By: Chandler Ragsdale
With the playoffs now in full swing and the ALDS and NLDS being set, here are my predictions for how all 4 of the 2016 Division Series will shape out.
NLDS – Dodgers vs. Nationals
Prediction: Nats over Dodgers 3-1
The Washington Nationals have lived up to their hype in the regular season once again, but the elephant in the room is, can this team do anything in the postseason? My answer this year is yes. With Kershaw on the bump first, I’ll give the Dodgers a slight nod in game 1. After that, however, I see nothing but curly W’s for the Nats. Rich Hill was a great pickup by LA yes, but Strasburg now has enough experience under his belt to do some damage. The Nats Bats (good name, I know) also are looking pretty good. Bryce Harper will continue to be himself, and I just don’t see the Dodgers lineup challenging that of Washington.
NLDS – Giants vs. Cubs
Prediction: Cubs over Giants 3-1
Yes, I know 3-1 seems like my go to prediction, but this once again seems to be the case with this series. The Cubs are flat out the best team in baseball right now, no question. The question here is will they be able to sustain that through the postseason and be the team everyone thinks they are. The Cubs have a slight to pretty nice advantage pitching, and are very far ahead of the Giants hitting wise. The reason I give the Giants a win here is because I believe Madison Bumgarner can potentially start a game 3 in San Fran. If so, I see him getting a win for his team, but no other pitcher the Giants have can be that dominating to beat the Cubs.
ALDS – Red Sox vs. Indians
Prediction: Red Sox over Indians 3-2
This is the one I’ve been waiting for! I’m loving how my Sox look this year and truly believe that they are the most dangerous team in the AL. With the lineup they have, they are poised to score 7-10 runs in any game. Also, with the Indians not having Danny Salazar at all in this series, I don’t see the Indians pitching staff holding up against this Boston lineup the whole series. Boston’s pitching isn’t great, but they can pitch well enough to win with this offense. I see a split in the first two games in Cleveland, then a split in Boston, then the Sox moving on in game 5 behind a very potent lineup.
ALDS – Blue Jays vs. Rangers
Prediction: Rangers over Blue Jays 3-2
Boy will this be a fun series. Hot heads are said to have cooled down based off of both teams’ comments, but I’m not sure how much I believe that. This will be a flat out dog fight all 5 games. The Rangers are more experienced this year and made some great pickups in July with Lucroy and Beltran. Also, don’t think they’ve forgotten about last year. The Jays are probably going to have some momentum and swagger back after beating the O’s in the wild card game, but this Texas team looks really good. Two evenly matched teams, I believe it will just come down to who wants it more, and as of right now, it looks like the Rangers do.