AMERICAN LEAGUE – CLEVELAND INDIANS
AL EAST: Boston Red Sox
AL CENTRAL: Cleveland Indians
AL WEST: Seattle Mariners
Wild Card 1: Texas Rangers
Wild Card 2: Toronto Blue Jays
I’ve got the Red Sox meeting the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. The Red Sox 1-2-3 punch with Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, and David Price is quite the culmination and too much to handle for all but one AL team.
The Sox’s highly touted, young outfield (Benintendi, Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts) is going to be fun to watch this year, blossoming into stars of the future. Oh, and don’t forget one of the top five most electric short stops in the league with the talents of Xander Bogaerts.
Cleveland made their unexpected and thrilling journey to Game 7 of the World Series without two of their top three starters of their pitching rotation: Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.
If the Indians pitching staff is able to stay healthy, they will be one of the most complete teams in all of baseball. Kipnis, currently on the 15-day DL, ace Corey Kluber and bullpen anchor Andrew Miller will lead this team all the way to the World Series AGAIN.
A piece that the Indians were missing to the puzzle was a solid power hitter other than Napoli and they fulfilled that hole in their lineup and more. You can pretty much pencil in 40 home runs and 90 RBIs for the Dominican slugger, Edwin Encarnacion.
Indians beat Red Sox in 6, 4-2.
NATIONAL LEAGUE – CHICAGO CUBS
NL EAST: Washington Nationals
NL CENTRAL: Chicago Cubs
NL WEST: San Francisco Giants
Wild Card 1: New York Mets
Wild Card 2: St. Louis Cardinals
Who’s meeting in the NL Championship? Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets.
Cubs: The best team in baseball and perhaps will be the best of this decade. These next three years specifically, the Cubs have a chance to go on a run unlike any other. All facets of the Cubs game are impeccable this season. There was question about the bullpen – Theo answered that. Best front office, best starting five, best infield, best manager, best bench and the remarkable beer-league slow pitch softball player, Kyle Schwarber in left.
I just don’t see how the Cubs don’t make it back to the World Series this year. They’re playing with no pressure with the curse being alleviated, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are in the prime of the careers even at their young age and they have three Cy Young candidates. It’s gonna be a fun September and October.
As for the Mets, let’s hope Matt Harvey has a bounce back season for the sake of baseball lovers. This guy was so fun to watch and now it’s even better with the other young studs that around him. Syndergaard, now the ace of the staff, just put on a thrilling performance against the Marlins last night. I almost get a little upset when the batters he faces don’t go down on strikes.
*Groundball out* “You gotta be kidding’ me!”
Along with those two cemented aces is pitcher Jacob DeGrom who twirled a 3.04 ERA in 24 starts last season. The only thing up in the air is if Zach Wheeler and Steven Matz can keep off the DL hold up their end of the rotation.
The Mets bullpen scares me a little bit. Jerry Blevins seems to be the only solid piece in there.
The lineup for the Mets is aged, for sure. Bruce, Grandson, Cabrera, Duda, Wright, Reyes, and Neil Walker are all above age 30. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing once the Mets reach the postseason. Having Yoenis belt 30+ bombs a year will help Granderson put some pop into the Mets lineup.
Cubs beat the Mets handedly, 4-1 in five games.
WORLD SERIES – CUBS VS. INDIANS
I know I’m not alone, but I got a rematch for 2017 which won’t disappoint. The Indians adding that missing piece with Encarnacion will give ’em the edge. Let’s just hope that their starters will remain in tact. Time to sit back, relax in the recliner and watch a rematch for the ages.
Indians beat the Cubs in another Game 7. Advantage Tribe: 4-3.