At 3:00 CT today the Houston Astros will host the Boston Red Sox and the first pitch of that game will represent the start of the Division Series portion of the MLB playoffs. With the Wild Card decided in exciting fashion and Division Series cued up and ready to go, all of us here at The Redbird Daily wanted to share with you how we view the 2017 playoffs shaking out. Enjoy!
ALDS: Red Sox vs Astros, Yankees vs Indians
KYLE REIS – Astros in 5, Indians in 4
As you’ll find out scrolling down this list, I’m bullish on the Astros. Still, I think that Red Sox lineup is going to give the Astros rotation fits. It’s going to be a barn-burner of a series, but the Astros will do the thang.
At first I thought the Yankees were going to win the Wild Card and make a run at the World Series, but then I remembered that any team that has to face Kluber and Carrasco is probably going to struggle to make it out of the division series alive.
CLAY BEYERSDORFER – Astros in 5, Indians in 5
I think if Boston won this series they would have a legitimate shot at winning the pennant. Call me crazy, there is just something about that team I really like in the postseason. It won’t happen though, and the ‘Stros deal out some Texas Justice in five games.
Kluber and Carrasco are arguably the top two starters in the A.L., and they play for the same team in Cleveland. Aaron Judge and his jury of Yankees will fight, but they don’t have the starting depth to last an entire series. Cleveland marches on in 5.
ADAM BUTLER – Red Sox in 5, Indians in 3
I initially picked the Astros here but as I was typing out my explanation I realized how truly torn I was here. This should be one heck of a series. Ultimately I’m leaning toward the team with Chris Sale throwing two games if needed and David Price looming out of the pen. These are two lineups not to be taken lightly though.
We know how good Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco are. What sets them apart for me though is Trevor Bauer starting in game one(assuming there’s no drone issues, of course). Since August 1st Bauer has a 2.57 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 70 innings. He’s on a roll and I think these three with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen out of the pen will be too much for the Yankees.
COLIN GARNER – Astros in 5, Yankees in 4
The Astros are a helluva team, with a smart front office and field staff to boot. Jose Altuve might be the most exciting player in baseball and Justin Verlander posted a 1.06 ERA in September. Houston is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Harvey, and we’ve seen teams make deep October runs following tragedies, most notably the Red Sox in 2013 following the Boston Marathon bombing and the 2001 Yankees following 9/11.
I would have picked the Twins. Honest to God, I would have. Two years ago, I lived in the dorms with Royals fans and they won it all. Last year, I roomed with a Cubs fan, and we all know what happened. This year my roommate is a Twin’s fan. Unfortunately for him the magic simply wasn’t there. In any case, weird things happen in the playoffs and I have a feeling the Yankees find a way to steal one in Cleveland and finish it off in the Bronx.
RUSTY GROPPEL – Astros in 4, Indians in 4
The Astros can hit, period. Chris Sale will give the Sox a chance but I just think that the Astros can pound any other starter that Boston throws out. Yes, there are questions with Houston’s rotation, but Verlander did a lot to calm that down. Watch for Chris Devenski to be this year’s Andrew Miller and cover for any rotation shortcomings in the DS.
Corey Kluber is a man on fire. They took the Cubs to the wire last season with just him, this year they have Carrasco and an improved Bauer. The Yankees rotation can be good, Ron they can implode. If Jaime Garcia gets a start, you can be sure that he will exit early and later we’ll learn he had the flu or a hangnail or something. He probably won’t pitch, and the Yankees have a bullpen that equalizes rotation issues. However, Cleveland sports the only bullpen in the AL that can match it. I think all of the series this year will be fun and tightly contested.
Allen Medlock – Astros in 5, Indians in 5
Houston added Justin Verlander for this very situation. The game one pitching match-up is what makes playoff baseball so beautiful. I’m a baseball romantic and believe that the Astros have a city to play for and will win this series at Minute Maid park.
Cleveland is not only the hottest team entering the playoffs, but the team with the chip on its shoulders after losing the World Series last year. The Yankees will hit some homers and put a spotlight on their young stars, but Terry Francona won’t be heading home early.
AUSTIN LAMB – Red Sox in 5, Indians in 4
This is why the Sox traded for Chris Sale. He will carry them to the series win over the Dodgers. The Astros added Verlander, but he’s not Sale. If the Sox can get to their pen with the lead they can slam the door closed. Price, Kelly and Kimbrel are all capable of dominating hitters.
I love the Yankees offense and think their pitching can be sneaky good when they’re on. However, I can’t bet against Cleveland with how good they’ve looked this season. Kluber has been untouchable at times, and their offense can hit from top to bottom. Both of these series will be a treat to watch.
NLDS: Cubs vs Nationals, Diamondbacks vs Dodgers
KYLE REIS – Cubs in 4, Diamondbacks in 5
The Cubs are going to win because there is no justice in this world. And, you know, Dusty Baker vs Joe Maddon is miserable. That’s all that I’ve got.
Let the record show that I picked the Rockies to beat both the D’Backs and the Dodgers. Alsas, The D’Backs have knocked off the Rockes, so here we are. I love the Rockies.
Sure, in my right-mind I think and believe that the Dodgers are going to sweep the D’Backs. However, there’s no fun in that and we need a Cinderella to pull for and it should be Paul Goldschmidt and the Diamondbacks.
CLAY BEYERSDORFER – Nationals in 5, Dodgers in 5
The Nationals went all in this off-season, and I think that pays off against the Cubs. I can’t honestly pick a team that barely beat out the Brewers and the Cardinals to beat the cream of the crop in the National League. Joe Maddon will complain his way to make this a series, but Washington ends up on top.
I want so desperately for L.A. to win just so they have to play Washington. Colorado surprised a lot of people this year, but the Cinderella story starts and ends in the first round to the Dodgers.
ADAM BUTLER – Nationals in 4, Diamondbacks in 5
This comes down to one thing for me, pitching. The Nationals have three of the top five starters ERA’s with Scherzer, Strasburg and Gonzalez. Not to mention a lineup with Harper, Rendon, Murphy, and Turner. This is just a matter of betting on the better roster.
It’s tough for me not to pick the Dodgers since I love Kershaw so much. The Diamondbacks just seem to have their number though. The D-Backs were 11-8 against them in the regular season. They also added J.D. Martinez who has been an absolute monster and should help them hit L.A.’s lefties.
COLIN GARNER – Nationals in 3, Dodgers in 4
The Cubs are going to get swept. Okay, they probably won’t, but the Washington staff is lights out and they had the best bullpen ERA after Mike Rizzo added Ryan Madson, Brandon Kintzler, and Sean Doolitltle. Bryce Harper is back, Trea Turner put up a 133 wRC+ in September after a lengthy stay on the DL, and Max Scherzer is too gritty to let a minor injury hold him back. Fly the L.
It’s time Clayton Kershaw puts the “he can’t pitch in October” narrative to bed. I get it. The Cardinals benefitted from Kershaw’s bad luck in 2013 and 14, but he’s the best pitcher in baseball, and it isn’t close. Meanwhile, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, and Yasier Puig have had outstanding seasons. Arizona will win the Wild Card game behind Grienke, but Taijuan Walker, Patrick Corbin, and Robbie Ray won’t cut it in October.
RUSTY GROPPEL – Nationals in 4, Diamondbacks in 5
I hope, and believe that the Nats will take down the Cubs. Strange things happen when Jon Lester pitches in the playoffs, but I just don’t think the Cubs match the Nationals starters. Bullpens, outside of Wade Davis, are a push. Team that with an MV3-esque lineup and I think the “early lead/dominant start” style wins out.
LA vs. Arizona is probably the one that gave me the most fits. I love Robbie Ray going twice in the series, I love Archie Bradley as a relief ace, and I love the middle of the order. I don’t love Rodney on the back end. For the Dodgers, it comes down to Kershaw and Wood being in good form, but with at least 3/5 games being a lefty vs. Goldschmidt and Martinez, I take the D’Backs to squeeze it out.
Allen Medlock – National in 4, Diamondbacks in 5.
It’s a little concerning that Max Scherzer will be pushed back to at least game two. That is until you realize they have Stephen Strasburg to pith the opener. Scherzer, Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez will be too much for the Cubs. Anthony Rendon will shine under the playoffs lights.
Arizona has a complete lineup and will give the Dodgers problems. I’m also not certain that the battle for 100 plus wins haven’t emptied the gas tanks for L.A. Paul Goldschmidt looks like he’s ready to show the rest of the country that he’s a superstar.
AUSTIN LAMB – Nationals in 3, Diamondbacks in 4
The Nationals starting rotation was historically good this season, and the Cubs regressed severely. The Nationals pitchers will keep the Cubs offense in check and their bats are good enough to beat Lester, Arrieta, and Hendricks. Also, the Nats addressed their bullpen weakness at the deadline and now have a solid 7-8-9 with Kintzler, Madson, and Doolittle to finish off games.
Arizona can hit from top to bottom. Their rotation is solid (although they threw their two best pitchers last night), and their bullpen has been able to close games. I still don’t trust Fernando Rodney, and Bradley almost melted down last night, but they got the job done all season. Kershaw didn’t look great in the few starts after returning from the DL, and we know his post-season history. Adding Darvish was huge, but not enough to win the series.
KYLE REIS: Astros vs Indians – Astros in 6
I may have mentioned this in the previous AL write up, but I’m such a damn Astros-homer. I love that lineup because I love prospects and savvy veterans, and the Astros lineup is a perfect mesh of those two things. I worry about the Astros starting staff, but not nearly enough, apparently. All six of these games are going to be tight and it might end up being one of the best ALCS…s(?) ever.
CLAY BEYERSDORFER: Astros vs Indians – Astros in 6
I will piggy back off of everything you just read from Kyle – he’s a smart man, and your money should be on the Astros taking this thing into the World Series.
ADAM BUTLER – Red Sox vs. Indians – Indians in 6
Indians. Indians. Indians. This team is so good. I love the starting pitching and there are so many dynamic players around the lineup. I hope we get two Kluber vs. Sale matchups here. Talk about an epic pitching duel. However, I think the Indians are too good not to prevail.
COLIN GARNER – Yankees vs. Astros – Yankees in 7
The New York Yankees have only had one gap between World Series appearances longer than their current eight years (1964-1976) and Major League Baseball is due for some Yankee magic. The postseason has become a battle of the bullpens in October, and the Yankees have the most versatile bullpen heading into October. Aaron Judge dominated All-Star week and seems ready for the bright lights, especially considering the tutelage of former Cardinal Matt Holliday. Meanwhile, the Astros will be pushed to a full five games by Boston, forcing Verlander to start in Game 5 of the division series, pushing him back to Game 3 of the ALCS. I think Houston takes a 2-0 series lead at home before New York rips off three in a row at home and holds in in Game 7 to win their 41st (!!!) AL pennant.
RUSTY GROPPEL – Astros vs. Indians – Indians in 6
Devenski will be this year’s Andrew Miller, but it won’t be enough to beat the team with the actual Andrew Miller. Another tight one, but Cleveland is a better team than last year and Kluber is insane.
Allen Medlock – Astros vs. Indians – Indians in 6
Cleveland reminds me of the 2015 Royals. They had the W.S. experience last year and seems to have all the pieces in place to take the next step. Francona is the best and will push the right buttons. This series will be really good.
AUSTIN LAMB – Red Sox vs. Indians – Indians in 7
The idea of Sale and Kluber squaring off in a game seven is the stuff baseball dreams are made of. Both of these teams are great and this series will be one for the ages. Kluber throws a complete game shutout at home to send Cleveland back to the World Series.
KYLE REIS: Diamondbacks vs Cubs – Cubs in 6
I HATE MYSELF. Headed to the shower to rinse this off.
CLAY BEYERSDORFER: Nationals vs. Dodgers – Nationals in 6
That Nationals line-up to me is going to come alive and thrash whoever L.A. decides to send to the mound. Nationals in six. Bet it.
ADAM BUTLER – Nationals vs. Diamondbacks – Nationals in 5
Once again, the Nats will rely on their pitching and middle of the order. I could see Goldschmidt and Martinez crushing Gio Gonzalez but I just don’t think it will be enough.
COLIN GARNER – Nationals vs. Dodgers – Nationals in 5
I know the Dodgers were the best team in baseball this season. But they still seem so dependant on Clayton Kershaw, and the Nationals have three of the best starters in baseball: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez. I don’t know if the Nats can close it out in LA, so they’ll take care of business behind Scherzer at home in Game 5. Trea Turner wins NLCS MVP.
RUSTY GROPPEL – Nationals vs. Diamondbacks – Nationals in 6
That starting rotation and stacked lineup is just going to keep driving them. Health be damned, Harper will be playing like a man possessed. I loved the L/R matchups for Arizona against LA but it’s just not the same with Scherzer and Strasburg tossing 4 of the games. Whereas the big lefty bats for Washington benefit from not seeing Ray until Game 3. Superior pitching wins out.
Allen Medlock – Nationals vs. Diamondbacks – Nationals in 6
Scherzer pitching at least two games will be the deciding factor in this series. This postseason will prove my point that Scherzer is the best pitcher in baseball. The Nationals lineup is also loaded. I keep thinking that Trea Turner will become a fan favorite for his aggressive play.
AUSTIN LAMB – Nationals vs. Diamondbacks – Nationals in 6
This series will be great to watch as fans. Two lineups that hit from top to bottom and two really good rotations. Arizona has the edge though with Scherzer, Strasburg and Gio. They also have the revamped bullpen that I trust a lot more than Arizona’s.
KYLE REIS: Cubs vs Astros – Astros in 5
Say the word with me everyone; “HOMER”.
It’s the perfect word for this potential outcome for this World Series because:
a) I’m an Astros-homer
b) Because the Astros are going to unleash Ruthian-level homerun power all over the North-siders.
Somehow the Cubs are going to squeak out a game against the Astros and I’m hoping it’s on the arm of Jake Arrieta, fueling the Cubs offseason overspending to keep him in their services. I’m calling a blow out in the other 4 games
CLAY BEYERSDORFER: Nationals vs. Astros – Astros in 6
I want Houston to win this year. They are just a fun team to watch, Altuve is a freaking stud, and this is going to be the start of a franchise that will be in the conversation every year for the next couple of years. I love whatever the front office in Houston is drinking (ahem, Cardinals) and they have set themselves up for a bright future in Texas.
ADAM BUTLER – Nationals vs. Indians – Indians in 7
I can’t say enough about the Indians. It’s a phenomenally constructed roster from top to bottom. Facing Kluber and Carrasco in 4 out of 7 games will be too much for the Nationals to overcome.
COLIN GARNER – Yankees vs. Nationals – Nationals in 7
I don’t know how the Yankees are going to force this series to seven games, but somehow they will. Stephen Strasburg will pitch a gem in Game 7 to bring home the ring, and finally exorcise the demons of being shut down for the 2012 playoffs (thanks, Nationals). Back to back World Series going the distance is great for baseball, but even better for the game is the fact that its the behemoth Yankees going up against a franchise that has never won a title in the Nationals.
RUSTY GROPPEL – Indians vs. Nationals – Indians in 6
I picked the Indians in the pre-season and they have done nothing to change my mind. Both teams have dynamic lineups, the Indians can match (or exceed) 2/3 of the Nats big 3 starters. With the made-for-TV pitching matchups in this series, much will hang on the bullpens, and the Indians take that hands down.
Allen Medlock – Indians vs. Nationals – Indians in 7
If things line up correctly, we could possibly see a Scherzer-Kluber match-up in more than one game. Those match-ups will probably also include Andrew Miller. The pitching will be must-watch and make run scoring extremely difficult. I’m a National League fan through and through but Cleveland will finish off the series this year after coming up short last year.
AUSTIN LAMB – Indians vs. Nationals – Indians in 7
Cleveland rebounds from last year’s collapse and brings the trophy home. They have World Series experience and that plays huge. Call me a hater, but Dusty Baker missing out on another title would bring a smile to my face.
World Series MVP
KYLE REIS – 3B Alex Bregman, Houston
Bregman isn’t going to win the award. It’s going to be George Springer, dummies. But I have that Alex Bregman jersey and I’ve been following him since he was a Sophomore at LSU. Deal with my blatant bias. I’ll say he hits 3 HR in this Astros-dominated 5 game series.
CLAY BEYERSDORFER – 2B José Altuve, Houston
Altuve has been the man for Houston all year, and he could honestly get a hit in every game this post season and it shouldn’t surprise anybody. My bet is he hits .400 this post season and laughs his way to title town.
ADAM BUTLER – INF Jose Ramirez, Cleveland
There are so many possible choices on this team but I’m going with Ramirez. He had a huge 2017 season and has turned into a great all around hitter. I watched quite a few Indians games as they were in the midst of their winning streak and this guy stood out in so many ways. He’s one of those players that can just ignite an entire team and I’m betting that will show in the World Series.
COLIN GARNER – RF Bryce Harper, Washington
Harper has a career .509 SLG in the postseason, and the short porch at Yankee Stadium will look awfully inviting. Three homers in the Bronx keep the Nats alive, but he’ll still sign with the Yankees after next season.
RUSTY GROPPEL – SP Corey Kluber, Cleveland
He absolutely dominates in Game 2 and the clinching Game 6. Say 14 IP (they only need him for 7), 1 ER, 24 K’s.
Allen Medlock – RP Andrew Miller, Cleveland
Playoff baseball has evolved into a battle of bullpens. Andrew Miller will pitch scoreless innings in all four Cleveland wins.
AUSTIN LAMB – SP Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland
I’m sure he won’t win the award, but it seemed boring to pick a favorite. Plus, the Redbird Daily doesn’t pay me this big bucks for vanilla picks. Here’s a stat line for you: 2-0, 1.73 ERA, 0.97 WHIP. BOOK IT
Who do you think is going to win it all? Let us know in the comments section! Have a great 2017 Postseason!