Predicting the 2015 MLB playoffs

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.

Paul Goldschmidt, MLB’s quietest badass

If you follow professional baseball, you probably know who Paul Goldschmidt is. Actually, let me rephrase — if you follow professional baseball, I really, REALLY hope you know who Paul Goldschmidt is.

The Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman has cemented his status as one of the game’s most-feared hitters and well-rounded players over the last few seasons. This is common knowledge, particularly if you know him only in terms of his fantasy production, which is annually among the majors’ best.

He’s been named an All-Star in each of the last three seasons, and he has Hank Aaron, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards under his belt despite having played just four full seasons. He’s batting just under .300 for his career (.298, entering Wednesday night’s game), has led the National League in home runs and RBIs (36 and 125, respectively, in 2013), and this season added a rare 20-20 season for a first baseman to his resume.

Goldschmidt, 28, certainly isn’t overlooked in the fantasy world. He’s been ranked among the top five overall players each of the last two seasons, and he’s pricy in DFS ($5,800 on DraftKings for Thursday, second among all MLB hitters).

Again, you probably know most of this. But as a Diamondbacks fan (this native New Yorker latched onto the expansion team in 1998 and has yet to look back), I can share a little more with you about Baseball’s quietest superstar.

  • For starters, he does NOT have a Twitter account. This, in all likelihood, is the biggest factor in his lack of mainstream popularity. He does have quite a collection of fan accounts, though.
  • He just became a dad a few weeks ago!
  • While he might not have a social media presence, he looks at home in both a sombrero and a cowboy hat (he is from Texas, after all).
  • If baseball doesn’t always work out, he can pick up smuggling. Paul Solo? Or Han Goldschmidt?
  • One time … he was a zombie.
  • #goldschmidthappens