It’s been a long season; teams have played 162 games (well, 163 for some), and the matchups are now settled. Let’s take a look at who the Pitcher List staff thinks will raise the trophy at the end of October.
|Nick Pollack||Dave Cherman||Jeff Davis||Austin Bristow II||Scott Chu|
|AL Wild Card||Yankees||Yankees||A’s||A’s||Yankees|
|NL Wild Card||Cubs||Rockies||Cubs||Rockies||Cubs|
|AL WC vs Red Sox||Red Sox||Red Sox||A’s||Red Sox||Red Sox|
|Astros vs Indians||Indians||Indians||Astros||Astros||Astros|
|NL WC vs Brewers||Brewers||Rockies||Brewers||Rockies||Brewers|
|Dodgers vs Braves||Braves||Dodgers||Braves||Braves||Braves|
|AL Champion||Indians||Indians||Astros||Astros||Red Sox|
|World Series Champion||Indians||Indians||Brewers||Astros||Red Sox|
|World Series MVP||Francisco Lindor||Francisco Lindor||Christian Yelich||Alex Bregman||J.D. Martinez|
|Andy Patton||Jonathan Metzelaar||Stephen Honovich||Rick Graham||Max Posner|
|AL Wild Card||A’s||Yankees||Yankees||Yankees||Yankees|
|NL Wild Card||Cubs||Rockies||Cubs||Rockies||Cubs|
|AL WC vs Red Sox||Red Sox||Red Sox||Yankees||Yankees||Yankees|
|Astros vs Indians||Indians||Indians||Astros||Indians||Indians|
|NL WC vs Brewers||Cubs||Rockies||Cubs||Brewers||Brewers|
|Dodgers vs Braves||Braves||Dodgers||Braves||Braves||Dodgers|
|AL Champion||Indians||Red Sox||Astros||Indians||Indians|
|World Series Champion||Indians||Red Sox||Astros||Indians||Indians|
|World Series MVP||Jose Ramirez||J.D. Martinez||Justin Verlander||Francisco Lindor||Jose Ramirez|
|Alex Fast||Adam Garland||Kyle Bishop||Myles Nelson|
|AL Wild Card||Yankees||A’s||A’s||Yankees|
|NL Wild Card||Cubs||Cubs||Cubs||Cubs|
|AL WC vs Red Sox||Yankees||Red Sox||A’s||Red Sox|
|Astros vs Indians||Indians||Indians||Indians||Astros|
|NL WC vs Brewers||Cubs||Cubs||Brewers||Brewers|
|Dodgers vs Braves||Dodgers||Dodgers||Dodgers||Dodgers|
|AL Champion||Indians||Indians||Indians||Red Sox|
|World Series Champion||Indians||Indians||Indians||Dodgers|
|World Series MVP||Michael Brantley||Edwin Encarnacion||Corey Kluber||Justin Turner|
|Brennan Gorman||Dan Richards||Ben Palmer||Alex Drennan|
|AL Wild Card||A’s||Yankees||Yankees||Yankees|
|NL Wild Card||Cubs||Rockies||Rockies||Cubs|
|AL WC vs Red Sox||Red Sox||Yankees||Red Sox||Red Sox|
|Astros vs Indians||Astros||Indians||Indians||Indians|
|NL WC vs Brewers||Rockies||Rockies||Brewers||Brewers|
|Dodgers vs Braves||Dodgers||Dodgers||Dodgers||Braves|
|World Series Champion||Astros||Indians||Indians||Brewers|
|World Series MVP||Alex Bregman||Jose Ramirez||Jose Ramirez||Lorenzo Cain|
Now let’s hear from some writers, explaining their choices:
Why will the Red Sox win the World Series?
“The playoffs are inherently unpredictable, but I think having home field advantage throughout the postseason will give the Red Sox a slight edge in each of their series; they had the best home record in baseball this year, going 57-24 at Fenway. They’re undeniably baseball’s premier offensive club with an MLB-leading .340 team wOBA, and their defense and bullpen are a lot stronger than you might think as well. Boston’s relievers ranked ninth in baseball in ERA, and their defense had the fifth-best UZR and seventh-best fielding percentage in the majors. There are definite question marks regarding the health and effectiveness of Chris Sale and David Price. But Sale looked to be rounding into form during his last 92-pitch regular season tune-up, and Price has looked like one of the better pitchers in baseball whenever he’s faced teams not named the Yankees. Price’s struggles against New York may come into play in the ALDS, in what I’m imagining will be Boston’s biggest hurdle of the postseason. But I think in a five-game set the Red Sox can eke out a series win, especially since Porcello has dominated the Yankees this year to the tune of a .200 wOBA allowed and 2.31 ERA over 23.1 innings.” – Jonathan Metzelaar
Why will the Braves win the NL Pennant?
“The Atlanta Braves are entering the 2018 Postseason as underdogs, but don’t underestimate them! All year the story has been the youth movement; the success of Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies, and Mike Foltynewicz. The Braves have a dynamic offense that can hit a home run as easy as they can manufacture a smallball run. The rotation is not dominant, but Foltynewicz could matchup against most anyone in the majors, while Anibal Sanchez, Kevin Gausman, and even Julio Teheran have been very solid down the stretch. The bullpen is the biggest question mark, as AJ Minter, Dan Winkler, and Jesse Biddle have each stuttered a bit after a strong start to the season. At the end of the day, the Atlanta Braves have as good of an offense as any team in the National League. Their starters will give them enough a chance to outscore their opponents, especially when they get to the late innings. The Bravos lead Major League Baseball in batting average and runs scored after the seventh inning. The Braves could give us some stressful, dramatic games that we’ll talk about for years to come!”- Austin Bristow II
You’ve got the Cubs going to the NLCS, what makes you think they’ll make it there?
“The Cubs will be sending Jon Lester to the mound in the wildcard game. Lester has a 1.52 ERA in September, and has a sparkling record of success in the postseason. In 25 postseason starts, he has a 2.55 ERA. Once Lester and the dynamic Chicago offense advance to the NLCS, they’ll face a Brewers squad that is hot right now, but does not have the starting pitching depth to hold up over a seven-game series. I expect Chicago’s offense – lead by Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez, to get to Milwaukee’s rotation early and often, allowing them to advance to the NLCS once more”- Andy Patton
Why are the Dodgers going to win the NL Pennant?
“They have the experience because they’ve been there before. They have so much depth. They matchup well and have a lot of specialists on their bench. They have rotational depth and a mean 1-9. Kershaw, Buehler, Hill/Ryu is a nice 1/2/3. This team literally has a different lineup for righties and lefties too, so Dave Roberts has more options than any other manager.”- Alex Fast
Why are the Astros going all the way?
“The Astros have the deepest rotation top to bottom and the ability to ride three horses (Morton is a legitimate 1C) and use McCullers out of the pen where he excelled last fall is huge. The back end of their bullpen should be much sharper than last year’s, which was one of their bigger issues when stacking against the competition. They can now hang both offensively and run prevention wise with anyone in the field.”- Stephen Honovich
Why will the A’s get to the ALCS and eliminate two 100-win teams?
“Mostly because the alternative is picking the Yankees or Red Sox, and does anyone who’s been watching this game for more than a decade really want to see that again? That’s what I thought. Oh, you wanted actual analysis. For the wild card game, Oakland matches up well with New York. Their lineup may not boast as many household names or shiny new rookies, but the A’s were one of four teams in baseball to average at least five runs per game, just like the AL East juggernauts their postseason path will run through. They have a deep stable of right-handed relievers to tackle a Bombers lineup that leans heavily to that side of the plate. Beating Boston will be a tougher task for the obvious reason that it’s harder to win three games than one, and because the Sox are just a better overall team. But they’re also less imposing if Chris Sale isn’t 100 percent, they’re vulnerable in the middle innings, and they lost four of their six games against Oakland during the regular season. It won’t be easy, but the A’s have defied expectations all year.”- Kyle Bishop
Why are the Rockies going to win the NL pennant?
“With an offense as hot as anyone and a rotation that’s much better than most give them credit for, it’s not hard to imagine this team making a deep playoff run. First, they have to get past Jon Lester, who is pitching very well. That would be intimidating, but Colorado has the 3rd highest wOBA against lefties this season. After getting past the Cubs, They’ll get Tyler Anderson, Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, and Jon Gray over a four-game set and that rotation is easily better than the Brewers’ patchwork rotation, so it’s a question of which offense will prevail. I do think the magic will run out, but not before their mark is felt.”- Dave Cherman
Why will the Red Sox lose in the ALDS?
“I like [the Yankees] rotation better than the Sox. Sure, Chris Sale can out-duel anyone, but he’s just one guy. Their depth beyond that, specifically Porcello, Price, and Erod, is incredibly inconsistent start-to-start. I like Happ and Tanaka to maintain their poise as veterans in high leverage situations, and Severino has the ceiling of an ace. At full health, I think the lineups are about evenly matched, with the edge going to the Sox, but the Yankees bullpen is undoubtedly the best in baseball, and put them over the edge for me.”- Dan Richards
Ten of the Eighteen writers picked the Indians, why are they going to raise the trophy?
“Their rotation of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, and Mike Clevinger is made for the playoffs, creating options for starters to pitch in relief if needed. Their offense is as sturdy as any with two players expected to receive MVP nods in Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor. Their biggest weakness lies in a bullpen, yet the return of Andrew Miller and addition of Brad Hand will make them a formidable team in the late innings. It’s their year to make it happen.”- Nick Pollack
Why will the Brewers win the World Series?
“A combination of a well-rounded lineup, a strong bullpen, and catching fire at the right time. We’ve seen increased importance placed on the bullpen in recent years and the strong back-end of the Brewers pen will carry them through many close games. Yelich will continue to hit like an MVP (when he is pitched to) while players like Moustakas, Cain, and Braun will continue to produce around him. Schoop will finally find a groove after a disappointing 2018 and be a big part of their playoff run. While the starting rotation of the Brewers isn’t strong by any means, they continually bridge the gap to the excellent bullpen while giving the team a chance to win. (Also their defense is spectacular)”- Jeff Davis
A’s A’s A’s BABY!
10/18 writers picking the Indians to win the WS is crazy! I think they have close to as good of a chance as anyone, but that’s still only about 15%. They definitely feel underrated right now though.