Playoff Baseball is back in Boston. While we gear up for Thursday, our staff took the time to break down each matchup and pick the winners of each game.
Wild Card Games:
Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees
This matchup presents some intriguing story lines. The Yankees being the high powered offense, while the Twins are postseason bound after holding the #1 overall pick in last year’s draft – something that has never been done before. This game will be closer than most predict, but to many Red Sox fan’s dismay, this could be in favor of New York.
Pitching matchup: Ervin Santana vs. Luis Severino
Cody – NY / Matt – NY / Justin – NY / Sasha – MIN / Michael – NY / Jack – MIN
Colorado Rockies @ Arizona Diamondbacks
Two NL West teams meet in a battle centered in Phoenix. Both teams have potential NL MVP candidates, Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, and are extremely underrated.
At a quick glance, Arizona looks to hold the upper hand based purely on the pitching matchup: Zach Greinke vs. Jon Gray. However, between two divisional opponents, this will be a very good game.
Considering former Red Sox bench coach, Torey Lovullo is the manger for the Diamondbacks, Sox fans should be cheering for Arizona in this one.
Cody – AZ / Matt – AZ / Justin – AZ / Sasha – AZ / Michael – AZ / Jack – COL
New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians
Both teams have experienced a large amount of success in 2017. The Yankees have experienced resurgence led by AL Rookie of the Year candidate, Aaron Judge, and other “Baby Bombers.” Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians have been the most dominant team in the second half in all of baseball. The Terry Francona led Indians won a MLB record, 22 straight games, claiming the #1 seed in the American League.
This series will be closer than anticipated, but ultimately the advantage is with Cleveland’s pitching staff. Led by AL Cy Young candidate, Corey Kluber, the Indians should have no problem sending the Baby Bombers home,
Cody – CLE in 4 / Matt – CLE in 4 / Sasha – CLE in 3 (over MIN) / Justin – CLE in 3 / Michael – CLE in 4
Jack – CLE in 4 (over MIN)
Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros
This is what we’ve been waiting for all season, Red Sox fans, playoff baseball. The Red Sox come into this series on a bit of a skid, meanwhile the Astros had a scalding first half, despite finishing with a modest second half.
The key for Boston will be the offensive consistency. The pitching staff should be able to hold down Houston’s high-powered offense, but the Red Sox bats will need to show up in this series. The test won’t be easy as they will face Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, and most likely Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton.
If the Red Sox play their brand of baseball, there is no reason why they shouldn’t advance in a highly competitive series.
Cody – BOS in 5 / Matt – BOS in 5 / Sasha – BOS in 4 / Justin – BOS in 5 / Michael – HOU in 4 /
Jack – BOS in 3
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Another interesting matchup between two division rivals. The Dodgers were dominant at times throughout the season, but also had plenty of skids. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have given the Dodgers plenty of trouble throughout the season.
Former Dodger, Zach Greinke, is likely to get a start against his former team. Many may think this is a no-brainer for the Dodgers to advance, but considering the postseason track record of Clayton Kershaw, and others, a close series may not be far fetched.
Cody – AZ in 5 / Matt – LA in 5 / Sasha – LA in 3 / Justin – LA in 4 / Michael – AZ in 5 /
Jack – COL in 5 (over LA)
Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals
The defending World Series champions will take on a team that has struggled to find consistent postseason success. The Nationals are a bit on an enigma when it comes to postseason play. On paper, they have all the required tools to sustain success, but haven’t been able to replicate it. The formidable combination of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strausburg, and Gio Gonzalez provide a variety of different matchup problems.
On the flip side, the Cubs have most of their roster back from last season’s deep run into October. Despite a very modest regular season, the Cubs will be a tough out in the NLDS.
Cody – CHI in 5 / Matt – CHI in 4 / Sasha – WSH in 4 / Justin – WSH in 4 / Michael – WSH in 5 /
Jack – WSH in 5
Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox
A rematch up last season’s ALDS, the Red Sox will need to be consistent in order to sustain success. During the season, they were relatively even with the Indians; however, one glaring issue is the trouble that Chris Sale has had. Sale has been absolutely torched against Cleveland, presenting a major matchup problem against the dominant Indians’ pitching staff.
The Red Sox have a chance to win this series, but they will need to make adjustments that weren’t made during the regular season.
Cody – CLE in 7 / Matt – CLE in 6 / Sasha – BOS in 7 / Justin – CLE in 6 / Michael – CLE in 6 (over HOU) /
Jack – BOS in 6
Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Though personally, I picked the Arizona Diamondbacks to win this game, most would have the Dodgers.
This is a very intriguing matchup that features two very strong teams, with different strengths. The Dodgers rely heavily on their ability to pitch. Anchored by Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Rich Hill, and Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers prove to be near-unhittable for many teams.
The Chicago Cubs also have a feared lineup. With the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, and others, the Cubs are a problem.
Cody – CHI in 5 (over AZ) / Matt – CHI in 6 / Sasha – LA in 6 (over WSH) / Justin – WSH in 6 (over LA) /
Michael – WSH in 6 (over AZ) / Jack – WSH in 5 (over COL)
Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians
Here we go again.
Last year’s series went 7 games, let’s see how this series goes.
Cody – CLE in 6 / Matt – CLE in 7 / Sasha – BOS in 6 (over LA) / Justin – CLE in 5 (over WSH) /
Michael – CLE in 6 (over WSH) / Jack – BOS in 5 (over WSH)
Agree / Disagree? Let us know what you think!
One thing is for certain, we love the way Sasha and Jack think – Go Sox!