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MLB Playoffs Preview and Picks

AL Wild Card Game

Houston Astros @ New York Yankees

Astros Yankees

It is hard to go against Dallas Keuchel, but the Houston Astros are very young and the New York Yankees are a veteran team that has been here before and won’t let the moment get to them. If this were in Houston the Astros would be the pick because his splits are crazy. Keuchel is 15-0 with a 1.46 ERA at home but only 5-8 with a 3.77 ERA on the road.

Prediction: New York Yankees

NL Wild Card Game

Chicago Cubs @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Cubs Pirates

No pitcher in baseball history has had a better second half than Jake Arrieta. Since he was sitting at home watching the All-Star game on television Arrieta has gone 12-1 with a 0.75 ERA. Over his last nine starts he has only allowed two runs. Gerrit Cole is a good pitcher and the Pirates have some stars in their lineup but it is impossible to pick against Arrieta right now.

Prediction: Chicago Cubs

AL Divisional Series

Texas Rangers @ Toronto Blue Jays

Rangers Blue Jays

This series is going to be closer than you think. The Blue Jays have a very deep and powerful lineup with Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista in there. But their pitching is good but not great. That is the same way Texas is build. Prince Fielders, Adrian Beltre, Mitch Morland and Shin-Soo Choo make up a powerful and deep lineup, but pitching wise the Rangers have Colby Lewis, Yovani Gallardo and not much else. Another underrated stat, that actually points in the direction of the Rangers pulling the upset is that they are 27-22 in one-run games, Toronto is only 15-28. It’s a surprise but there has to be a big upset somewhere.

Prediction: Texas Rangers

New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals

Yankees Royals

It’s really hard to pick against the Kansas City Royals after all of the success they had last year despite not having tremendous power but they proved they were legit after finishing with the best record in the American League this year. The core group still remains and they go seem a bit more powerful too. The problem is, their pitching is not as good. Their bullpen is still great but they don’t have an innings eater like James Shields this year. Johnny Cueto has really struggled since they traded for him so it has really been Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura leading the way. The Yankees are one of the most dangerous teams in the first two innings as it is and that might be the big difference in this series. It’s not a comfortable pick but it’s hard to rely on the Royals starting pitching like we could last year.

Prediction: New York Yankees

NL Divisional Series

New York Mets @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Mets Dodgers

The Mets have won because of their great pitching, lead by Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, but against the Dodgers they don’t have the two best pitchers. Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are the best one-two-punch in baseball and the Dodgers have a better lineup. The Mets are too inconsistent hitting to buy into them yet.

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers

Chicago Cubs @ St. Louis Cardinals

Cubs Cardinals

The Cardinals are a dynasty and won 100 games this year. the Cubs are the upstart, in the playoffs probably a year before anybody expected them to get there. The Cubs have a ton of talent but will they show up in the postseason? They certainly have pitching behind Jake Arrieta to let the rotation handle not having him at the start of this series and honestly, if the Cardinals do have a weakness it is their rotation. Still, the Cubs are great but might not be ready for the big time yet.

Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals

AL Championship Series

New York Yankees @ Texas Rangers

Yankees Rangers

The Rangers have made moves over the past year that have gone under the radar but have done everything they have wanted them to do. Yovani Gallardo has given the Rangers and innings eater behind Colby Lewis. Those two guys at the top of the rotation are not overly special but get the job done and will be 50-percent of the team’s rotation in the playoffs. bringing Josh Hamilton in hasn’t exactly given them a huge bat, but it has re-invigorated the team. With Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, Mitch Mortland and Shin-Shoo Choo in the middle of that lineup the Rangers have hitting to win. And so do the Yankees with Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez leading the way even at their ages. But to go with that power they have some speed in Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. It’s a great combination but we have to see how their pitching will hold up with CC Sabathia making the honorable decision to check into rehab and not pitch in the playoffs. That could motivate the Yankees to win but it seems like Masahiro Tanaka and everybody else, at least until that bullpen hits, where Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances completely shut teams down. That is a scary duo. But can they get there against the Rangers? That might be tough.

Prediction: New York Yankees

NL Championship Series

Los Angeles Dodgers @ St. Louis Cardinals

Dodgers Cardinals

Anything less than a trip to the World Series for either teams would be a disappointment and for good reason, both of these ball clubs have a ton of talent. No team in baseball has a better rockstar duo of pitchers than the Dodgers have with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw and pitching goes a long way in the playoffs. The Cardinals don’t have that great 1-2 punch but they do have a deeper rotation with John Lackey, Carlos Martinez, Lance Lynn and Michael Wacha, they don’t have a weakness. And that is going to be the difference. The Dodgers have a great lineup, but their guys can be hot and cold at time. The Cardinals are just a steady, all-around solid team. That is why they won 100 games and that is why they are advancing to the World Series.

Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals

World Series

St. Louis Cardinals @ Texas Rangers

Rangers cardinals

Texas is going to surprise a few teams but you really shouldn’t be surprised because Prince Fielder is one of the best players in baseball capable of carrying a team this far. But the St. Louis Cardinals are very tough. They have to be, they won 100 games for a season. The Cardinals get the edge because they are the most complete team in baseball. Their rotation has no holes, their bullpen is rock solid and reliable and their lineup has power, speed and can hit for average. It might be a boring pick but they should be the favorite.

World Series Champions

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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