The MLB postseason begins when the 2016 MLB Division Series kicks off today with the American League and the National League starts on Friday. Your Wild Card winners will square off against the division champions in a best of five to determine who will go to the Championship Series. Who will make that next step to the Championship Series? Here are my preview and predictions.
Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays: This should be an exciting series after both of these teams hate each other guts after what happened last year and, of course, you have to give credit where credit is due to Jeff Banister, who cranked out 95 wins for the Rangers this season. But their luck runs out as I have the Blue Jays winning in four games. Toronto has the better pitching, and the offense will carry them to the ALCS.
Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox: This series could have been competitive if the Indians had a full rotation of healthy players. But the Indians don't have a Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco, and Corey Kluber is not at 100 percent, and I find that hard to believe. Boston will be the favorite in this series due to a great offense. Also, the Sox have the edge in pitching despite having David Price and Rock Porcello. Give me Boston to sweep the Indians.
Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants: Of the two teams that played in the NL Wild Card playoffs last night, the Cubs should've played the Mets. My concern for the Cubs is that they play a team that has postseason experience and top-notch pitching from Madison Bumgarner. With that said, the Giants have a bullpen that is not confident, and they have to face a superior Cubs offense. I'm pushing for Chicago to win in four games.
Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: I may be harsh, but I don't care what anyone says: even with Washington having a great start to their season, I can't trust Dusty Baker during the postseason. Meanwhile, Dave Roberts is unproven in the postseason, even though he's still a hero in Boston after playing a huge role in the 2004 ALCS. The Dodgers have been a hot mess on the road this season, but they don't have to worry about struggling against left-handed pitching since the Nats only have one lefty in Gio Gonzalez. I believe that Clayton Kershaw will bounce back in the offseason and the Dodgers much-improved pitching will help them steal this series in five games.