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Your Guide to the MLB Playoffs

October baseball is upon us! After a long 182-game season lasting over 6 months, the standings are set and the playoffs are beginning. Let's introduce ourselves to the teams and figure out who to watch out for in the quest for the commissioner’s trophy.


 

American League East:


Randy Arozarena

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are having an excellent season after losing the world series in 2020. With a 100-62 record, the Rays won the American League East and hold the #1 seed in the American League. With a strong hitting core headlined by Brandon Lowe and Rookie of the Year candidates Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco, the Rays are one of the highest-scoring teams in baseball. A strong pitching season anchors the Rays on the defensive end, which has led to a dominant season. The Rays are one of the favorites to win the American League and challenge for the World Series.


 

American League Central


Lance Lynn

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox have been a quietly strong team throughout the season. A strong pitching core anchors this team and led by Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodon, and Lucas Giolito, it is ranked as the 7th best pitching rotation in the league. Reigning MVP Jose Abreu and All-Star Tim Anderson are key contributors to a strong hitting core that compliments the pitching staff, making the White Sox one of the most dangerous teams in the American League.

 

American League West:


Carlos Correa

Houston Astros

The Astros have been quietly good this season. Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are still hitting well, and a rotation of emerging pitchers has kept the pitching core strong through an injury-riddled season. The Astros are still a very good team despite the departure of key players and injuries to others. The Astros are one of the best hitting teams in baseball and are a frontrunner for the American League crown.

 

American League Wild Card:


Xander Bogaerts

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox started the year red hot, leading the American League East at the break. Powered by the strong hitting core of Rafael Devers and Xander Bogarts, the Red Sox are a very strong hitting team. Kyle Schwarber, Enrique Hernandez, Alex Verdugo, and others add stability and consistency to the Sox’s batting order. Although seen as a weak point, the pitching has certainly been helped by the return of Chris Sale, and the Red Sox should be seen as a threat to any team in the American League.


Aaron Judge

New York Yankees

The Yankees are propelled by a high-powered hitting core. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, and others are excellent hitters who are essential to this team’s success. Gerrit Cole is by far the best pitcher on the staff and is in line for an American League Cy Young award later this year. The Yankees will rely on star power and a strong hitting core to bring them success in the playoffs, and they are also a threat to anyone in the American League.

 

National League East:


Freddie Freeman

Atlanta Braves

The Braves have been decimated by injuries all season. Despite this, they are still a playoff team and can be dangerous. A hitting core anchored by reigning MVP Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and Austin Riley makes for a dangerous lineup, which can give a pitcher trouble on any given night. Charlie Morton and Max Fried headline a serviceable pitching staff. Although not their most successful season, the Braves are still a dangerous team and can cause trouble for anyone in the National League.

 

National League Central


Corbin Burnes

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have one of the strongest pitching staffs in baseball, and they will most likely lean on this throughout the playoffs. Cy Young candidate Corbin Burnes leads the staff, but Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta have also had strong years, giving the Brewers a three-headed monster at pitcher. Luis Urias and Avisail Garcia head a batting order that while not great, has been good enough to make the Brewers a formidable foe. The Brewers are a dangerous team and should be in contention to win the National League.

 

National League West


Brandon Crawford

San Francisco Giants

The Giants have been a huge surprise this year. Holding a 107-55 record, the Giants are the best team in baseball. Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, and others have contributed to one of the best hitting cores in the league this season. A similarly strong pitching core featuring great seasons from Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeSclafani creates a team with no weaknesses, making the Giants a favorite to win the World Series.

 

National League Wild Card:


Max Scherzer

Los Angeles Dodgers

The defending champion Dodgers are absolutely stacked. The Dodgers are the second-best team in baseball and feature some of the best hitting and pitching in the league. The pitching staff features Cy Young candidates Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler. In addition, the staff boasts emerging star Julio Urias, but an injury to 3x Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw certainly weakens the staff a bit. The best pitching in baseball is aided by a strong group of batters. Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Mookie, Betts and Trae Turner headline this group, but the Dodgers are strong at every position and are a favorite to repeat as champs.


Nolan Arenado

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals surged in September. Powered by a 17-game winning streak, the Cardinals surged into the wild card and are possibly the hottest team in baseball. Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidit and Tyler O’Neil power a hitting core that has been average this season. A pitching core of Adam Wainwright and Jack Flaherty has been good this season, but not great. Despite this, the Cardinals have been great as of late and should be a dangerous team during the playoffs, with the capability to eliminate any team.

 

My Prediction

From the National League, I believe the Dodgers are the favorites. They boast an All-Star at almost every position and have the best pitching staff in the league. From the American League, I believe the Chicago White Sox are in line to go to the World Series. The White Sox have a very strong pitching staff that will win them a lot of games in the playoffs, and their batting order is strong as well, allowing them to survive in a high-scoring game. In the end, I pick the Los Angeles Dodgers to repeat, as I believe their roster is too strong and pitching too dominant for them to lose.

 


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