Who does he expect to make the World Series? In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers claim the top seed with an MLB best record of 103-58, followed by the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs.
The Diamondbacks visit LA to open that division series. And MLB as a whole had a record number of home runs this year. Favorites in the American League Division Series. Clayton Kershaw's mysterious postseason issues will continue, and the outstanding one-two punch of Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez will provide the power for Arizona.
October 19, Washington, N.L.C.S., Game 5 - The Nationals clinch the first World Series berth in franchise history, eliminating the Dodgers.
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But the Tigers were bailed out on a third down later in the drive when Gators cornerback Duke Dawson was flagged for holding. Running backs Malik Davis and Perine did most of the heavy lifting, but when Florida needed Franks to step up, he didn't.
The defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs are going to be tough to beat, but the Washington Nationals will overcome their past frustrations to take this series to the limit. "They're going to go all the way". The Yankees actually outscored the Indians during the regular season, so I have no doubt they can keep up on the offensive end. The right-hander has gone 4-2 with a 3.64 ERA in seven postseason starts over the past three years.
And, while no one here is asking Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg to atone for the sins of Joe Cronin and Frank Howard, these Nationals are acutely aware of the failures of this generation.
The Indians have a dynamic pitching core, with Corey Kluber leading the league in many categories, including a 2.25 ERA, five complete games, and three shutouts. The Indians were unequivocally the AL's best team during the regular season with a record of 102-60 and debatably the best in the entire sport. The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros face off in what could be an absolute slugfest of a series, whereas the New York Yankees will take on the Cleveland Indians in what could be a highly technical baseball chess match. Not a single member of the 2017 Houston Astros playoff roster has a World Series ring. The always consistent, AL MVP candidate Jose Altuve is batting.346 with 24 home runs and 81 RBIs.
November 1, Cleveland, World Series, Game 7 - The Indians take their first championship since 1948, snapping the longest active drought in baseball. "If the Yankees lose to the Twins, I'll pick the Twins". NY will hand the ball to their 23-year old ace Luis Severino to obliterate the Twins and advance to the ALDS.
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The Yankees will most likely give the ball to Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55) in Game 1 against the Indians, while Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.19) will go to the mound for the Indians. AL Cy Young favorite Corey Kluber, who finished the season 18-4 with an fantastic 2.25 ERA, will continue to dominate teams like he has all season long. This is the first time the New York Yankees have entered the American League playoffs since 2012.
As I wrote in the wild-card preview earlier this week, I don't see any good value on the futures board.
Baseball fanatics are expecting an ALCS between Cleveland and Houston to be one for the ages. The World Series is also a best-of-seven competition, as it has been since 1922. Of the 63 teams that won the first game and went on to win the series, 31 started the series as the visiting team. Odds may be against them to be upset again, but the city of Cleveland is used to being upset. Both teams will know what to expect from each other after facing off in 2016. The Diamondbacks win the series in six and will play the Indians in the World Series. Every team is risky and every team deserves to get to this stage after a grueling 162 game season. "Play unencumbered. Go out and play mentally freely and play the game we've learned to play over the last couple years".
The following graphic shows all 88 contests colored by whether the victor of the first game won the series (green) or eventually lost (red), with circles for first-game wins at home and squares for first-game wins away.
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