Earlier this year, I wrote an article saying how this year was clearly the Los Angeles Dodgers’ year. The second half of the season, however, has not been kind to the club. Since July, their collective batting average has decreased monthly (.275, .234, .225) and ERA has risen dramatically (2.71, 3.91, 3.41). Don’t get me wrong, they are still a World Series contender but they are not the unbeatable machine that the Cleveland Indians seem to be who are charging into the playoffs head first. In the month of September, they are batting collectively .280 and have a 2.01 ERA. I have them meeting the Red Sox in the ALCS and winning in game 7.
Mind you, the Washington Nationals are a scary team as well due to their insanely talented core and depth all around. Even though everyone and their mother in D.C. is freaking out about Max Scherzer’s hamstring, he will be the difference between the Nats being a good team or a great team. The team seem to be taking an overkill approach in ensuring his full health but with good reason. The last thing the club should do is rush their best pitcher into a start when they have a stellar pitcher that can give Scherzer a little more rest, in Stephen Strasburg. Scherzer stated that if the injury occurred in a playoff game that he “wouldn’t have come out [of the game] at all.” So the injury is not as horrid as it seems. I have the Nationals meeting the Dodgers in the NLCS and winning in game 6.
So what can we expect from the Boston Red Sox? If you have followed the Red Sox game by game like myself, you’d know that this season had its peaks and valleys. Chris Sale (barring an uncharacteristic August and September) has been phenomenal. Mookie Betts hasn’t had the season we all expected however, his batting average and BAbip are trending in the right direction. But they won the AL East for the second time in as many years, and have some unfinished business after being swept and embarrassed by the Cleveland Indians last year. I expect a series full of fireworks between the two clubs, but this will not be a case of the student (John Farrell) surpassing the master (Terry Francona).
As far as the Wild Card games, I believe the Yankees will smoke the Twins by a score of 10-3 but it all depends on Aaron Judge. His stats suggest that he plays significantly better when the Yankees win opposed to when they don’t. This season has been a season to remember for the Bronx Bombers, but they just don’t have the depth or experience yet to make a deep run. I expect big things from them next year however so this postseason for the Yanks is either going to be memorable or a dress rehearsal for 2018. The NL wild card game will be a shootout with the Arizona Diamondbacks emerging victorious over the Colorado Rockies by a score of 9-7. The Diamondbacks are my dark horse team this year and with good reason. They have the same record as the 2017 AL East champs and are stacked from top to bottom. They are legit and can scrap with any team out there.
All in all, it turns out that this may not be the Dodgers’ year but the Indians’ year. They have proven their clear dominance all season long and are ready to end their 62 year title drought.
(And God help my heart if the Yankees and Red Sox face off in the ALCS.)