Thursday, October 18, 2018

Playoffs Day 6: Clinching Positions


Lemme tell you, this Brewers-Dodgers matchup has been entertaining as hell. Any team could take it, and both teams have been playing beautifully. However, last night it was the Dodgers that got the upper hand, under a MASTERFUL Clayton Kershaw performance, and some great base running and RBI singles from the core of the lineup (even the guys that haven't been hitting too well, like Muncy and Puig). If the Dodgers win tomorrow night in Milwaukee, it's over, and LA advances to its second consecutive World Series. Which would be cool. But I'm not counting the Brewers out yet, especially in their home city.

Meanwhile, in Houston...the Red Sox' lineup came alive yet again, regardless of a home run that the Houston fans really wanted to happen. It's the same guys, too- Bogaerts, Bradley, Martinez and Betts have been on fire recently, and even the bit bench players like Steve Pearce, Brock Holt, and Christian Vazquez have been getting some good time in there. The Astros came into this series hot as hell, and they have been looking more human than they have all season, and are in position to lose a fourth time in their home city tonight. They NEED a powerful performance to stay alive, or else the Sox will waltz to their second World Series this decade.

Tonight. Showdown in Houston. Will we get our first World Series candidate? (I hope not).

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

CS' Day 5: Walkoffs and Blowouts


Look, this Brewers-Dodgers series may go down to the wire. Both teams are incredible this year, and both teams want this World Series spot BADLY. And last night, where they stretched a 1-1 tie out 13 innings, was the proof. Because both teams, regardless of pitching, or lineup efficiency, are just that good. And it took Cody Bellinger nailing a much-needed RBI single in the 13th to seal it for LA.

As we continue tonight, this series is still tied at 2, and now things are really going to heat up. If somebody wins two straight, they're in. They're moving on. But...is this the kind of series where the Brewers or Dodgers can allow the other team to win 2 straight?

In a similarly-cutthroat series, the Astros learned the drawbacks of starting Dallas Keuchel in the postseason this year, as the Red Sox lineup, including Steve Pearce, J.D. Martinez and Jackie Bradley Jr., proceeded to stomp the crap out of him, and ended the game with an 8-2 win. In Houston. Now they have won two straight, and tonight they could win a third, especially with Rick Porcello facing off against Charlie Morton, a great starter but fourth man for a reason.

I still want the Astros to come back, and I believe they can, but if the Sox' offense is gonna do this every time, it truly scares me.

Tonight, more from both series.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Playoffs After 4 Days


Not that anything going on this season was particularly likely, but who'd have thought that Jhoulys Chacin, a guy who was bopping around in the minors a few years ago, would become such a hero for the Brewers this year, and take down some of the more overbearing pitchers for the Dodgers? Last night, he pitched a gem, with six strikeouts, only 3 hits, and no earned runs. It also helped that the still-hot lineup, filled with insane performances by Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich, Travis Shaw and Orlando Arcia, were able to cement the victory over what's become an increasingly unpredictable Dodgers team.

They're up 2-1 in LA, and I hope they can keep it up.

Meanwhile...

This guy cemented his MVP case by having a phenomenal day in Boston, hitting off of even the toughest of Gerrit Cole performances. The lineup came alive under David Price, and the bullpen that'd previously felt imperfect kept a steady ship. With the series tied 1-1, and the Houston crowd about to get a taste of the action, it's still uncertain which way this series is going to go, as both teams are fantastic and could easily notch a win.

I mean...we all know which way I'd LIKE this series to go, but...besides that, it's still pretty open.

Both series' continue tonight. The plot will continue to thicken.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

NLCS Game 1: 1982 Reigns


In a battle between two teams who could easily win this series, the edge went to the one who hadn't been to a World Series in over 35 years. And one of the heroes was a guy who'd been off most people's radars since he juiced.

This Brewers team is, after all, a group of unconventional heroes. The win was awarded to Brandon Woodruff, who relieved Gio Gonzalez after two innings, and went on to hit a home run off of the toughest pitcher in baseball. Runs were scored by Braun, Domingo Santana and Hernan Perez, neither of which were starting a majority of games by the end of the season. And, of course, Jesus Aguilar hit one of his trademark bombs to give the Brewers a 6-1 lead, which, even with some rallying by LA, could not be outdone.

I already am enjoying this series, solely because of how unpredictable it is, and how up in the air it's going to be. Either team could win, and while it'd be fantastic to see Milwaukee in a World Series again, I'll be fine with whoever takes it.

Tonight, another matchup from these three, and a trip to Houston for some AL action.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Stars are Out: Best of the Rest


On this rare, baseball-less day of October, I figured I'd roll out the remaining Stars are Out customs I've had in my folder. Most of these are fairly recent, too, with a few coming from playoff games.

We'll start with Ralph Lauren. Because...I mean, one of the most well-known clothing manufacturers in the world wearing a Yankee jersey is a rare enough sight as it is.

I'm gonna...curb a lot of my comments here. I mean, on one hand...yeah, it's cute that he and North came out to Guaranteed Rate Field and threw out a first pitch. But...on the other hand...okay, I'll do the criticism that'll piss the fewest amount of people off- dude hasn't put out a good album since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Fill in the blanks yourselves.

...Okay, one more. The hell kind of iPhone passcode is '000000'? I mean, really? You of ALL PEOPLE should know about keeping your shit protected.

Okay, I'm done. I'm done. Onto someone a little happier.

...Alright, I'll say the other side of Chicago got the win here. Kevin Hart's in the apex of his career, he's making a ton of hit movies, and making people laugh everywhere. But...anyone notice that he does First Pitches in Chicago a lot...and he's FROM Philly? Like, isn't that a little rude to the Phils? We'd love to have him throw one out.

Speaking of comedians, Sebastian Maniscalco may be one of the best working standups out there right now, and I'm glad he's beginning to get more recognition. And, like a lot of comics out there for some reason, he's a Mets fan, so he got to throw one out at Citifield.

Moving into the category of 'other sports stars', here's yet another Chicago first pitch, this one from Jabari Parker of the Chicago Bulls, looking confident out there.

...and here is noted Coyotes hero Oliver Ekman Larsson, complete with 'Captain' logo adorned on his D-Backs jersey, hauling one over the plate in Phoenix.

And to top that, in Phoenix..

...uh, yeah, how about one of the greatest swimmers of all time? Big, tall, lanky dude Michael Phelps, in all his gold-medal-winning glory, getting his first pitch in. That's pretty cool.

Finally, a couple of MLB stars to play us out. Hisashi Iwakuma retired earlier this year, and was a Mariners hero for a few years, playing second banana to Felix Hernandez a lot, but getting an All Star nod, and throwing strikes a ton.

Gotta end on Bobby Cox, though. One of the most legendary managers in Atlanta history, commandeering those classic 90s teams, and a respected team leader all those years. He's also a Hall of Famer now, which is well-deserved.

So, unless we get some more in the playoffs, that'll be the last of the Stars are Out issues for this season. I think we had a good run.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Heartbreak City


I kind of wanted to title this post 'Angel Hernandez can go lick a dingus', but I feel as though that would have come off as juvenile and crass. So this is what we've got.

So...that was a tough loss.

Not only was that a loss against a Red Sox team we should have prepared better for, but it was against a Red Sox team that played dirty. This Sox team brought it every single game, even when we didn't. They had the pitching, they had the bench support, they worked when the lineup was shuffled, and they didn't crack after Game 2. This team only has one subpar variable, and it's David Price. The Yankees have far more of those.

To be honest, this was bound to happen. It was just a matter of momentum, and the Yankees couldn't hold onto theirs. And while this is a sad ending to a great season, it's still one that makes sense.

I'm still proud of this Yankees team. I'm still happy they came as far as they did, and I'm excited to see how they bounce back in 2019.

As for the winners...

...I hope the Astros do to you what you just did to my Yankees.

I think I said earlier this year, 'oh, the Yanks-Sox matchup has never been this fun, this likable all around'. I rescind that. This one was bloodthirsty to the end, and the Sox were far from great sports about it. And they're going up against a team that, in my eyes, could get back to the World Series. So they're gonna need to really push for this one.

Obviously y'all know where my rooting interest lies on the ALCS. Especially after this series.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Playoffs Day 5: Finalization and Infuriation


So...I predicted that the Astros would take down the Indians this week, but I wasn't exactly expecting a rout. And I certainly didn't think it'd be a three-game sweep where the Indians would only be held to a couple runs. It honestly just proves the dangerousness of this Astros team, who, even with some lineup shuffling and with Dallas Keuchel starting, still managed to pull away. They're getting home field advantage, and waiting for an ALCS matchup with whoever wins the AL East battle.

I do feel bad for this guy, and this Indians team, as they've gotten so close to winning a World Series as of late, and have had shitty mistakes keep them from greatness. It's sad to see them get so close only for them to break hearts, but I do think they'll still be around to chase a pennant next year, and I do still think that core of the lineup, and that rotation, still has a ton of promise.

...Now, normally when this guy appears in the postseason, I get very frightened, maybe take out a little wooden cross or something. But now that David Freese is playing for a team that isn't the Cardinals, and that he's doing pretty well, he's beginning to grow on me. It also helps that this Dodgers team has been so consistently sharp this postseason, nudging the Braves out even after their Game 3. I'll be looking forward to how they match up against Milwaukee in the NLCS.

Meanwhile, these guys had an unlucky go at the playoffs yet again, despite some fantastic regular season work from all parts. I honestly don't think they're out of it yet, and that they really just needed to solidify some things in order to become a truly great team. They may be back, which...may be infuriating for Philly fans.

Meanwhile...since I don't have a Holt made up, I'll post Nunez, but...dear god, that game was depressing to watch. They just kept hammering at the poor Yankee pitching staff. It just got worse and worse, and they just kept finding holes in the Yankee defense. I turned it off at about the 6th inning. There's no doubt that this is a terrific team (now), but I just wish the Yankees put up a bit more of a fight against them tonight. The first two games were kinda close, and I miss that.

We've got a game tonight at home. I really, really hope this one goes well. It's our last chance to prove that we belong in the postseason, and I'd really like to prove something positive.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Playoffs Day 4 Update: Morning and Mourning

Since I'm a fool and didn't make a Gary Sanchez custom, I'll instead showcase this guy, who I'd never thought I'd see in a Yankee uniform, but has been doing pretty alright in the leadoff spot. Cutch, along with Voit and Sanchez, made things pretty difficult for David Price, and tied their series with the Red Sox Saturday night. Tonight, they're home, and go against Nate Eovaldi with some recharged momentum.

Meanwhile, how about THIS GUY having a career day? Yes, he's been hit-miss in the playoffs so far, but this is 2018 Gerrit Cole. He had 12 strikeouts against the Indians, some amazing firepower, and zero walks. His stuff was more than enough to secure a 2-0 lead over Cleveland, heading to Progressive Field.

And speaking of record-breakers, this guy became the youngest player ever with a postseason grand slam, edging out Mickey Mantle. This Game 3 was proof that the Braves aren't lying down just yet, and are willing to keep LA at bay, despite their power. Tonight's Game 4 will be even bigger considering this win.

And this guy, after a disappointing statistical year, had an impressive knock last night, along with Keon Broxton, to seal their series win over Colorado. The Brewers have been on fire as of late, and deserve the heck out of an NLCS entry. It'll be fun to see them compete for their first World Series in over 35 years.

And sadly, that means we have to eulogize this Rockies team, who were a ton of fun, and outdid the odds several times this year, even in a Wild Card game with postseason giants like the Cubs. This team had so many little players, like Tony Wolters, who could squeeze through and make something great. They'll hopefully retain more than enough of this team to build on it. 

Tonight, we get a Game 4, a crucial Game 3, and an anyone-can-take-the-lead Game 3. Fun stuff ahead. 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Playoffs Day 2 in Review


This guy, along with some scary stuff from Alex Bregman and the heavy hitters, put the 'Stros up 1-0 against Cleveland, in a game that began with dueling no-nos from Kluber and Verlander.

This guy had an RBI double that got the bandwagon rolling for the Brewers, culminating in a 4-0 win over Colorado, and a 2-0 lead going into Coors Field. The Brewers are in a great place right now, and could claim a victory within the next two games. They'll just need to be careful to not let the Rockies' lineup come alive in their home stadium.

This guy, with some major performance from Chris Sale, kept the Yankees at bay, despite great work from Luke Voit, and cemented a 1-0 lead at home.

And this guy, as per usual this postseason, was on fire, crossing home thanks to a Machado homer, and keeping the Braves scoreless against the homers of LA, giving THEM a 2-0 record going into Atlanta. One more great win by the Dodgers and they're in the NLCS, which would be pretty cool for them, considering what it took for them to get good this season.

Tonight, more AL shenanigans.

Friday, October 5, 2018

A Hanger-Box of 2018 Topps Heritage High Number

We're in dead playoff heat, and to celebrate, here's a hanger box of an update set that itself needs an update set, Topps High Number. I'm praying that Topps Update won't have the same early production cutoff issues as this set did.

So, we'll do this: I'm still gonna be counting outdated cards, players who've been traded since the product was designed, but I'm gonna see how that total relates to the number of players who are CURRENTLY in playoff action. If they're not on their team's roster, or if they played for a team that lost the Wild Card game, I'm not counting them. Let's see which number wins.

671- Carlos Gomez. These next few are dupes.
569- Greg Holland. Outdated Update #1- ended the year in Washington.
572- Tyler Skaggs
687- Roberto Perez. Playoff Contender #1- the backup catcher is indeed on the Indians' playoff roster.
587- Brandon McCarthy. Not on the Braves' playoff roster, due to his impending retirement.
680- Cheslor Cuthbert
592- Yairo Munoz. The rest of this box are all needs for me.
565- Dan Otero. Playoff Contender #2, as he's definitely a needed presence in the Indians' pen.
697- Brad Boxberger. Heck of a comeback year.
594- Harrison Musgrave. Playoff Contender #3, a must-have on the Rockies' pen.
681- Kelby Tomlinson
621- Ross Stripling. Playoff Contender #4, definitely starting soon for LA.
626- Rajai Davis. Uhhmmm...he's not confirmed for the Indians' playoff 25-man as I write this, so I'll chalk this up to a 'no', but...it might end up happening.
614- Will Smith. If his Players Weekend nickname wasn't 'Fresh Prince'...
628- Cameron Maybin. Outdated Update #2, ended the year in Seattle.
677- Jacob Nottingham. Didn't make Milwaukee's.
Rookie Performers of RHYS HOSKINS. ALL RIGHT!!
713- Matt Kemp SHORT PRINT. And Playoff Contender #5, as he'll definitely be playing for the Dodgers this October, along with...
Award Winners of Cody Bellinger, Playoff Contender #6
685- Eric Lauer
669- AJ Minter, Playoff Contender #7, as he's been closing for Atlanta
637- Joe Jimenez
513- Jaime Garcia. Outdated Update #3, finished in Chicago
602- CESAR HERNANDEZ. Philly hero.
511- Scott Kingery, another fun Phillie this year.
624- Nick Ahmed
665- CHASE UTLEY. A fitting (probably) final issue for Chut, who is, yes, Playoff Contender #8.
698- Merandy Gonzalez
542- Marco Gonzales
562- Joe Kelly. Another guy that's not exactly confirmed yet for the Sox' pen, though...it's pretty likely.
631- Robert Gsellman.
556- Mike Fiers...Outdated Update #4, pictured as a Tiger, finished in Oakland. Would have been Contender #9 had I written this before the WC games.
683- Andrew Cashner
696- Tyler Austin. Outdated Update #5, now on the Twins.
555- Matt Moore

Playoff Contenders win 8 to 5, which is nice. Got some nice stuff in here, even though I only pulled one Yankee.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

NLDS' Preview: The Games Truly Begin



These two are already getting things underway in Milwaukee, with a Brewers lead as I write this, thanks to Christian, but Colorado, Nolan Arenado, and Antonio Senzatela's pitching won't be counted out. Hoping for a smooth, enjoyable series between these two.

As for the other matchup...


Folty, a guy who was once deemed too wild to pitch for Houston, and Ryu, a guy who was barely cut from the Dodgers' roster prior to this season, will face off in LA. Either of these two could win, and both have gotten some nice momentum as of late, but only one will.

Hope to see some fantastic playoff baseball from these four teams.

AL Wild Card: Inevitability


I was thinking the game would end in a Yankees win, but I'd hoped it would be closer than that.

I dunno, something about this bullpen brought out the best in the Yankee bats, with Judge and Stanton going yard, and RBIs from Hicks and Voit, making it a deserved win for one of the best hitting teams of the year. And I'm also pretty happy with Luke Voit for going from a no-name St. Louis farmhand to the starting first baseman of a playoff Yankee team. Hats off to him.

The Yanks will need to prepare for this Red Sox series, but they seem to have the momentum, and they seem to have a knack for penetrating shoddy bullpens, so it could go pretty well.

As for the losing squad...

I'll be honest, I really liked this A's team. I thought their shoestring-budget approach and minimalistic way of putting a team together was pretty nice, and the way they scooped up players past the deadline was insanely crafty. This was a team that could have been fun in October, but...either way, with the strength of competition, may not have lasted too long.

I really hope they can keep the basis of this squad together and make another run next year, because there was something refreshingly fun about these guys.

TONIGHT: NL BATTLES.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

AL Wild Card Preview: It Surely Can't be This Easy


On paper, this is a 'no contest' sort of thing: the 100-win Yankees, a team that set the record for home runs, against the cinderella A's. However, I do think the A's have every right to be here, and I predict this one could go into extras, and be even more of a stalemate than the Cubs-Rockies game. Having witnessed a Yankees-A's matchup earlier this year...one that went into extras and became more of a pitching battle than anything, I know how tough this team can be, even if underestimated. So while the home runs and power of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit could lead to an easy victory...

We simply cannot forget how crafty, and skilled, this A's team has become, especially since gradually retooling their bullpen, refocusing the outfield on young talent, and letting Matt Chapman lead the way. People like Stephen Piscotty and Mike Fiers, who've been at the mercy of teams of late, have been fantastic this year, and a team that could have been in fourth all year has risen to the challenge.

Obviously you know where my rooting points are, but I'm just expecting a fun baseball game. Knowing these two teams, that's probably what we're gonna get.

NL Wild Card: Triumph in Extras


I wasn't certain the Rockies could pull it off, even as I went to bed with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, but they surprised me. Along with the rest of the viewing audience.

The game-winning RBI came from backup catcher Tony Wolters, who, if he wasn't a hero in Denver before, certainly has to be now. Great bullpen work came from Seung-Hwan Oh, Adam Ottavino (despite giving up the Cubs' sole run), Wade Davis, Chris Rusin and Scott Oberg. And, of course, the presence of guys like Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon made this team even more of a shoo-in for a playoff appearance.

As for the team they silenced...

It's a little sad to see this Cubs team get eliminated so soon, especially after what fans thought was a shoo-in for first seed, but they still had a fantastic season, and this is clearly not the end of their 2010s reign. I imagine they've got enough still in the tank for another playoff run next year, and enough young stars that can stay around to establish a new great team.

Obviously Cubs-Brewers would have been the more dramatic matchup, but I'm still happy we got this one, and I'm sure the Rockies are gonna be more than formidable against the first-seeded Brewers.

Tonight...my Yankees take on the cinderella A's.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

NL Wild Card Game Preview: Sudden Death


We go into the playoff with two teams that both have a lot to prove, mostly that they belong in the playoffs they were, until recently, guaranteed a spot in. The Cubs have landed in the past 3 NLCS', have won a World Series, and have spent most of the season on top of the NL Central. Them, plus the ever-ballistic bat of Daniel Murphy, are out for vengeance tonight, hoping to have a rematch with Milwaukee next week.

But, in their way...

The team that nearly kept the Dodgers out of first, with some of the most impressive offensive abilities of the year, and with some surprising improvement from their bullpen and rotation. The Rockies have proved that they've come a long way from being a first round ouster last year, so on a night where history could very well repeat itself, Wade Davis and the Rockies are gonna do their best to defy the odds, take down the Cubs and waltz into October.

It could go either way, and while I'm rooting for the underdogs here, I'd love if either team won and got to play the Brewers later on. Hope it's a nice game.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Predicting the Playoffs: 2018

Well, now that we have our matchups and seeds, I can finally write this post.

I can definitely say that these matchups to end regulation were a fun way to lead into the playoffs, with Lorenzo Cain's RBI and Cody Bellinger's home run clinching things for those teams, and giving the teams that were about to settle for Wild Card spots their respective divisions. So...now the matchups that I THOUGHT were about to happen have been completely flipped. Now the Dodgers HAVE clinched their umpteenth NL West, and the Brewers have delegated the 2-time NL Central champs to Wild Card status.

But...that doesn't make my inability to predict things correctly any less valid. As usual, pre-playoffs, I'm going to run down each playoff matchup, and give my opinion as to how it will go, and my odds. All the way down to the World Series. I don't expect to be right. If I'm right, then baseball's too predictable, and we can't have that.

AL Wild Card: Athletics vs. Yankees

Moneyball III vs. Aaron Boone Part I. I see this being one heck of a game. Either this is going to be a complete blowout on both sides, with only a battle of the long ball separating the two, or it'll be a slow burn pitching battle, possibly between two tough arms, neither of which have been formally announced yet. Still, this is a matchup between two teams with generally equal momentum, both of which could do well in the playoffs. But...I am giving the edge to New York, solely because I think they can outhit the A's, and because I think this team can get the better of their pitching staff. It may be close, and it may come down to extras, but I see a Yankee victory for a second straight AL Wild Card game.
Verdict: Yanks over A's.

NL Wild Card: Rockies vs. Cubs

Battle of the teams who were in first the other day. I'm gonna be controversial with this pick. Looking at this one from afar, it's obvious: the Chicago Cubs have the better team, they have the more skilled, varied roster, and they've been preparing for this run for half the year. But in the last week, they've dropped some crucial games, especially down the stretch. Yes, they won enough to oust the Cardinals from competition (thank you, by the way), but they dropped some games to the Pirates in their last series. So, they're going into a Wild Card game they didn't think they'd be in...vulnerable. Against a team that built up a ton of momentum towards the end. The game's in Chicago rather than Denver, so it should level the playing field, but the Rockies have Kyle Freeland going up against Jon Lester, which gives them the edge, even the Cubs do bring their a-game offensively. I'm going to have to give this one to the Rox, as disappointing as this must be for Cubs fans expecting a virtual 4-peat in the NLCS.
Verdict: Rox over Cubs.

ALDS Part 1: Indians vs. Astros
2016 AL Champs vs. 2017 AL Champs. This one I see going all five games. I see blowouts, but I don't see this series being a sweep for either team, solely because they're in similar places. These are two routinely-great teams facing against inevitability. The Indians are still smarting from their 1st-round ouster last year, but the Astros are the defending champs, and they look just as strong. What worries me is that the Tribe played in the least competitive division in the leagues, and have the lowest record of the playoff teams. They also have a few more problem areas than Houston, as there are a few fill-in players that are starting due to lack of options. They're, once again, the more vulnerable team. And seeing as I think Houston might go on another playoff tear, this all but spells doom for the Indians.
Verdict: Stros over Tribe in 5.

ALDS Part 2: Yankees vs. Red Sox

The Age-Old Rivalry, Yet Again. Look...with these predictions, I try not to look at these at face value, and I try and actually think about what these will be like in real life. So...let's be honest with ourselves. The Sox just dropped two out of three to the Yankees. They've also lost some matches in the last few weeks to Cleveland, Houston, and...Baltimore. So the Sox are slowing down, hence those Yankee losses. Meanwhile, the Yankees are only heating up. And even if the Sox keep people like Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright and Brian Johnson out of the picture, the Yankees may sink this 'best team of the year'. This is, after all, a battle between two 100-win teams, and teams with major home run hitters. The Yankees have enough to go toe-to-toe with Boston...and they might get the last laugh.
Verdict: Yankees over Sox in 4. They get that 3rd win at the stadium.

NLDS Part 1: Braves vs. Dodgers

1990s Perennial Division Champs vs. 2010s Perennial Division Champs. Another tricky one. The Dodgers do have the momentum, but the Braves aren't too shabby either, and might be the craftier team. The Dodgers may have bigger guns at their disposal, but the Braves have a loaded bench and bullpen, and can play the long game better than arguably anyone in this postseason. This one will probably go all five, and come down to whose pitching can outlast the other's...and the Dodgers may pull this one out at the last second. I expect this to come down to an eighth-or-ninth inning homer off of Pederson or Puig.
Verdict: Dodgers over Braves in 5.

NLDS Part 2: Rockies vs. Brewers

The 'Wasn't This Supposed to be the NL Wild Card game' matchup. And, suddenly, the Brewers are the top-seeded team in the game, and the Rockies are the underdogs. I love the fact I can say that. This one also might go all five games, and exhaust the home-run-hitting abilities of both squads, even with the recent additions of both Matt Holliday and Curtis Grandson respectively. However...it may just come down to the better team winning, and here that might just be the Brewers. In this matchup, the Rockies could very well squeeze through, but there's more probability for the Brewers to take it, especially on the wings of the Yelich-Cain combo.
Verdict: Brewers over Rockies in 5.

ALCS: Astros vs. Yankees
 The 2017 ALCS Rematch. And this year may have a ton more stakes, as the Yankees are trying to break into the mainstream, and the Astros are trying to hold onto a dynasty. That said...like last year, this one might not be especially close. The Yankees will definitely win at least one, but I see the Astros running away with this one easily. I just think they're the better team, and that they deserve to be back in the World Series. Even if the Yanks have one or two major power moments, I don't see them advancing to a World Series this year, sadly. Not ruling it out for this century, though.
Verdict: Astros over Yankees in 5.

NLCS: Dodgers vs. Brewers
 Perennial Winners vs. Ultimate Underdogs. Both of these teams have a reason to win, and it could very well be a rematch of the 2017 series...HOWEVER...I think the Brewers have an edge here that the Dodgers don't have. I think they've got a bit more versatility, and can retain momentum, to the point where they make this one look relatively easy as well, sad to say for any Dodgers fans. And that's kind of reassuring, as this Brewers team has been unlucky as of late, and it'd be fantastic if they truly went the distance, especially against a monolithic team like the Dodgers.
Verdict: Brewers over Dodgers in 6.

World Series: Brewers vs. Astros
 Battle of the League Jumpers. I think this one will go all seven. Both teams will want this badly. The Brewers have never won a World Series, and are still smarting from letting the Cardinals stomp over them in 1982. The Astros have only won 1, and are trying their best to hold onto their dynasty. Both have a ton to prove, and this will be one nail-biter after another, with several career-making moments from both sides. I imagine names like Alex Bregman, Eric Thames, Gerrit Cole and Gio Gonzalez will go down in WS history. And after all 7 games...I predict Evan Gattis will end in a walk off. And the Astros will have earned the hell out of this one.

Even if it's not as dramatic as that, I firmly believe that the Astros will repeat as World Champions. Over Milwaukee. It may be bold, but bold statements like that get you ahead in life.