MLB Playoffs Preview

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Mookie Betts looks to bring the Dodgers back to the World Series

For baseball fans, the playoffs are one of the most exciting times of the year. The best teams from the American and National League compete in some of the most exciting games of the year.

This year, MLB changed the format of the playoffs. There are twelve teams (six from each league) instead of 10. There will be two best-of-three wild card series, and the winners will face the #1 and #2 seeds (The first and second-place teams of each division).

Let’s begin with one of the most dominating teams in all of baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers. They won 110 games, the most in Dodgers history. Their offense was led by All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts, who slashed 35 home runs this year, and first baseman Freddie Freeman, who started slow, but heated up for the rest of the season. The Dodgers are a frontrunner in the race for the Pennant (the team that will play in the World Series from each division.

Third Baseman Austin Riley hopes to bring the Atlanta Braves back to the World Series. (www.atlantamagazine.com )

One team that also dominated the league is the Atlanta Braves. Although they lost Freddie Freeman in free agency last offseason, they acquired the first baseman Matt Olson, who hit 34 home runs this season. They also were led by third baseman Austin Riley, who hit for a .273 batting average and hit 38 home runs. They also had an outstanding pitching staff that included ace Max Fried, who had a 2.48 E.R.A (earned run average), and rookie Spencer Strider, who had a 2.67 E.R.A. After a neck-to-neck race for the division against the New York Mets, the Braves clinched the division.

One of the more surprising teams to clinch their division are the New York Yankees. Although they did not acquire any superstars during the offseason, they were able to clinch one of the most difficult divisions in all of baseball. Their pitching rotation included All-Star pitcher Nestor Cortes, who had the best year of his career, and Gerrit Cole, who led all of baseball in strikeouts. Their offense was led by M.V.P frontrunner Aaron Judge, who had one of the best offensive years ever and hit 62 home runs, the most in the American League. They were also helped out by first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who hit 32 home runs, tying his career high for the fourth time. This team will be a force to be reckoned with in the postseason. 

Slugger Yordan Alvarez wants to help the Astros get another World Series title. (www.fantraxhq.com )

Shifting to the American League is one of the most successful teams in the past decade, the Houston Astros. This team had one of the best starting rotations in all of the baseballs including Cy Young Award front runner, Justin Verlander, who had a 1.75 E.R.A, the best in his career. Their lineup led outfielder Yordan Alvarez, second baseman José Altuve, and right fielder Kyle Tucker. This team has clinched, or secured the American League west division for the sixth year in a row, and is a severe competitor to the World Series.

Another powerful team in the A.L East was the Toronto Blue Jays. Although they did not win the A.L East, they were still a powerhouse in the division. They had first baseman Vladimir Gurerro Jr, who had another good year after his outstanding 2021 season. They also had All-Star catcher Alejandro Kirk, shortstop Bo Bichette, and outfielder George Springer. Along with these amazing players were pitchers Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah. This team is also another juggernaut in this division.

This year, the playoffs should be more exciting than ever.

Playoff Predictions:

AL:

Wild Card:

Rays vs. Guardians – Guardians win the series 2-1

Mariners vs. Blue Jays – Blue Jays win the series 2-0

ALDS:

Guardians vs Yankees – Yankees win the series 3-1

Blue Jays vs Astros – Astros win the series 3-1

ALCS:

Yankees vs Astros – Astros win the series 4-3

 

NL:

Wild Card:

Phillies vs Cardinals – Phillies win 2-1

Mets vs Padres – Mets win 2-1

NLDS:

Cardinals vs Braves – Braves win 3-1

Mets vs Dodgers – Dodgers win 3-2

NLCS:

Dodgers vs Braves- Dodgers win 4-2

 

World Series:

Dodgers vs Astros – Dodgers win 4-3