Mike’d Up: Postseason predictions

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With just one series to go for each team, it’s time to predict the 2020 MLB postseason. I am basing this off the bracket if the season ended on Sept. 24 so there’s a good chance I will be wildly wrong on this one. Alas, it’s going to be a fun experiment.  

American League Wild Card Round: 

No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays 

Tampa Bay Rays’ Willy Adames hits a hits an RBI single during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

I think this one is fairly cut and dry. The Tampa Bay Rays are going to be taking this three-game set with ease. As a team, the Rays pitching staff has an ERA a full run better than the Blue Jays and the two offenses are nearly identical in run production. The Rays also went 6-4 in matchups with the Blue Jays this season. Rays in two. 

No. 2 Oakland Athletics vs No. 7 Cleveland Indians 

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Zach Plesac delivers in the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

This series comes down to pitching, and the Indians have it. I just do not trust the Athletics young pitchers in a short playoff series. Neither team is particularly strong offensively, but the Indians do have potential AL MVP Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor. The Athletics do not have a single starter hitting over .250 this season. Indians in three.  

No. 3 Minnesota Twins vs. No. 6 Houston Astros 

Minnesota Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to a Detroit Tigers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Offensively, these two teams are incredibly similar, but it’s Minnesota’s pitching for me. They have the third-best team ERA in baseball with potentially the most dangerous three-headed monster in a short series. Give me Kenta Maeda and Jose Berrios, and I’ll take it every single time. Twins in two. 

No. 4 Chicago White Sox vs. No. 5 New York Yankees 

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

This one is easily the closest for me, but I am going to take the White Sox here. I can’t bet against a top-6 offense and top-4 rotation. The Yankees are going to be tough to beat, especially on their hot streak as of late, but I trust Lucas Giolito and Jose Abreu to get the job done. White Sox in three. 

National League Wild Card Round: 

No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. No. 8 Cincinnati Reds 

Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Julio Urias throws to an Oakland Athletics batter during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Dodgers in two. They are the best team in baseball and it’s not close. 

No. 2 Atlanta Braves vs. No. 7 San Francisco Giants 

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried works against the Miami Marlins in the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

This one is easy. Atlanta is going to curb stomp the Giants. The Giants are pretty unimpressive. I’d say the only whole on the Braves is their rotation, which has been decimated by injuries. They have the best offense in baseball and the Giants 4.66 team ERA isn’t going to be able to stop them. Braves in two. 

No. 3 Chicago Cubs vs. No. 6 Miami Marlins 

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Marlins are very interesting here. Their young rotation has great potential simply because Sixto Sanchez, Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Sanchez shove. I still don’t really believe in them, though, so I am going to take the Cubs here. Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks and playoff Jon Lester are too enticing for me to pick the young guns. Cubs in three. 

No. 4 San Diego Padres vs. No. 5 St. Louis Cardinals 

San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. throws to first too late as Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Rengifo arrives safely for a single during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The only reason the Cardinals could win this series is if Jack Flaherty pitched every game, and he hasn’t even been that great this season. Slam Diego is heading to the NLDS – book it. Padres in two. 

American League Division Series: 

No 1. Tampa Bay Rays vs. No. 4 Chicago White Sox 

Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu watches his ball after hitting a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Cleveland. Yoan Moncada scored on the play. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

I am going to go out on a limb and say this series will be determined by the long ball, which the Rays are susceptible to. The White Sox have hit the third most home runs in the majors at the time of writing this. I am putting my full faith in Giolito in a Game 5 situation. White Sox in five. 

No. 3 Minnesota Twins vs. No. 7 Cleveland Indians 

Minnesota Twins’ Jorge Polanco, right, is greeted by Ryan Jeffers after Polanco scored on a single by Marwin Gonzalez off Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize during the third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

This is one of the few match-ups where we have actual data from the two teams playing each other this season, and it doesn’t look good for the Indians. The Twins went 7-3 in their 10 match-ups this year. I’ll take the Twins in four. 

National League Division Series: 

No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. No. 4 San Diego Padres 

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Mike Clevinger works against a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

If the Padres just lost Mike Clevinger, this could be a really bad match-up for them. However, it seems as though he has avoided serious injury, according to Robert Murray. This is going to be the most anticipated series of the entire playoffs. I am going to be optimistic and say Padres in five, but I honestly have no clue here. 

No. 2 Atlanta Braves vs. No. 3 Chicago Cubs 

Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr., strikes out in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Atlanta Braves have a meh pitching staff, but it just so happens that the Cubs are not good on offense. The Braves have the best offense in baseball, and I am going to ride them here. Braves in three.  

American League Championship Series: 

No. 3 Minnesota Twins vs. No. 4 Chicago White Sox 

Chicago White Sox’s Yoan Moncada slides to get a ball hit by Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Cleveland. Santana was safe for a double. The Indians won 3-2. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Not only are these two really fun teams, they were also dead even this year – splitting the season series 5-5. The White Sox do have a better offense, but I like the Twins pitching just a little bit more. This is another toss-up but give me seven games of playoff Keuchel leading these boys to a World Series. White Sox in seven.  

National League Championship Series: 

No. 2 Atlanta Braves vs. No. 4 San Diego Padres 

Atlanta Braves’ starting pitcher Bryse Wilson delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The NLCS is where the Slam Diego train has to stop to re-fuel. Unfortunately, I don’t think the extra coal chilling in their coal-car will be enough. The hype train is going to run out of steam in the form of Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna. I’m taking the Braves in five. 

World Series: 

No. 2 Atlanta Braves vs. No. 4 Chicago White Sox 

Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson swings into an RBI-double off Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Taylor Rogers during the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Chicago. Luis Robert scored on the play. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

This is it, for all the marbles and the satin pouch you took them to recess in. A shortened season ends with a bang. The Chicago White Sox outlast a pitching-deprived Atlanta Braves team in six games – taking a championship to the south side of Chicago. Tim Anderson is going to bat flip his way to the World Series MVP and Giolito will get his chance to forever stamp is name down in history.  

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