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MLB Postseason Predictions

By Matt Haake & Jon Painter
On October 3, 2017

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After a regular season in which there were a record number of strikeouts and home runs, the Major League Baseball playoffs get underway Tuesday and Wednesday with the Wild Card games. Expert analysis comes from Jon Painter and Matt Haake, both pitchers on the Ottawa Braves baseball team!

AL Wild Card game: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 ESPN - Minnesota Twins (85-77) at the New York Yankees (91-71)  

Painter: Twins manager Paul Molitor has guided his young squad to a surprising playoff berth matchup against the Bronx Bombers. However, it is projected Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana does not have the velocity to navigate a powerful Yankees lineup and the young Twins get bounced in the Bronx.

New York 6 Minnesota 4.

Haake: Rookie sensation Aaron Judge and the rest of the Yankees set stage against the Twins in a one-game wild card postseason contest. The Twins look to trust their veteran Ervin Santana to face this booming Yankee lineup. Santana will look to set the tone early and rely on the rest of his overlooked Twins team to score early and often.

New York 4 Minnesota 1

NL Wild Card game: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 7pm TBS - Colorado Rockies (87-75) at the Arizona Diamondbacks (93-69)

Painter: It is all hands on deck for the Rockies and Diamondbacks as they battle in the desert for the chance to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. Runs will not be hard to come by as the both teams feature potent lineups. The Rockies and their bearded leadoff man, NL batting champ Charlie Blackmon, will be taking their hacks against veteran Zack Greinke. While mid-season acquisition J.D. Martinez powers the Diamondbacks versus the hard-throwing Jon Gray. Hitter-friendly Chase Field sees lots of runs Wednesday night as the Rockies scratch across a crucial pair late.

Colorado 9 Arizona 8.  

Haake: League MVP candidate Charlie Blackmon and the Colorado Rockies look to face off against the five-time all-star Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke. In just his third year in the Major Leagues, Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray looks to continue his successful 2017 campaign. Look for the Diamondbacks to use their speed on the base path to advance runners in clutch moments of the game.

Arizona 7 Colorado 4

NLDS: Chicago Cubs (92-70) vs Washington Nationals (97-65) Best of 5

Painter: The Cubs, who went 108 years without winning a World Series before last year, take on a franchise and city in Washington bereft of any recent postseason successes. Powerful Washington pitching led by Max Scherzer neutralizes the defending champion’s lineup, and the Cubs are sent to an early hibernation.

Washington in 3 games.  

Haake: The defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs have their hands full with a Washington Nationals team that has a starting rotation teams dream of playing with. Headed by Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer, the Nationals pitching staff carried the sixth best earned run average throughout the 2017 season. Watch for the Nationals starting rotation to shut down an already struggling Chicago Cubs lineup.

Washington in 4 games.

NLDS: NL Wild Card Winner vs Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58) Best of 5

Painter: Home field advantage will be the Dodgers throughout the 2017 NL playoffs and into the World Series courtesy of the best record in MLB should they make it that far. And led by a lethal bookend of pitchers in Clayton Kershaw and closer Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers are in good shape to make their first World Series appearance since 1988.

Los Angeles in 4 games.

Haake: The winningest team of the 2017 MLB season, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to ride their winning ways into the postseason. Led by the most dominant pitcher in the game over the past eight years, Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers pitching staff is set to showcase their talents. In this series, I see no signs of the Dodgers winning trend slowing down.

Los Angeles in 3 games.

ALDS: Boston Red Sox (93-69) vs Houston Astros (101-61) Best of 5.

Painter: These two teams ended the regular season against each other and now will head to Houston for Game 1. This Astros squad has rebuffed an MLB trend by hitting the second most home runs in the AL while striking out the fewest of any team in baseball. The Red Sox finished last in the AL in home runs. Look for Boston to use their team speed on the base paths against a pair of Houston catchers in Brian McCann and Evan Gattis who have struggled to throw out base runners. Lefthander David Price’s move to the bullpen also gives Boston manager John Farrell an extra tool to go to in crunch time.

Boston in 5 games.

Haake: The Houston Astros have been on a mission this season, led by their small but mighty likely American League MVP Jose Altuve. The 5 foot 6 inch second baseman powered 24 homeruns during the 2017 season as well as hitting for an American League leading .347 batting average. Don’t be surprised if the Astros come out with a passion for a championship after losing in the American League Divisional Series just two years ago.

Houston in 4 games.

ALDS: AL Wild Card Winner vs Cleveland Indians (102-60) Best of 5.

Painter: The defending AL champion Cleveland Indians look even more powerful than last year’s squad. Versatile MVP candidate Jose Ramirez is part of a balanced lineup scoring runs in boat loads and backed by an electric pitching staff. Terry Francona’s Indians are poised to make another long run into October.

Cleveland in 4 games.

Haake: The Cleveland Indians were so close in 2016 to winning their first World Series since 1948 before the Chicago Cubs rained on their parade in game 7. This Cleveland team is entering the 2017 postseason with the largest margin of victory during the regular season and is set to finish some unfinished business of a season ago.

Cleveland in 3 games.

ALCS Predictions

Painter: Boston at Cleveland. Cleveland has beaten up Boston ace Chris Sale this year, and it continues in the playoffs.

Cleveland in 7 games.

Haake: Houston at Cleveland. Cleveland’s stellar pitching will cool off the blazing hot MVP candidate Jose Altuve and the rest of the Astros lineup.

Cleveland in 6 games.

NLCS Predictions

Painter: Washington at Los Angeles. In a rematch of last year’s NLDS home field advantage and a flexible lineup are the difference makers for manager Dave Roberts and his Dodgers.

Los Angeles in 7 games.

Haake: Washington at Los Angeles. A star-studded rematch of last year’s NLDS will have a different outcome than what we saw in 2016.

Washington in 7 games.

World Series Predictions

Painter: Cleveland at Los Angeles. After finishing last year one game short of the title, Cleveland gets its crown and takes down the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series 4 games to 1.

Haake: Washington at Cleveland. The Indians will take home field advantage coming into the series with the most wins between the two teams. Unlike 2016, the Indians will capture their third World Series title in 6 games.


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