman and Ozuna. I think this is the Braves game to lose if they are clicking on all cylinders. In the end I think the Braves will win this game and advance to face the Dodgers in the NLDS.
Atlanta Braves (4) – San Diego Padres (2)
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
The Dodgers and the Braves match up well Kershaw vs. Fried, Bauer vs. Morton, Walker vs. Anderson, Urias or Price vs. Soroka. These are all amazing pitching matchups to watch and will make or break the series if someone is off their game. The Dodgers have more depth in their lineup than the Braves having more consistency out of the bottom of their lineup than what we know about the bottom of the Braves lineup. The Dodgers also have the advantage in the bullpen over the Braves who have a bunch of older relievers who haven’t been very consistent. This will be a highly contested series where the Dodgers will end up winning in 5 games.
Los Angeles Dodgers (3) – Atlanta Braves (2)
New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Mets play the Cardinals in a rematch of the 2007 NLCS with the Endy Chavez catch at the old Shea Stadium. In the new age matchup the Mets have a distinct advantage all around except in the bullpen where it is more of an even playing field. Pitching matchups include deGrom vs. Flaherty, Carrasco vs. Wainwright, Syndergaard vs. Mikolas, Stroman or Walker vs. Hudson or Kim. The Mets starting pitching is exceptional and should have the advantage over the Cards. In the lineup the Mets can hit more consistently from top to bottom where the Cardinals lineup is more suspect. The Cardinals are the better defensive team in this matchup so they may be able to take some hits away and save some runs that the Mets could possibly score. The bullpen is interesting because they are both great on paper but the Mets can be very inconsistent in reality. In the end I think the Mets will end up winning the series due to their dominant starting pitching and their hitting depth.
New York Mets (3) – St. Louis Cardinals (1)
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets
Dodgers vs. Mets a rematch of the 2015 NLDS where the Mets won 3-2 in the five game series. Just like in 2015 it will be a phenomenal pitching matchup including Kershaw vs. deGrom, Bauer vs. Carassco, Buehler vs. Syndergaard, Urias or Price vs. Stroman or Walker. These are great pitching matchups that will take on powerful lineups on both sides. Both teams can hit a ton and can score runs. This series will have to be won by the starting pitching and bullpen. If this happens it will be amazing, they don’t play in the regular season until the end of August so the tensions will be high then and into the playoffs. In the end I think the Dodgers playoff success will continue but it won’t be easy in 7 games.
Los Angeles Dodgers (4) – New York Mets (3)
Chicago White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics
In this one game playoff the pitching matchup would be Lucas Giolito vs. Chris Bassitt which is a clear advantage for the White Sox. This is a mismatch where the Sox are significantly better than the Athletics in pitching depth and lineup. I think it will be a walkover for the White Sox with all of the firepower in their lineup as well as their deep bullpen.
Chicago White Sox (6) – Oakland Athletics (1)
New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox
For this clash of powerful lineups the pitching matchups will be Cole vs. Keuchel, Severino(hopefully) vs. Lynn, Tallion vs. Cease, and Kluber or German vs. Giolito. This will be an amazing series with great arms as well as great lineups if both teams can stay healthy. With the likes of Judge, Stanton, LeMahieu, Abreu, Moncada, and Grandal this could be a hitting showcase if the pitchers falter. I think the bullpens are relatively equal with the Sox having more power arms out the pen blowing 102. In the end I think the White Sox pull it out.
New York Yankees (2) – White Sox (3)
Minnesota Twins vs. Houston Astros
In this matchup the pitching matchups would be Maeda vs. Greinke, Berrios vs. McCullers, Pineda vs. Urquidy, Happ or Shoemaker vs. Javier. I think the Twins have a better lineup top to bottom than the Astros and a better rotation. They have more experience in their rotation and have veterans who have been in the grind of the playoffs before. The Twins bullpen is deep with Colome, Rogers, Duffey, Dobnak and Robles and the Astros having Pressly and Ryan Stanek. The Twins are a better team and could score so many runs with their powerful lineup that they make easy work of the Astros.
Minnesota Twins (3) – Houston Astros (1)
Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox
If all things lineup in this AL Central ALCS the pitching matchups will be Maeda vs. Giolito, Keuchel vs. Berrios, Lynn vs. Pineda, and Cease vs. Happ or Shoemaker. This matchup will be very high scoring with the power offenses that they both possess. To be totally honest I think the starting pitching except for Maeda vs. Giolito will get rocked and will be first to 8 wins but we could get a low scoring game out of Maeda and Giolito. I think the bullpens will be the key to this playoff series and the White Sox have a severe advantage. They will be able to shut the Twins down in the later innings with their power arms as well as multiple guys who can come in a close out a game. The White Sox will win this series on the backs of their bullpen locking it down in key moments.
Minnesota Twins (2) – Chicago White Sox (4)
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago White Sox
Kershaw vs. Giolito, Bauer vs. Keuchel, Buehler vs. Lynn, and Urias or Price vs. Cease. These pitching matchups are great entertainment and a lot of competitive fire between them all. This is only matched by the length in both lineups top to bottom. The Dodgers with Betts, Seager, Turner, Muncy, Smith, Bellinger, Pollock and Lux and the White Sox with Anderson, Eaton, Grandal, Abreu, Jimenez, Moncada, Robert, Collins and Madrigal. Both of these lineups are loaded with talent top to bottom, it will be an amazing series. I think the White Sox have the advantage in the bullpen with Hendriks, Bummer, Crochet and Kopech as well as Cordero and Fry who will start on the I.L. They have live arms that can be very overpowering while the Dodgers have Jansen, Treinen, Knebel, Dustin May and Gonsolin. They also have Graterol, Kahnle and Kelly on the I.L. to start the season so they will get reinforcements at some point in the season. These guys are good names but can they be consistent? Jansen struggled a bit in the playoffs last year and Treinen has been up and down ever since he left Oakland. It will be an interesting matchup between two powerhouse teams with deep lineups and deep staffs.
Los Angeles Dodgers (4) – Chicago White Sox (3)
My contenders for this award this year are deGrom, Scherzer, Beuhler, Kershaw, and Flaherty. I think deGrom will come out and dominate again this season after getting snubbed last year. It's deGrom’s award to lose and think he keeps up what he has done the past three years and wins it again.
My contenders for this award this year are Cole, Beiber, Giolito, Lynn, and Ryu. With the revamped Blue Jays team I think Ryu finally takes that last step and wins his first Cy Young after finishing in the top 3 the past two years. The better defense and more offense around him will help him get better counting statistics along with his great advanced analytics.
My contenders for this award this year are Betts, Lindor, Soto, Freeman, and Tatis. I think Lindor will win the MVP this year with all the depth around him and all the possibilities of driving in runs and producing along with his amazing defense. I think he can do it this year with the great team he has around him.
My contenders for this award this year are Trout, LeMahieu, Abreu, Ramirez, and Springer. Back to back top 5 finishes for DJ LeMahieu will pay off with him winning the MVP this year. He will just continue to produce in that potent Yankees lineup and if they can stay healthy they will have many chances to drive in runs along with batting over .300.
This year the rookies from last season are eligible for the rookie of the year if they played under a certain number of games.
My contenders for this award this year are Hayes, Carlson, Anderson and Sixto. Dylan Carlson will be hitting lower in the lineup in a weaker division where he will have the chance to drive in the like of Arenado and Goldschmidt along with speedsters like Edman and Bader he has huge offensive upside if he performs.
My contenders for this award this year are Arozarena, Mountcastle and Madrigal. Arozarena is a name we learned about in the playoffs and if he is capable of doing anything close that this season he could run away with the award this season.
After the disaster that was last season for the Mets they look like the team to beat in the NL East and if they take that step and win 95+ games Luis Rojas could win the award with the turn around that the team had over the past year. It is always up in the air if a team comes out of nowhere and makes a surprising run like the Marlins last season.
The Blue Jays have revamped their lineup and look to make a huge push in the AL East with the additions of Springer and Seimen along with their maturing core of Bichette, Biggio and Vladdy. Charlie Montoyo has a good chance to win if they push into the playoffs and can finish close to 90 wins this season.