The calendar has flipped to September, which means it’s time to get serious about MLB playoff races. A few divisions are already locked up, like the American League Central, which has been locked up since May. Others, like the National League West, are still a three-team race to the finish. A lot can happen between now and the end of September, but that won’t stop us from putting our MLB playoff predictions out there for the public to either agree or openly mock.
The team of @ArmchairMLB contributors making picks includes myself (@CoachNick_14), Jacob Bollinger (@ArmchairPirates), Ben Renner (AL West contributor/@BenRenner1), Jakob Lucas (@ArmchairOrioles), Matt Holloran (@ArmchairNationals) and James Creange from the Spurtability podcast (listen and subscribe here!).
First, let’s take a look at the current playoff pitcher, as of September 3rd.
American League Playoff Standings
AL East: Boston Red Sox (96-44)
AL Central: Cleveland Indians (78-60)
AL West: Houston Astros (86-53)
AL Wild Card: New York Yankees (87-52) and Oakland Athletics (83-57)
Still in the hunt: Seattle Mariners (5.5 GB) and Tampa Bay Rays (7 GB)
National League Playoff Standings
NL East: Atlanta Braves (76-62)
NL Central: Chicago Cubs (81-57)
NL West: Colorado Rockies (76-62), Los Angeles Dodgers (0.5 GB), Arizona Diamondbacks (1.5 GB)
NL Wildcard: Milwaukee Brewers (79-61) and St. Louis Cardinals (77-62)
Still in the hunt: Philadelphia Phillies (72-64, 3.5 GB of the wildcard, 3 out of NL East)
Armchair MLB Picks
|Wildcards||New York/Oakland||New York/Oakland||New York/Oakland|
|NL West||Los Angeles||Arizona||Arizona|
|Wildcards||Arizona/St. Louis||Los Angeles/St. Louis||Milwaukee/Colorado|
|World Series||Houston vs. Los Angeles||Boston vs. Arizona||Cleveland vs. Arizona|
|World Series Champion||Houston Astros||Boston Red Sox||Cleveland Indians|
|Wildcards||New York/Oakland||New York/Houston||New York/Oakland|
|NL Central||Chicago||St. Louis||Chicago|
|NL West||Los Angeles||Arizona||Los Angeles|
|Wildcards||Arizona/St. Louis||Chicago/Los Angeles||St. Louis/Arizona|
|World Series||Chicago vs. Boston||Oakland vs. Chicago||Boston vs. Chicago|
|World Series Champion||Boston Red Sox||Oakland Athletics||Boston Red Sox|
The biggest initial takeaway from these predictions is that none of us picked a National League team to win the 2018 World Series. Every team has questions surrounding some aspect of their roster; even the Boston Red Sox have to be concerned about the health of their starting rotation.
When it comes to the National League, very few expected the Braves to have this kind of success. How will their teenagers respond in high-pressure situations? Does Milwaukee have the pitching to take them the distance? Will the Dodgers be able to finish ball games? These NL teams are either extremely young, have no experience in the post-season, or have a history of falling apart when it counts (sorry, Dodgers).
All of these questions, plus more, will be answered over the final four weeks of the season. Until then, all we can do is sit back and enjoy September baseball. While I respect my colleagues and their picks, I think I’m heading over to MyBookie.ag and putting my money on the Houston Astros.
Who you got, baseball fans? Comment below with your World Series pick or head on over to @ArmchairMLB and let us know.
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