The MLB regular season is coming to a close, meaning that the postseason is right around the corner. Let’s look at the the teams that are in contention for the playoffs. This will be an analysis for every team that will make the playoffs and their chances.
Boston Red Sox: The team with the best record in the MLB is making a strong case for World Series this year. With new found acquisition J.D. Martinez and All Star Mookie Betts, the Red Sox are primed and ready for the playoffs. The Red Sox have a good chance at blowing through their competition throughout to playoffs with the real roadblock being 2017 World Champions Houston Astros.
Houston Astros: The Astros coming off a championship in 2017 are looking to repeat as champions again in 2018. The Astros have proved they are capable of another championship but have been a little bit spotty sometimes throughout the season. One particular low point was getting swept in a 4-game series by the last place Texas Rangers. Even with that, the Astros will surely look to bounce back and most likely meet Boston in the American League Championship Series.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians come into the postseason having already clinched their division. The Indians were able to ride out their season very smoothly because of their division. The Indians are in the American League Central, one of, if not the easiest divisions in the MLB. The Indians never had to work hard to clinch their division and I don’t see them as a power house like the Astros or Red Sox.
New York Yankees: The Yankees had a very promising start to the 2018 regular season even usurping first place for a brief period before the Red Sox took it back and never let it go. Now, because of the Red Sox, Astros, and Indians, the Yankees will likely enter the postseason via a one and done Wild Card Game. Due to the American League having a lot of competition this year, I also do not see the Yankees getting too far in the postseason.
Oakland Athletics: The Athletics surprised everyone by becoming one of the better teams in baseball. They started out the year under achieving, something not too surprising. Then the Athletics started to play some really good baseball. Their biggest moment of the year was when they took two out of three from the Astros in a three game series. A very pivotal series, and the Athletics proved that they can take on a team like the Astros or Red Sox. Like the Yankees, I see them as a Wild Card team.
Chicago Cubs: The Chicago Cubs come into the postseason looking very strong. Their hitting core is great and so is their pitching. New pitching acquisition Cole Hamels is pitching like a Cy Young candidate and boasts the best record in the National League. This team is one of the best defensive teams in baseball and does not make any easy mistakes. With that in mind, I believe the Cubs can make a run but the World Series is a bit questionable due to the competition.
Atlanta Braves: The Braves are having a revival season this year boasting the second best record in the National League. The Braves have proved that they are hungry for another Title and is led by rookie phenomenon Ronald Acuna Jr. With the hitting core at its best in years, the Braves look to make a statement in the postseason race. However, I do not see the Braves getting far this year as they are not completely ready just yet, but will be very soon.
Colorado Rockies: The Rockies come into the 2018 season after a heart breaking Wild Card defeat in 2017. The Rockies come in very strong as hitters like Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, and defensive ace Nolan Arenado look to rout any team that stands in their way. The Rockies are currently tied for first place in the National League West.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals surprised everyone by becoming a very hot team in the last month. The Cardinals were projected to make the postseason but declared they would not be put down. The Cardinals will most likely make a Wild Card appearance and could potentially win it all this year.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers this year have been very inconsistent but has shown that they too will not be put down. For the Dodgers, getting the Division is likely but it is also possible for the Dodgers to make a Wild Card appearance, breaking their streak of five years as National League West Champs. The Dodgers have some tough competition to get through if they want to make it back to the World Series but have a good chance at getting there.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers came into the season looking very hot with their new players like Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain. They will look to return to the postseason and make a statement. I however do not see the Brewers getting far in the playoffs just yet.
The 2018 season has been very unpredictable and will yield a great postseason run from every team. My predictions for the playoffs will start in the American League. I predict the Yankees will top the Athletics in the Wild Card to face the hated Red Sox. Then the Indians will not stand a chance against Houston getting beaten in 5 games. I predict that the Astros will prevail against the Red Sox and take another trip to the World Series.
In the National League, I predict that the Wild Card will be St. Louis and Milwaukee with St. Louis prevailing. In the League Division Series against the Cubs, I think the Cardinals will prevail and head the League Championship series. I think the Dodgers will have a late surge and overtake the Rockies to face the Braves, which they will win. Then they will battle it out with St. Louis. The Dodgers have proved that they can beat the Cardinals but they can also become a ragdoll for St. Louis to beat on. I believe the Dodgers will meet the Astros again in the World Series and the winner being the Astros.
Jude Choi, Grade 10
John Marshall High School