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2016 MLB Playoff Picture and Predictions, What Can You Expect?

 

It’s finally here, after 2,430 games the MLB postseason starts on Tuesday with a couple of games left to determine the last wild-card spots.

On Tuesday, Oct 4, the Baltimore Orioles face the Toronto Blue Jays with the winner heading on to play against the Texas Rangers. Then, the following day, the San Francisco Giants square off against the New York Mets with the winner heading on to face the Chicago Cubs. 

Now, after these games the Division Series start for a best of 5  battle that will pit the Texas Rangers against whichever team wins the wildcard and Boston vs Cleveland in the American League; and, in the National League, the Cubs vs the wild-card winner and the Washington Nationals vs the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Let’s take a look at some scenarios of how things could play out in the playoffs, starting with: 

The Chicago Cubs

There’s no denying the Cubs enter the postseason as the favorites as the only team to win more than 100 games this year. 

Not only that, Chicago arguably has the best lineup as well as three Cy Young candidates in their rotation. Curse or no curse, the Cubs look set to end their Championship draught this year among other things because of heavy-hitting duo of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo and of the pitching prowess of Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, and of course, Jake Arrieta. 

Washington Nationals

The Nationals have made it to the playoffs for the third time in a row pushed on by a stellar rotation and heavy-hitting batting. 

Bryce Harper has amassed 24 home runs which are among the 202 total home runs the team has gained this year to which Daniel Murphy and Danny Espinosa have added more than 20 each. Also, the pitching rotation has been solid with Max Scherzer, who’s won 20 games, striking out 284 opposing batters this year. He’s followed by Tanner Roark and Mark Melancon who round off a well-rounded team that could make it far into the Fall. 

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers quieted the naysayers by winning their fourth consecutive division title. Now they come into the postseason with one of the best staffs in baseball hoping to make another good run. 

Texas Rangers 

As far as the American League goes, the Texas Rangers clinched the top spot pushed on by a few midseason acquisitions that have turned this team into one of the league’s best offenses with quite a deep rotation. 

Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre lead as the driving force of the offense, having both finished the regular season hitting above the .300 mark. On defense, closer Sam Dyson amassed 38 saves for this organization. 

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland is probably relieved the regular season is over considering the numbers of players that have gotten hurt. Cleveland has played the entire season without Michael Brantley, while Yan Gomes has been limited to 73 games and will probably not be playing in the postseason as well. Also, Carlos Carrasco is out for the postseason, while Danny Salazar is still uncertain. And if that wasn’t enough, Corey Kluber suffered a quad strain as the regular season drew to a close.

Regardless, they’ll have to make do with what they’ve got which considering their great bullpen could be a lot more than many might anticipate.