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MLB predictions following League Division Series: Yankees will dominate Dodgers

MLB+predictions+following+League+Division+Series%3A+Yankees+will+dominate+Dodgers

This past week of Postseason baseball proved to be one for the ages, as it was jam-packed with dramatic come-from-behind victories and dominant performances by some of the beautiful game’s brightest stars. This week exhibited the emergence of four legitimate World Series contenders. Unfortunately, this past week also refuted the majority of my playoff prediction, four out of my six predictions to be exact—but who’s counting anyway? Come on, I’m just a college student. The following will include my personal take on the rest of the Postseason, as well as the top 10 performers thus far.

American League Championship Series – Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

Boy, oh boy—where to begin? The Houston Astros handedly disposed of the Boston Red Sox in four games. The Astros’ heralded offense ran on all cylinders throughout the AL Division Series.

Second baseman Jose Altuve, take a bow. The generously listed 5-foot-6-inch player took the series by storm and single-handedly vanquished Sox pitcher Chris Sale by slugging three home runs in Game , putting his MVP-caliber play on display for all of the nation to witness.

Altuve’s dominant offensive performance was supplemented by his uber-talented supporting cast. A star in his own right, shortstop Carlos Correa belted three home runs and played impeccable defense. The 33-year-old rookie first baseman Yulieski Gurriel contributed to the offensive onslaught by hitting .529 over the four games against the Red Sox. Infielders Alex Bregman and Marwin Gonzalez and outfielders Josh Reddick and George Springer all produced in big situations for the Astros and added to a lineup that proved to be too much for the Sox’s pitching staff.

The Astros’ own pitching staff, headed by brilliant outings by Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel, stymied the Boston Red Sox’s above-average offense.

The New York Yankees’ season seemed to be off to a rough start, as the club dropped its first two games to the Cleveland Indians. However, fast forward a week, and now they are here in the ALCS against the Houston Astros competing for a spot in the Fall Classic.

The Yankees absolutely stunned the baseball world by grinding out three straight victories over the Tribe. After blowing an 8-3 lead and eventually losing in extra-innings in Game 2, the Yankees seemed to be facing a dead season. The Bronx Bombers refused to go down without a fight, however.

The Yankees’ bullpen rebounded and provided valuable relief for the effective starting pitching performances by Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, and veteran CC Sabathia, respectively. A solo homerun by first baseman Greg Bird and a dominant offensive performance by shortstop Didi Gregorius ultimately proved to be only offense the Yankees needed to overcome the seemingly unbeatable Cleveland Indians.

Despite their triumph, I remain true to my belief that the Houston Astros will defeat the Yankees in the ALCS, and will eventually go on to win the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

National League Championship Series – Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Chicago Cubs are up to their old tricks once again by winning the final game of a crucial Postseason series, just as they did in the World Series last year. In an incredibly even and hard-fought NL Division Series, the Cubs’ youthful yet experienced group prevailed over the Washington Nationals.

Pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana produced quality starts and the bullpen, comprised of Wade Davis, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr., and Brian Duensing among others, pitched effectively. Runs were relatively hard to come by for the Cubbies, as they were outscored 20-17 by the Nationals throughout the NLDS. Despite this, the Cubs’ offense, sparked by a standout performance in Game 5 by infielder Addison Russell, proved to be just enough to allow the Cubs to advance to the NLCS.

As for the Los Angeles Dodgers they absolutely demolished the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks by sweeping them in three games.Right fielder Yasiel Puig and third baseman Justin Turner manhandled the Diamondbacks’ pitchers by hitting .454 and .462 respectively.

Highly coveted and versatile utility players, such as Austin Barnes and Chris Taylor, played extremely well on both sides of the field, adding to the Dodgers’ fantastic depth. The collective rotation did not pitch as well as they did throughout the majority of the season, but they did enough to fend off the Diamondbacks’ potent lineup.

Despite shortstop Corey Seager’s injury that will sideline him for the entire NLCS, I believe the Dodgers’ marriage of their dynamic offense and elite pitching staff, headed by the greatest pitcher of this generation in Clayton Kershaw, will propel them to victory over the Chicago Cubs.

The following list represents my personal rankings of the top 10 performers throughout the Postseason as of Oct. 15:

  1. Jose Altuve (2B, Houston Astros): .565 AVG, 13 H, .630 OBP
  2. Stephen Strasburg (SP, Washington Nationals): 14.0 IP, 22 K, 0.00 ERA
  3. Hanley Ramirez (1B/DH Boston Red Sox): .571 AVG, 8 H, .600 OBP
  4. Yulieski Gurriel (1B, Houston Astros): .400 AVG, 11 H, .542 OBP
  5. Kenley Jansen (CP, Los Angeles Dodgers): 6.0 IP, 10 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA
  6. Justin Verlander (SP, Houston Astros): 17.2 IP, 16 K, 2.04 ERA
  7. David Robertson (RP, New York Yankees): 10 IP, 12 K, 0.90 ERA
  8. Dallas Keuchel (SP, Houston Astros): 12.2 IP, 17 K, 0.71 ERA
  9. Masahiro Tanaka (SP, New York Yankees): 13.0 IP, 10 K, 1.38 ERA
  10. Justin Turner (3B, Los Angeles Dodgers): .429 AVG, 9 H, 2 HR, 10 RBI

Honorable Mentions: Ketel Marte, Carlos Correa, Michael A. Taylor, Trevor Bauer, Yasiel Puig

*Photo by Dennis Liang via flickr.com*

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MLB predictions following League Division Series: Yankees will dominate Dodgers