The 2019 playoffs bring some old faces and a couple of fresh teams into the dance. Our staff teamed up to break down the playoffs and give you some fun predictions that we pieced together. One author was responsible for each series and broke it down and predicted the winner. The next author was tasked with inputting what the last author predicted in the series prior and predict the matchup they were assigned to. Let’s dive in and see who the Overtime Heroics baseball staff picked to win the World Series.
AL Wild Card
The Oakland A’s are in the same position as last year, winning 97 games and in a win or go home situation. Oakland has a slight advantage in the pop of the lineup, and in the bullpen as well. The A’s hold advantages in most offensive categories across the entire season. Their roster is better suited for the playoff atmosphere rather than the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays rely heavily on roster shuffling and matchups, which is not possible to do during the playoffs. With both teams heavy on the pitching side, it should be a low scoring game.
Winner: Oakland Athletics
NL Wild Card
The Brewers have had troubles with pitching and injuries all season long, but they find themselves back in the 2019 playoffs. The Washington Nationals have an edge over the Brewers, given who is starting in Max Scherzer. However, Scherzer has proven to be hittable in the playoffs and owns a 3.73 career ERA in October. The Brewers will be without the big bat of Christian Yelich. The offense may struggle with one of the most dominating pitchers in the last decade, Max Scherzer. On the other hand the Brewers are basing the starting assignment off the hot hand and handing it over to Brandon Woodruff, as he has pitched 4 dominate innings since coming off of the injured list. This game has the potential to be high octane due to the power lineups both teams have, and if Scherzer is shakey, it will be all the more interesting.
Winner: Washington Nationals
Author Twitter: @HunterSills2
The American League Division Series
With the Oakland Athletics predicted to win the Wild Card game they will face the Houston Astros in the ALDS. The divisional series will kickoff for them in Houston on Friday October 4th. With a pitching staff featuring Justin Verlander, Gerritt Cole, and Zach Greinke, Houston has a clear advantage. Oakland however does boast some strong hitting especially in the Coliseum. With guys like Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman they will keep it interesting. There is a distinct possibility that they will take one game from Houston and force a game 4. Ultimately with the combination of lights out pitching, stellar defense, and excellent plate discipline the Houston Astros will win the series 3-1.
Winner: Houston Astros
On the other side of the divisional series are the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. These two teams have gone head to head in the postseason many times with the Yankees prevailing most of the time. They will meet again in the 2019 playoffs. It is hard to see that changing this year. However, both teams boast a high powered line up that is capable of scoring a ton of runs off of both mediocre pitching staffs. The Yankees have been the more complete team all year despite the injuries to the team. This might be one of the most evenly matched divisional series we have seen in a long time, but ultimately the Yankees have a really good bullpen and that might be the deciding factor.
Winner: New York Yankees
Author Twitter: @cap_jrm
National League Division Series
The Cardinals rode a strong second half to an NL Central title and into the 2019 playoffs. They were led in large part by the red-hot arm of Jack Flaherty, who dominated to a 0.91 ERA in 99.1 innings after the All-Star Break. While their pitching is pretty strong, their offense has been subpar. Many of their key bats endured rough seasons, and only three of their qualified batters had an OPS+ over 100.
The Braves on the other hand have been led by their offense, averaging 5.27 runs per game, the third best in the NL. While some of their offensive stars cooled off slightly towards the end of the season, they still have plenty of dangerous bats throughout the line up. Their rotation put together some strong performances and will consist of Dallas Keuchel, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Soroka and Max Fried. Even though their bullpen has been a bit shaky this season, it’s hard to imagine the St. Louis pitching staff being able to contain the offense. The Atlanta rotation also will likely overpower the Cardinals’ line-up, making it much easier on the Braves’ bullpen.
Winner: Atlanta Braves
The Nationals come into the 2019 playoffs scalding, having won eight games in a row to end the regular season. Their offense was the second highest scoring in the NL, averaging 5.38 runs per game. Their rotation led by the big three of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin put together a very strong season and has plenty of postseason experience.
However, their bullpen was disastrous, putting forth a Major League-worst 5.66 ERA. The Dodgers also had bullpen problems, blowing 29 saves. However, their bullpen ERA of 3.78 was the fourth best in the Majors. Additionally, the Dodgers’ starting rotation had a league-best 3.11 ERA. They had the highest scoring offense in the NL, averaging 5.47 runs per game. Looking up and down their line-up, it’s hard to find any holes in the Dodgers’ offense, and they have very strong hitting and pitching depth to boot. It should be a really close series.
Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
Author Twitter: @maktheknife2000
American League Championship Series
The Yankees and Astros face off in whats expected to be an exciting ALCS. Some people may think that the Astros will cruise to a spot in the World Series. However, the Yankees will not go down without a fight. They have one of the best line ups in baseball and they also have an excellent bullpen. The starting rotation is also not as bad as some may believe. Paxton and Severino are both great pitchers and Tanaka can hold his own.
Even though the Yankees are a worthy opponent they’ll fall short in the end. The Astros are a super-team, a dynasty and it doesn’t seem like anyone can stop them. Their 3 headed monster at the front of the rotation will be enough to hold the Yankees down.
Winner: Houston Astros
Author Twitter: @JackMurph27
National League Championship Series
First, there is an age-old saying in baseball: hitting wins games, pitching wins titles. When it comes to starting pitching, the Dodgers have it. Along with posting the best team ERA in baseball at 3.37, the second fewest total bases, as well as the third fewest homers, and K/BB9 percentage. They also have three pitchers (Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and 2019 ERA leader Hyun-Jin Ryu) who finished in the top 15 in individual ERA.
The team certainly can hit too, leading the NL in runs and home runs. Cody Bellinger is almost a lock for the NL’s Most Valuable Player. Max Muncy proved 2018 was no fluke, hitting 35 homers and driving in 98 RBIs. Justin Turner (.290, 27 homers) is as reliable of a player as there is. Joc Pederson also jacked 36 homers.
The Braves have held their own this year and are featuring a line up with Ronald Acuna Jr.and Josh Donaldson. Those two combined hit 78 long balls and as mentioned before, they’re one of the best in the National League at scoring runs. They are, however, a bit inexperienced, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready to make noise in October.
Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
Author Twitter: @DuckyMedwick7
The Houston Astros and Los Angeles a Dodgers are predicted by our staff to be pitted in a 2017 rematch that was as exciting as any World Series in recent memory. Both teams have the fire power on offense, great starting rotations, and pretty good bullpens to boot. It should be another great series between the two clubs and should match the fire power of that 2017 World Series. The two clubs will clash, but our staff has given the edge in the 2019 playoffs to the guys who have been there for the past 2 years.
Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
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