MLB playoff predictions

MLB playoff predictions

Anthony Sosa, Assistant Sports Editor

Thirty teams entered the 2015 MLB season with one goal: win the World Series. As we enter the postseason, only eight teams remain.

The MLB playoffs began Oct. 6 with the American League Wildcard game. The Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees to advance to the American League Division Series. On Oct. 7, the Chicago Cubs shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates to advance to the National League Division Series.

The division series began Oct. 8, but who will ultimately hoist that shining World Series trophy above their heads at the end of the season?

ALDS: (5) Houston Astros vs. (1) Kansas City Royals

Give Houston credit. Almost everyone expected another losing season from this ball club, but it proved ready to start winning now. A star-studded rotation guides the team, and with the powerful bats of George Springer and Carlos Correa, the Astros have a chance this postseason, and postseasons for the next decade.

The Royals were in the Astros place last year. This season they were the most consistent AL team. The team’s lineup is full of scrappy, hard-working ballplayers such as Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas. This team just finds ways to win games. Oh, and let’s not forget about Wade Davis, the most dominant reliever in baseball since Mariano Rivera.

Who Wins?

The Royals. While the Royals aren’t neccessarily a better team, experience plays a big factor.

ALDS: (3) Texas Rangers vs. (2) Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are arguably the hottest team in baseball since the All-Star break. Trade deadline acquisitions David Price and Troy Tulowitzki continue to succeed. Josh Donaldson looks to win a World Series ring along with a probable AL MVP award.

It took Texas 162 games to win the AL West, but it’s enough to gain momentum going into this slugfest of a series. The biggest question is whether Cole Hamels can repeat his postseason success on the mound.

Who Wins?

The Blue Jays. Josh Donaldson carried the team for seven months, and he’s the key factor in this series.   He, along with fellow sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista pack too big a punch for the Texas Rangers.

NLDS: (5) Chicago Cubs vs. (1) St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago already knocked off one division rival and now play another—the only team to win 100 games in the regular season. It’ll be a tough battle, but Jake Arrieta and the Cubs look more than ready for the challenge.

The Cardinals toughed out a season full of injuries, including ace Adam Wainwright, yet they still got 100 wins. Wainwright returned to the bullpen, and the Cardinals’ experience is incredible. They haven’t missed the playoffs since 2010.

Who Wins?

The Cubs. Yes, the Cardinals are favored, but something about this Cubs team is just ineffable.

NLDS: (3) New York Mets vs. (2) L.A. Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw and Zach Grienke are two CY Young contenders for the NL, and they could easily lead the Dodgers to a World Series victory. It’s LA’s offense that remains the biggest question mark.

The Mets’ offense is questionable as well, though their young pitching staff is incredible. Matt Harvey, Jacob Degrom and Noah Synderrgard are a future three-headed monster striking fear in all opponents.

Who Wins?

The Mets. I’m not convinced this is the year Kershaw finally becomes a postseason ace. The Mets young guns push the team into the NLCS.

NLCS: (5) Cubs vs. (3) Mets

Who Wins?

The Cubs. It’s been 107 years since they last won a World Series. The Mets won’t be able to keep up with the high-powered Cubs’ offense.

ALCS: (2) Blue Jays vs. (1) Royals

Who Wins?

The Blue Jays. The team’s offense is ready to explode. The Royals weak pitching staff won’t be able to contain that top tier offense. The entire country of Canada will rejoice as it returns to the World Series for the first time in nearly two decades.

World Series: Cubs vs. Blue Jays

Who Wins?

The Cubs. Yes, the Cubs. Finally, the longest championship drought in professional sports ends in 2015. Chicago’s young team turns from one with vast potential into a champion almost overnight. Rookie infielders Addison Russell and outfielder Kyle Schwarber carry the offense, and Jake Arrieta carries the rotation, following in the footsteps of Bay Area star Madison Bumgarner, as he becomes the 2015 World Series MVP in the process.