MLB Playoffs Championship Series Preview
by: Dominic Stearn
The MLB playoffs started out with a bang. Every Division Series was entertaining in some way. Between walk-offs, insane comebacks, and close games, the first week of October baseball kept viewers on the edge of their seats. We are now down to four teams, let’s preview the NL and ALCS.
The NLCS is an intriguing matchup. Both teams had to fight their way into the division lead, including playing in a game 163. The Brewers and Dodgers, respectively, had the best records in the National League, so it is fitting that they will face off for the National League title. The Dodgers won the regular season series 4-3, as the teams faced off shortly after the All-Star break. When it comes to a positional breakdown, these teams are nearly even. I give the starting pitching upper hand to the Dodgers. Kershaw and Buehler could be aces on almost any team, including the Brewers. They make a nasty one-two punch, and can pitch deep into baseball games. However, the current era of baseball is leaning more towards bullpens. In that aspect, the Brewers have a hefty advantage. Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, and Corey Knebel can give you five innings and 15 strikeouts if they are on. Kenley Jansen is the only true lockdown reliever for L.A. On the other side of the ball, both teams are absolutely stacked. The Dodgers have twelve guys they can bat 1-8 depending on what handness they facing. The Brewers top of the the order is filled with all-stars and former champions. I give the slight hitting advantage to the Dodgers, due to their depth. When it comes down to this series, I think the Brewers will ride their winning streak and bullpen to a 7 game series victory.
Baseball fans get what they want for the ALCS. The two best teams in the MLB (record wise) will face off in a rematch of last year’s ALDS. Houston defeated Boston in four games in the ALDS last year on their way to the franchise’s first ever World Series. Boston will look for revenge, while Houston will attempt to defend their title. Keep in mind, Houston won the season series 4-3. Both teams have very good starting pitching. Each team has two former Cy Young award winners, along with strong supporting casts. The Astros have Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Charlie Morton. The Red Sox have David Price, Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, and Nathan Eovaldi. I give a slight advantage to the Astros, as I feel their pitchers go deeper into games. The Astros have a significantly better bullpen, even though the best relief pitcher in the series, Craig Kimbrel, plays for Boston. Names like Roberto Osuna, Collin Mchugh, Brad Peacock, Lance McCullers, and Will Harris make up a much better pen. As good as the Astros lineup is, it is clear that the Red Sox have the better bats. J.D., Mookie, Benintendi, and Bogaerts are all sensational and thrilling players to watch. This should be a fantastic series. I’ve got the Astros in 6.