Postseason Predictions



Seats inside Busch Stadium sit empty Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in St. Louis. The St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies are set to play Game 1 of a National League Wild Card baseball playoff series on Friday in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

PLAY BALL! The time has come again for players to shine under the bright lights of the Major League Baseball postseason. Here’s our predictions prior to the chaos also known as playoff baseball starting this Friday.

New Format and Storylines

First off, the playoff format looks a little different this year with 12 teams making it as opposed to 10 from years before (besides the shortened abnormal 2020 season). The top two teams in each league automatically get a first round bye and play the respective winners of each wild card series. The wild card series also consists of, as the name says, a best of three series, instead of the one game elimination format from previous seasons. Droughts are also being ended as the hometown Philadelphia Phillies have finally made it back to the postseason after a National League worst 11 year departure. In addition, the Seattle Mariners have returned for the first time since 2001. 

First Round (Wild Card series):

NL Wild Card series #1: #6 Philadelphia Phillies vs. #3 St. Louis Cardinals

Ring That Bell! The Phillies will be continuing a historical season with a series win against the Cards at the hands of dominant performances from their top two aces. It will very well be an intense pitching matchup with the Phillies announcing that they will be pitching Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and Ranger Suarez. For the Cardinals they have selected José Quintana, Miles Mikolas, and most likely Adam Wainwright. As good as the top two hitters are for the Red Birds,  with MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado, I believe that the Phils are filled with more depth offensively top to bottom.

NL Wild Card series #2: #5 San Diego Padres vs. #4 New York Mets

SLAM DIEGO IS BACK! I believe this will be the best wild card series of them all, but I have the Padres winning in three games. Even though I have picked San Diego to win this series, it does not mean that I think that the Mets have no chance, as games one and two they have three time, young winner Max Scherzer and four time all star Jacob Degrom pitching for them. The Mets will also be showcasing former rookie of the year Pete Alonso, two time silver slugger award winner Francisco Lindor. Although the Mets are better on the pitching side, the Padres have bigger names and a lot of veteran talent like Manny Machado, Yu Darvish, and Josh Hader. 

AL Wild Card series #1: #6 Tampa Bay Rays vs. #3 Cleveland Guardians

CLEVELAND, THIS IS FOR YOU! I see Cleveland narrowly topping Tampa Bay in a battle of small market teams. The two teams have elite pitching with the Guardians tied for 5th best in ERA in the regular season led by ace Shane Bieber and the Rays with the 4th best led by Cy Young candidate Shane Mclanahan. The Rays may not have many recognizable names, but have vital role players and are led by reigning rookie of the year Randy Arozarena. However, I see the Guardians with a pesky young offense that seldom strikes out, led by superstar José Ramirez, taking their talents to the second round.

AL Wild Card series #2: #5 Seattle Mariners vs #4 Toronto Blue Jays

O Canada! The Blue Jays will be cutting the Mariners drought-ending postseason short in the first round. When it comes to aces, it’s Luis Castillo for the Ms and Alek Manoah taking the ball for the Jays game one, and with both being extremely talented, it should make for a pitching clinic. Rookie superstar Julio Rodriguez should be an exhilarating watch as he leads the Mariners’ somewhat average offense. Nevertheless, I’m putting my chips on Toronto with their far superior hitting led by young studs like Bo Bichette and Alejandro Kirk, as well as 2021 MVP runner up Vladimir Guerero Jr. 

Second round (Division Series):

NL Division series #1: (#6 Philadelphia Phillies Vs #2 Atlanta Braves)

CHOP ON! The Phillies power-esque offense will come up short to the defending champs. The series is going to climax at five games, as the Phils will win both of their games at home in front of that restless Philadelphia crowd. Although it will be too much to handle for the Fightins as Truist Park proved to be one of the toughest ballparks in all of baseball, and maybe even all of sports. The Braves showed how dominant their pitching staff was, as they continued with not allowing tons of runs as they did in the regular season, finishing 5th in ERA stats, allowing 3.46 on an average.

NL Division series #2: (LA Dodgers Vs San Diego Padres)

It’s a West Coast showdown! In a 2020 NLDS rematch, Los Angeles will yet again advance over San Diego. While the Padres are above average in several facets of their team and are one of the most balanced teams in the playoffs, this series won’t even be remotely close. This is no discredit to the Padres, just a sign of how breathtaking LA has been this year. They won 111 games in the regular season, which is tied for 4th best by a team in the past century. They have reached such an accomplishment through mainly massive trades and signings netting the likes of 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, shortstop Trea Turner, and 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts. 

AL Division series #1: #3 Cleveland Guardians vs #2 New York Yankees

New York, New York! The Yankees will take their 99 win season success into the playoffs and get past the Guardians in the second round. Cleveland, as previously stated, is a very pesky young team and an overlooked team at that. However, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole will mow down the competition every chance he gets on the mound and that’s supported by a solid rotation and lineup for New York. Aaron Judge should prove to be a dominant force following a historic American League record 62 home runs. 

AL Division series #2: #4 Toronto Blue Jays vs #1 Houston Astros

Houston, we (don’t) have a problem. In an intensely fought battle, the Astros will come out as the victor and move on to the ALCS to face the Yankees. One word, pitching. Beating the Astros starting rotation will be an incredibly daunting task with top Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, and Lance McCullers Jr. being as formidable as it gets. Moreover, Houston’s bullpen ranks #1 in ERA and tied for #1 at least home runs given up. This is complemented by a brawny offense consisting of DH Yordan Alvarez, 2B Jose Altuve, and RF Kyle Tucker. If you’re gonna beat Toronto, you need to shut them down offensively, and that’s what Houston will do.

Third Round (League Championship Series): 

AL Championship series: #2 New York Yankees vs #1 Houston Astros

In a battle of the top 2 seeds in the American League, who will advance to the Fall Classic? This could 100% go either way, but personally I have the Astros living up to their high expectations and prevailing. The 39 year old ace Justin Verlander has only proven to age like fine wine and will be too much for Yankees hitters to handle in this best of seven series. While New York may have a slightly higher team OPS and solid pitching, the Houston hurlers are flat out exceptional and have immense depth in the starting rotation and bullpen. No matter what, this matchup will undoubtedly make for an invigorating clash of two powerhouses.

NL Championship series: (LA Dodgers Vs Atlanta Braves)

HOLLYWOOD! HOLLYWOOD! The 2021 champs take on the 2020 champs. After last year’s surprise championship run, they got their star back in Ronald Acuna Jr and added all star First Baseman Matt Olson, and some young studs like Spencer Strider and Michael Harris III. In the regular season this year the Braves were ranked 5th in pitching in all of baseball, with a 3.46 ERA and in second in strikeouts with 1554 Ks, for hitting they are statistically the second best offensive team in baseball, with a MLB leading slugging percentage of a .443 SLG. My pick for the winner of this series is the Dodgers, as I believe they are the better team all around and I also don’t think the Braves have enough magic to win this series. I do believe that this series will go down to the wire though, going to seven games.

World Series: #1 Houston Astros (106-56) vs #1 Los Angeles Dodgers (111-51)

It’s 2017 all over again! The Los Angeles Dodgers will get their rematch after falling short five years ago in a back and forth battle to Houston. Los Angeles has made it to the grand finale in four of the past five years and won once in 2020. This is where we agree, and it’s gotta be Space City knocking down the Dodgers once again. Like previously mentioned, the Astros pitching is immaculate, and combined with their top notch offense, they will continue to be a force to reckon with. When looking at the two teams in the regular season, the Dodgers have major advantages in most offensive categories like batting average, OPS, WRC+ (weighted runs created), and wOBA (weighted on base average). Pitchers fashioning Dodger blue are also some of the best in baseball, ranking first in all of baseball in ERA as a staff. However, we see Houston’s superior bullpen and starting rotation edging out LA’s offensive and overall pitching prowess in an astounding 7 game series.

Our joint bracket (American League Predictions done by Sean and National League Predictions done by Dylan):








So in our opinion it will be H-Town launching themselves into a World Series title. On the contrary, anything can happen come playoff time, and you can attempt at predicting the madness by filling out a bracket yourself here: 2022 MLB Postseason Bracket Challenge