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Major League Baseball Preview

By Jon Painter
On October 4, 2016

Photo by: Ashley Alonzo

The MLB regular season is over, so the calendar turns to October. All eyes are on the National League’s Chicago Cubs as they rolled through the regular season with 103 wins and will await the winner of the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets National League Wild Card matchup. The Texas Rangers, finishing with the best record in the American League, will play the winner of the American League Wild Card game.

American League Wild Card Game: Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays on Oct. 4.    

On Tuesday night the Baltimore Orioles visit the Toronto Blue Jays to play in the American League Wild Card game. The visiting Orioles went 9-10 during the regular season against the Blue Jays, who own the American League’s best pitching staff. With Roger’s Centre rocking Tuesday night, the Blue Jays will defeat the Orioles and earn a highly anticipated rematch with the Rangers.

Prediction: Toronto 7, Baltimore 5.

ALDS Baltimore/Toronto vs Texas Rangers                        Game one, Oct.6.

The Texas Rangers will defend their home field versus the winner of the American League Wild Card game. In last year’s ALDS, the Blue Jays knocked out the Rangers in a thrilling game five victory. Earlier this season, fueled by the lingering taste of last season’s bitter playoff defeat, the Rangers brawled with the Blue Jays in Arlington, TX. The Rangers’ veteran lineup led by Carlos Beltran and Adrian Beltre will prove too much for the Blue Jays.

Prediction: Texas in 5 games.

ALDS Boston Red Sox vs Cleveland Indians                     Game one, Oct. 6.

Thursday the Boston Red Sox take on the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series. The Indians thrived on solid starting pitching to win the AL Central. This time of year, however, their starting rotation has been racked with injuries, and they have to take on the best offense in baseball. Led by MVP candidate right fielder Mookie Betts and perhaps the greatest clutch hitter of all-time, David Ortiz, the Red Sox have an offense that devours fastballs and will pummel Cleveland pitching.

Prediction: Boston in a 3-game sweep.

ALCS                                                                               Game one, Oct. 14.

An American League Championship Series matchup of the Red Sox vs the Rangers would be a scintillating one. Runs would undoubtedly be scored in bushels. David Price versus Cole Hamels, with potentially 22-game winner Rick Porcello dueling against the Rangers’ Japanese ace Yu Darvish. With Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara at the back of the bullpen for the Red Sox, that likely will be the edge that puts the Red Sox into the World Series

Prediction: Boston in 6 games.

National League Wild Card Game: San Francisco Giants vs. New York Mets on Oct. 5

It is an even year, so the Giants are back in the playoffs. The Mets also return to the playoffs coming off of last year’s World Series appearance. The pitching matchup in this winner-take-all game is spectacular. The Giants, led by their post-season stalwart Madison Bumgarner, have won 8 straight deciding post-season games. Meanwhile the Mets counter with their ace Noah Syndergaard. The Mets and Syndergaard will take advantage of the Giants’ porous bullpen and end what has been a miserable second-half of the season for the Giants.

Prediction: New York 2, San Francisco 1.

NLCS Giants/Mets vs Chicago Cubs                                     Game one, Oct. 7.

Is the World Series drought over for the Cubs? The Cubs led by a dominating front-end of the rotation and a flamethrower in the back of the bullpen will take a step toward long-awaited redemption in the division series. At the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, the Cubs quickly dispatch the Mets and head to the NLCS.

Prediction: Chicago in 4 games.

NLDS LA Dodgers vs Washington Nationals                         Game one, Oct. 7.

This series is a case of two teams trending in opposite directions. The Dodgers, crippled by a record-setting amount of injuries during the regular season, have begun to get healthy. Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in baseball, is rounding back into form. The Washington Nationals have lost their All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos to a torn ACL. The key in this series will be how the Dodger’s left-handed pitching dominates the Nationals’ lineup without Wilson Ramos.

Prediction: Los Angeles in 5 games.

NLCS                                                                                  Game one, Oct. 15.

The well-balanced attack of the Chicago Cubs will be too much for the LA Dodgers to handle. Wrigley Field will be cold and rocking. Clayton Kershaw and the rest of the Dodgers’ starting rotation will struggle dealing with right-handed thunder of Kris Bryant and Wilson Contreras in the Cubs’ lineup. The Cubs are going to the World Series.

Prediction: Chicago in 5 games.

World Series                                                                         Game one, Oct. 25.

Red Sox and Cubs in the World Series.

Theo Epstein GM of the Cubs trying to break another curse. The storylines would be endless. The reality is that home field goes to the Red Sox. Fenway Park has tremendous perks as a home ball park. Whereas the symmetrical proportions of Wrigley Field do not offer such comforts. The Red Sox will be able to employ their DH David Ortiz for four games at Fenway Park. Nevertheless, this fall classic will go the distance. The mighty Red Sox lineup will take home the crown for Beantown.

Prediction: Boston in 7 games.

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