2021 MLB Playoff Predictions
We've got ourselves a loaded playoff field this year, full of up-and-comers and plenty of familiar faces. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this article, the postseason predictions.
AL Wild Card, Yankees @ Red Sox - The best rivalry in baseball will be showcased on national television in a winner-take-all battle to kick off the 2021 playoffs. The crowd will be loud and the game should be tons of fun, as there is the potential for plenty of runs to be scored. Last week, the Yankees went into Boston and swept them, while this is not indicative of how this game will turn out, it is worth noting that the starting pitchers in this game Gerrit Cole and Nathan Eovaldi did face-off last week. Cole was effective and threw six innings while only giving up three runs, Eovaldi got shelled for seven earned runs over 2.2 innings. The Yankees will power past the Red Sox and advance to the ALDS (Giancarlo Stanton will likely homer as well, just a gut feeling).
NL Wild Card, Cardinals @ Dodgers - While the AL Wild Card looks to be a slugfest, the NL Wild Card will likely be a pitcher's duel. Future Hall-of-Famers Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright will take their respective mounds and try to pin down the opposing offenses all night. Scherzer has not been good in his previous two starts with five runs allowed in each. Wainwright has also been touched for nine earned runs over his last three games. One of these pitchers will bounce back in a big way Wednesday and it will be Scherzer. The potent Dodger lineup is just too much for Wainwright to navigate. The Dodgers will advance to face San Franciso and the Cardinals' magical ride ends here.
ALDS, White Sox @ Astros - The young White Sox will travel to face the experienced Astros in what promises to be an entertaining series. The teams are fairly evenly matched on paper with powerful lineups and solid frontline pitching. However, I believe in the inferiority of AL Central champions. The Astros will use their young rotation to hamper the White Sox lineup and the offense will chase the opposing starters early in games. Houston will put Chicago back in their place and show Luis Robert and Co. that they are not quite ready for championship contention yet.
Pick: Astros in four
ALDS, Yankees @ Rays - After surviving Boston on the road, the Yankees will have to travel to Tropicana Field where they will face the mighty Rays. The Yankees are 7-11 against the Ray this season and Tampa seemed to manhandle New York in every game I watched. The Rays lineup is too good for the Yankee pitching staff to contain. Gerrit Cole will have pitched in the Wild Card game so he will not be available until game three or so, an intimidating thought when the Bronx Bombers may already be down two games to none. Much to the bitter disappointment of Yankee fans, the Rays will easily advance to the ALCS.
Pick: Rays in four
NLDS, Braves @ Brewers - This is arguably the least exciting series for me in the entire post-season. I don’t have much interest in watching the injury-stricken Atlanta Braves and the ugly offense of the Brewers. While I support the narrative of teams overcoming long odds to win the championship, I don’t have any faith in the Braves rotation past Charlie Morton and Max Fried. The Brewers will likely win one of the first two games and the offense will beat up on Atlanta’s other starters. Milwaukee will ride the three-headed monster (Burnes, Woodruff, and Peralta) to the NLCS.
Pick: Brewers in five
NLDS, Dodgers @ Giants - Arguably the two best teams in the league are facing off in this highly anticipated series. Both teams are very very similar in terms of build, great offenses, elite pitching, and excellent bullpens. This series promises to be very back and forth. The Giants handled the Dodgers well during the regular season, thanks in part to some blown saves and leads. I think the Dodgers are all tuned up by now and won’t shoot themselves in the foot as they have at times. I am going to go with the more talented team and say the Dodgers will move on the NLCS.
Pick: Dodgers in five
ALCS, Astros @ Rays - Two giants are set to collide in the ALCS. The two best teams of the American League took care of business against inferior opponents and baseball enthusiasts are ecstatic. The Astros offense is all-around better than the Rays, but Tampa has a vastly superior bullpen. These two teams faced off in the ALCS last year and it was the Rays who emerged victorious from the seven-game slugfest. All seven of those games were played at Petco Park with no fans. I believe the superior Astros fans will give Houston a boost this year and propel them, once again, into the World Series.
Pick: Astros in seven
NLCS, Dodgers @ Brewers - If you like pitching then this will be the series for you. The best two rotations in baseball will be dueling it out each night. Give a slight edge to Brewers in terms of the quality of their starting staff, but the Dodgers have all the other advantages. Comparing the offense of Los Angeles to the offense of the Brewers is like comparing apples to oranges. The Dodgers also have a much deeper bullpen and outclass every Brew Crew reliever not named Josh Hader. Milwaukee is not built for long series while the Dodgers are. The Dodgers will push aside the pesky Brewers and advance to their fourth World Series in five years.
Pick: Dodgers in five
The World Series, Astros @ Dodgers - Oh baby yes, this is a rematch only seen in fantasy. In 2017, the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles in the World Series to win the franchise’s first title ever. Since then, the Astros were discovered to be cheaters and the validity of their win has been put into question. There has been a great deal of animosity between these two franchises since then. Now the Astros will have a chance to rewrite history and prove to the world that they deserved that 2017 title. On paper, the Dodgers should easily handle the Astros, but Houston has shown resilience all season. The teams were two and two against one another during the regular season. I believe the Astros will prevail in the battle for supremacy. The Astros led the league with a .267 team batting average this season, the last time they did that? 2017. I believe in the narrative and I believe this team. The Astros will win the World Series (an opinion I have held for several months now).
Pick: Astros in seven
Your 2021 World Series champion is the Houston Astros! +550