Playoff Crystal Ball
By Michael Jokinen 9/11/13
(I want to see Dodgers/Sox in the World Series! Give the people what they want!)
Is a Dodgers/Red Sox World Series matchup not only very possible, but also the most tantalizing? Recognizable stars, exciting prospects, and rich storylines. Two of the biggest markets and most classic franchises locking horns after having completed a mega-trade roughly a year ago. I’m sure Major League Baseball would like nothing more than for this dream matchup to play out in reality. And for many fans like myself, this would also be an awesome scenario. But will it really happen? Just how likely is that? Have a quick look at my Postseason Crystal Ball …
AL WILD CARD ROUND
Texas DEF Tampa Bay
Texas has been wildly inconsistent. They haven’t played well lately either, dropping eight of their last ten games. Even still, they boast the league’s fourth best run-differential, and ESPN’s Playoff Odd’s Calculator pegs them as having an 82.7% chance of making the playoffs. In my scenario, Texas fails to catch Oakland for the Western Division crown, but they’ll still qualify for the one-game Wild Card Playoff. Yu Darvish versus David Price could be a marvelous duel, but Texas has more offensive firepower so I’d give them the edge.
Detroit DEF Oakland
Boston DEF Texas
Detroit would comfortably handle Oakland because of their superior offense and the front-end of their rotation. The Tigers have the top flight starters that are deadly in a short series. The A’s have great pitching depth across the board, but this mode – one of deepness instead of potency – is better suited to a long season than a playoff series.
Detroit DEF Boston
Tough call here. I’ll go with Detroit because Scherzer/Verlander/Sanchez/Fister is more fearsome than Buchholz/Lester/Lackey/Peavy.
NL WILD CARD ROUND
Cincinnati DEF Pittsburgh
Too little and too late from the Nationals, both Wild Cards in the N.L. will come out of the Central. Pittsburgh is the feel-good story of the year, but Cincinnati is simply a better team. Their run-differential is more than 50 runs better than Pittsburgh. Their rotation has both punch and depth, and they’ll be as tough an out as any in the N.L.
Los Angeles DEF St. Louis
Cincinnati DEF Atlanta
It’s scary how good Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke have been since the All-Star break. It’s scary how good the Dodgers have been, and we all remember how they ripped off that historic 42-8 run. They may have cooled since, but they’re still 21-9 in their last 30 games; the Nationals are the only other team right now that has won 20 or more of their last 30 games. The Dodgers have the most talent on paper and they’re peaking at the right time. Look out baseball.
Los Angeles DEF Cincinnati
I repeat, the Dodgers have the most talent on paper and they’re peaking at the right time.
Los Angeles DEF Detroit
Even if Red Sox/Dodgers doesn’t pan out, this would still be a sensational matchup. Both lineups are awesome. Both rotations are awesome. I could see it going either way, and the American League does have home-field advantage. In the end, I have to lean towards the Dodgers. Not only have the Dodgers been playing great lately, but the Tigers have been trending down. The splendor of Kershaw/Greinke would just be too much to overcome. The Dodgers also have some good OF/DH types, with or without Matt Kemp, which would help them field a good DH when World Series games are played in Detroit. These teams have many of the same strengths, I just think the Dodgers a little better and a little hotter.