The Call to the Pen: Playoff Preview

Welcome back to The Call to the Pen! October is here. The postseason is here. I’m gonna run through my final power rankings to give all those who did not qualify one last bit of recognition. I’ll still include playoff teams which will vault me right into the playoff preview. Let’s get to it…

Final Power Rankings

The Bottom:

30) Minnesota Twins (59-103): Even
29) Tampa Bay Rays (68-94): Down 2 
28) San Diego Padres (68-94): Down 3 
27) Cincinnati Reds (68-94): Down 1

26) Atlanta Braves (68-93): Up 3
25) Arizona Diamondbacks (69-93): Up 3
24) Philadelphia Phillies (71-91): Down 2 
23) Oakland Athletics (69-93): Up 1 
22) Milwaukee Brewers (73-89): Down 1
21) LA Angels of Anaheim (74-88): Up 2

The Middle:

20) Colorado Rockies (75-87): Down 1 
19) Pittsburgh Pirates (78-83-1): Down 1 
18) Chicago White Sox (78-84): Up 2
17) Miami Marlins (79-82): Even
16) Kansas City Royals (81-81): Down 1 
15) New York Yankees(84-78): Up 1
14) Houston Astros (84-78): Even
13) Detroit Tigers (86-75): Down 1
12) St. Louis Cardinals (86-76): Down 2
11) Seattle Mariners (86-76): Up 2 

The Top:

10) Baltimore Orioles (89-73): Down 2
9) Washington Nationals (91-64): Down 4 
8) New York Mets (87-75): Up 2 
7) San Francisco Giants (86-75): Up 4 
6) Texas Rangers (95-67): Down 2
5) Toronto Blue Jays (89-73): Up 3 

4) LA Dodgers (91-71): Down 1
3) Cleveland Indians (94-67): Up 4
2) Boston Red Sox (93-69): Even  
1) Chicago Cubs (103-58-1): Even 

Playoff Preview:

Wild Card Games:

AL: Orioles at Blue Jays (Tuesday 10/4 at 8:00pm on TBS)–The O’s had one of the better finishes of playoff teams, including taking two of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto last week. This game can turn into a slugfest fast depending on who takes the bump for each squad. If it gets close at the end, Baltimore can turn their lights out closer Zach Britton who is coming off a five-out save yesterday in New York. Toronto won’t let it get that close though, Blue Jays win.
NL: Giants at Mets (Wednesday 10/5 at 8:00pm on ESPN)–The starters have been announced for this one and it will be fantastic: MadBum vs. Thor. They met earlier this season at Citi and Bumgarner walked away with the win. The Mets will need to get after MadBum early because if they don’t provide Syndergaard runs support by the time he exits, the Giants will pounce on the New York bullpen. That being said Thor will lay down the hammer, Mets win.

American League:

ALDS #1: #3 Boston vs. #2 Cleveland (Begins Thursday night in Cleveland)–This series will determine the American League Champion. Each team is pretty well rounded but Cleveland really brings the pitching and Boston really, really brings the bats. The Sox bats beat the Indians pitching, Boston moves on in five.
ALDS #2: #4 Toronto vs. #1 Texas (Begins Thursday night in Arlington)–I don’t trust Texas at all in the postseason. Their offense is strong but their pitching isn’t very good. The “luckiest” team in baseball runs out of luck in the playoffs, Blue Jays win in four.
ALCS: #3 Boston vs. #4 Toronto (Begins Friday, October 14th in Boston, hypothetically)–A true slugfest in this potential matchup. The Blue Jays have more question marks surrounding their rotation and the Red Sox are the hottest team in the AL entering the playoffs. Red Sox win in five.

National League:

NLDS #1: #3 LA Dodgers vs. #2 Washington (Begins Friday night in Washington)–The Dodgers were great against the Nats this year and this series won’t be any different. Washington is bogged down by injuries, LA moves on in three.
NLDS #2: #4 Mets vs. #1 Cubs (Begins Friday night in Chicago)–A tough Chicago team looking for revenge. Two great pitching staffs, but the Cubs’ lineup is more complete and isn’t hurt; Cubs win in four.
NLCS: #1 Chicago Cubs vs. #3 LA Dodgers (Begins Saturday, October 15th in Chicago, hypothetically)–Cubs face a tough opponent in the Dodgers, but I think they’ll have a tougher time against San Fran. Cubbies move one step closer to breaking the streak, Cubs win in five.

World Series:

AL Champion Boston Red Sox vs. NL Champion Chicago Cubs (Begins Tuesday, October 25th in Boston, hypothetically)–What we’ve all been waiting for. David Ortiz’ final vs. the Curse of the Billy Goat. Both teams can consistently put a lineup of death day-in, day-out, but what gives my pick the edge is the pitching staff. Chicago has a better by just a bit. I could see Hendricks starting three games or even coming in late in Game Six or Seven for relief duty. Although if it’s Game Seven at Fenway, that’s an extremely tough away win to pull off. That’s why I’m going with the Cubs in six. The curse breaks this year. If the Red Sox don’t win the AL, Cubs might win in less games.

I’ll make sure to continually update my picks as the playoffs evolve and my picks inevitably go awry. For those hoping to read my final Phillies Update, that will come at a later date. Excited for this postseason, it should be a lot of fun to watch!

Disagree with the Picks? Let me know in the comments

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One thought on “The Call to the Pen: Playoff Preview

  1. Pingback: The Call to the Pen: Division Series Preview | The THUNDERBLOG

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