*****from Bryson Gordon(GTCC/VCS) with his look at the 2015 MLB playoffs and who he thinks we will see in the World Series in late October….Bryson has the inside and you need to check this out, as the playoffs get under way this evening(Houston Astros at New York Yankees)…..*****
Here are the 2015 playoff teams posted by league, and division.
American League division winners*
AL Central- Kansas City Royals
AL West- Texas Rangers
AL East- Toronto Blue Jays
American League wild card winners*
Wild Card 1- New York Yankees
Wild Card 2- Houston Astros
National League division winners
NL Central- St. Louis Cardinals
NL West- Los Angeles Dodgers
NL East- New York Mets
National League wild card winners
Wild Card 1- Pittsburgh Pirates
Wild Card 2- Chicago Cubs
*AMERICAN LEAGUE HAS HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE
AL Wild Card 1 game playoff- Houston Astros at New York Yankees
The Yankees make their first playoff appearance in three years, and by virtue of winning the first wild card get home field advantage. The Yankees will most likely send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound for his first playoff appearance, to pitch against American League Cy Young candidate Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel has been nearly unhittable at home this season, where he is 15-0 with an opponent .186 batting average, but it has been a different story on the road, where he is 5-8 with an opponent .253 batting average. Keuchel is good, but his team is young and unexperienced in the playoffs, where experience is key. I see the Yankees out dueling the Astros in this game with a final score of 6-3.
NL Wild Card 1 game playoff- Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates
The Cubs are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2008, trying to win their first World Series in 107 years! They are facing a Pirates team who is making their third straight playoff appearance. One game separated these teams in the final standings, with the Pirates ultimately getting home field advantage this game. Both teams will send out their aces. The Pirates will send out Gerrit Cole, who is only 25, and making his third playoff appearance. The Cubs will send out Jake Arrieta, who had one of the best seasons a Cubs pitcher has had in a while, and is coming off of a red-hot September where he was 5-0 with a 0.39 ERA. With both pitchers being so good I see a pitcher’s duel happening this game, where the Cubs get their first postseason win since they were one game from the word series in 2003. Cubs win 4-1.
AL divisional series- Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Postseason baseball is all about who gets hot at the right time, and with that being the case, this series could very well go all 5 games. Since the first day of August, the Blue Jays are 40-18. The Rangers are no slight either, they are 38-22 since August 1st also. These two teams are the best teams in baseball as of late and I fully expect them to both put on one of the best series of this postseason. This series will go all five games, and behind the bats of Tulowitzki, and Josh Donaldson, the Blue Jays will outlast the red-hot Rangers 3-2.
AL divisional series- New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals
Since the beginning of the season, the Royals have been one of the best teams in baseball. Edinson Volquez, and Yordano Ventura have been solid for the Royals, and so has mid-season acquisition Jonny Cueto, doing enough to keep the Royals among the top of the AL. The Royals, baseballs Cinderella during last postseason, rode the bats of Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon, and Eric Hosmer to the World Series last season. Alex Gordon who is making his way back from a sever leg injury suffered in July is finally starting to come around. I just do not see the Yankees, who will be without veteran C.C. Sabathia this whole postseason, having enough pitching to beat the Royals three games out of five. Royals move on 3-1.
NL divisional series- Mets vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers were a disappointment last postseason for a team who many thought would win the World Series. This Dodgers team may have the best one-two punch in baseball led by ace Clayton Kershaw, and Zack Greinke. The only downside to that, is that the Mets have a top three pitching rotation in baseball, that is led by Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. This series will be a low scoring, pitching dominated series. This year the Dodgers do happen to win a playoff series, beating a Mets team that I believe is a year or two more away from truly contending. The Dodgers win this series 3-1.
NL divisional series- Cubs vs. Cardinals
Boy are we going to get a treat with this series. The young Cubs, led by Kris Bryant, Jake Arrieta, and Anthony Rizzo going up against Matt Holiday, Michael Wacha, and Matt Adams. The Cubs looking to advance to the NLCS for the first time since 2003 against the Cardinals looking for their FIFTH straight NLCS. This series could be the changing of the guard in the NL, if the Cubs can come away with a win. All season we have heard about how good the Cubs are, while the Cardinals went on to have the best record in all of baseball. I think that the Cubs, who have a great pitching staff led by 22 game winner Jake Arrieta, and two-time World Series champion Jon Lester will end up sneaking out of St. Louis, winning in 5 games! Cubs 3-2.
ALCS- Blue Jays vs Royals
This series is going to be a matchup of the two best teams the AL had to offer during the regular season. Although both teams took different routes, they both ended up as the one and two seed. The Royals have been atop the AL since day one, the Blue Jays jumped up in the standings following some blockbuster trades. The Royals will have home field advantage this series but I do not think that will come into play at all. In the end, the Blue Jays hot bats will prove too much for the Royals, who will fall in the ALCS, one year after making the World Series. Troy Tulowitzki, and Josh Donaldson will keep the hot streak going, Blue Jays advance to their first world series since 1993, 4-1.
NLCS- Cubs vs Dodgers
Remember the Back to the Future movies? When they went to the future, in the year 2015, they saw the Cubs win their first World Series, since 1908. Could that really be the case this year? In order for the Cubs to do that, they have to go through the pitching dominant Dodgers. The young Cubs, may have plenty great bats on the team, but nine times out of ten the best pitching defeats the best hitting. Clayton Kershaw will likely pitch twice this series, and I just cannot see the Dodgers losing twice with Kershaw on the mound. Dodgers end the Cubs Cinderella run, 4-2.
World Series- Dodgers vs. Blue Jays
Both teams would be making their first appearance in the World Series since both of their last World Series wins, the Dodgers in 1988, and the Blue Jays first appearance since the back-to-back in 1992-1993. This is the ultimate pitching against hitting World Series. The AL has home field advantage by virtue of winning the All-Star game. Kershaw and Greinke against the power bats or Tulowitzki and Donaldson. The Dodgers have been built for series like this with their great pitching rotation, and the blueprint for success will be made. The Dodgers will ride the pitching dominance of Greinke and Kershaw all the way to their first World Series since ’88, and their 7th in team history.