By: Jake Carrera | Writer
September 28, 2018
With October looming, there is only one thing occupying the minds of baseball fans across the nation: the MLB playoffs. Many teams are still fighting for a spot to play for it all this October but for right now, with only three games remaining left in the regular season, this is how the playoff picture is stacking up.
American League (AL) Playoff Picture
As for right now the American League is looking pretty set. The Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox and defending 2017 World Series Champions Houston Astros have all already clinched their divisions, leading to an automatic divisional series berth.
In addition, the one game, do-or-die wildcard has also been set, featuring the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics. With the lowest payroll in baseball, the A’s shocked the league as being a real postseason contender as the latter months of the season unfolded. At this current moment home field advantage for the AL wildcard game has not yet been decided but everything is pointing towards the Yankees hosting things in the Bronx.
National League (NL) Playoff Picture
Now here is where things get tricky. Unlike the American League, things are heating up over in the NL with only one division champion already decided. The Atlanta Braves clinched a few days back, earning their first postseason berth since 2013 but the NL west and central couldn’t be more confusing.
Let me break it all down.
The Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs have both clinched a postseason appearance no matter what, whether it be the NL Divisional Series (NLDS), or the wild card game. However, the Cubs are currently leading the division by only one game and with three left to play in the regular season, a lot can happen. The Brewers were also a sleeper team this year who put in a lot of off season work with huge trade acquisitions as well. At the center of all of this is outfielder Christian Yelich who broke out at last year’s World Baseball Classic playing for team USA. The way things are looking, it is likely the Cubs will in fact win the division so the matter of who the Brewers are to potentially face is still a mystery.
In the NL West, the Colorado Rockies are currently holding on to a one game lead over the reigning NL Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Going into the week, the Dodgers are ahead by a game and a half, but after a tough trip to Arizona, the boys in blue have fallen just one game ahead of the Cardinals for the second wild card spot. LA is currently preparing to suit up for a three game set this weekend with the San Francisco Giants, a divisional rival, at AT&T Park. Things aren’t looking good.
Right now there is nothing anyone in the National League wants to do more than eliminate the Dodgers from the postseason. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts knows what is at stake in this upcoming SF series stating, “As far as getting to the postseason, we control our own fate. We’ve got to win baseball games.”
The Dodgers have owned not only the NL but most importantly, the NL West, for the past six seasons thus making them public enemy number one. Only time will tell whether or not the Dodgers will be popping bottles in the bay or taking that not-so-long flight of shame back to the city of angels come Monday morning. Regardless, a great postseason picture is unfolding.
To wrap things up, here are my predictions for the upcoming postseason and yes, as a die-hard Dodgers fan, these predictions pain me as much as they would anyone else.
Athletics > Yankees (Wildcard)
Red Sox > Athletics (ALDS)
Astros > Indians (ALDS)
Red Sox > Astros (ALCS)
Brewers > Dodgers (Wildcard)
Brewers > Cubs (NLDS)
Braves > Brewers (NLDS)
Brewers > Braves (NLCS)
Boston Red Sox vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Game 1- Red Sox
Game 2- Red Sox
Game 3- Brewers
Game 4- Red Sox
Game 5- Red Sox
2018 MLB WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS
Red Sox in 5
*Predictions and standings are current as of September 27, 2018*