If you’re looking for an exercise in futility, you’ve made it to the right place. I’m about to predict the MLB postseason, which is usually about as pointless as trying to predict the NCAA tournament each year.
The scale is smaller (10 MLB teams compared to 68 for March Madness), but the unpredictability is on the same level. That’s why MLB’s history is full of out-of-nowhere champions like the 1969 Mets, 1997 Marlins and 2002 Angels, among others.
Teams get hot, teams get cold, pitchers get hot, hitters get cold. Over a 162-game season, trends have a way of evening out. It’s hard to be a “fluke” for six months, but it’s certainly possible in a six- or seven-game series.
But hey, it’s the playoffs! Let’s have some fun making inevitably incorrect predictions.
AL Wild Card: Yankees 3, Astros 2. I wanted to pick Houston here, but this just feels like a game the veteran-heavy Yankees will win.
NL Wild Card: Cubs 2, Pirates 1. Another tough one, but it’s hard to pick against Jake Arrieta right now. I give him the slight edge over Gerrit Cole.
ALDS: Royals over Yankees in 4 games. Kansas City didn’t exactly close out the regular season with a bang, but New York will struggle to match up pitching-wise, particularly after the loss of CC Sabathia.
ALDS: Rangers over Blue Jays in 5 games. Easily the toughest series to forecast. Both teams have been on a tear in the second half of the season. I just like Texas’ pitching, led by Cole Hamels, a bit more than Toronto’s offense, which although formidable, can be boom-or-bust.
NLDS: Mets over Dodgers in 4 games. It’s not easy to pick against Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, but New York’s rotation is just as imposing. I like the Mets here.
NLDS: Cardinals over Cubs in 5 games. St. Louis has advanced to the NLCS in each of the last four seasons. I expect that streak to continue, but Chicago will make it interesting.
ALCS: Royals over Rangers in 7 games. Another series that could go either way. I give an experienced Kansas City squad the slight nod.
NLCS: Cardinals over Mets in 6 games. St. Louis puts together a deep postseason run seemingly every year. New York will present a serious challenge, but I lean toward a veteran St. Louis team.
World Series: Cardinals over Royals in 6 games. Much like how the Giants reached three World Series in the last five years, I can see St. Louis doing the same. And if the Cardinals face their Missouri counterpart, I give the edge to the Redbirds.