MLB Postseason Preview
Host Matt McLaughlin and analysts Logan Bourandas, Jordan Hession and Alex Rocco look at some of the biggest stories for the MLB postseason.
A new playoff format has been implemented to the MLB, and there seems to be more hype around the playoffs than usual.
The previous format included 10 teams and a wild-card game in each league, but this year, we see 16 teams with a chance to win it all, each beginning with a three-game series. These next few weeks will be filled with excitement, so let’s take a look at what to expect.
In what appears to be the stronger of the two leagues, the American League features four great matchups to kick off the first round. The top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays take on the young stars of the Toronto Blue Jays in the opening round, while the other matchups include the Twins vs. Astros, White Sox vs. Athletics, and Indians vs. Yankees.
The Rays should be able to take care of the Blue Jays due to their experience and depth of pitching. The Blue Jays have struggled with finding consistent pitching this year and have very little playoff experience on their roster.
The second seed is the Oakland Athletics, which will have a tough matchup with the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox were the first American League team to clinch a spot in the playoffs and were the No. 1 seed with a week to go. However, they had a rough final week and tumbled all the way to seventh.
The A’s, on the other hand, are hot at the right time and will look to continue that against the tough starting pitchers of the White Sox. This series should come down to the wire and will likely be decided by which team can limit home runs given up.
The Twins-Astros series has plenty of talent, but both teams have had their highs and lows this season. The Astros are a shell of their former selves, while the Twins are on the up-and-up as a franchise. Expect to see the Twins handle the Astros and start the breakup of Houston’s core players.
In what may be the most exciting matchup, the Yankees take on the Indians. The Yankees could be considered as having the best hitters in the entire playoffs, but the Indians counter that with the best pitchers. This series will be extremely entertaining and will be a complete showcase of offense versus defense.
The National League has what seems to be the consensus favorite to win the World Series in the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it doesn’t have much championship hope beyond that. However, all it takes is for one team to heat up to make things exciting.
The top-seeded Dodgers take on the Milwaukee Brewers and should make very easy work of them. The Brewers are not nearly as talented as they were last season, while the Dodgers have arguably the best lineup in baseball. The Brewers have struggled this year and are going to have their hands full with the World Series favorite.
The Atlanta Braves secured the second seed despite their starting pitching woes. However, the Braves have the second-ranked offense behind the work of MVP frontrunner Freddie Freeman. The Braves will match up with the Reds, which have found their spark from their starting pitching. This will be another offense versus defense series that could be a lot closer than many expect.
The Miami Marlins defied all odds and clinched a postseason matchup with the Chicago Cubs. The Marlins have been consistent throughout the whole season but lack experience, which could prove costly against the experienced Cubs. The Cubs struggled in the backend of the season but found an offensive spark in their final series, which could provide a huge boost. The Cubs should be able to handle the Marlins, but keep an eye out for Miami to make a Cinderella run if it can manage an upset in the first round.
The final National League series includes the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Padres are dealing with a handful of injuries but have the lineup depth to compete with any team in the MLB. On the other hand, the Cardinals are one of the hottest teams right now and can never be counted out. But if the Padres can get quality starts from their star pitchers and a little help from a slumping Fernando Tatis Jr., then they should be able to beat the Cardinals and give the Dodgers a challenge.
ALCS: Indians over White Sox
NLCS: Dodgers over Cubs
World Series: Dodgers over Indians
Charlie Knezevic is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Charlie Knezevic is a Freshman at Penn State-University Park who is majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He is a co-host of the talk show “The Triple Double” on Commradio as well as a play by play announcer and a journalist.