Cleat Geeks

2017 MLB Playoffs: ALDS Predictions

Major leaguers set records in 2017 for home runs, strikeouts and relief innings. The top eight teams in slugging percentage all reached the postseason. So did the top eight pitching staffs in strikeouts.

Now, a season of extremes hurtles into October.

With the wild-card games complete as I predicted with who would advance, the best-of-five division series are set: Boston at Houston; the Yankees at Cleveland; the Chicago Cubs at Washington; and Arizona at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The American League games start Thursday, the National League Friday. “You could make the argument the field is as strong as it’s been in recent memory – and not just with one or two defined strengths, but really well-rounded teams,” Chris Antonetti, the Indians’ president of baseball operations, said last week. “Anyone’s really capable of winning.”Image result for al division series 2017

That is true, and we hate to spoil the suspense. But if you’d like to know precisely what will happen, here are our reality-based, sure-to-be-accurate predictions:

Let’s start out with the American League because I believe the AL is much easier to predict.

Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox:

How many games can it go?

I believe this series will go 5 because both teams match up pitch by pitch in this series. Both have just about the same amount of bullpen depth. I do question the SP of Boston, but I think their offense is tough to get out. With that said, I think Houston can out hit the Redsox. The Astros job will be to get passed Sale in game one and make sure Kimbrel stays in the bullpen. I believe if the Astros do that, they will win. For the Redsox to win, the SP has to go the distance and shorten the game to get to their closer. Out hitting the Astros won’t happen. I will pick Astros in 5 games.

Image result for al division series 2017New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians

How many games will it go?

I believe this series will go four at the most and I’m picking Cleveland. The Yankees rely on the bullpen way too much and will get burned out after the first two games of this series. It’s only been a day and a half since those bullpens pitched the entire wild card game. Cleveland is risky by not starting Cory Kluber game one but it’s a smart strategy. Both managers have been through these big games and know what they are doing. So I won’t question either manager. I just wouldn’t start Trevor Baurer game one for the Indians and I would put Luis Severino in the bullpen for the Yankees. I don’t trust Severino at all after what I saw in the wild card game and Trevor Baurer is just too much of a perfectionist, plus the amount of pitches he throws in every inning. But we will see if the Yankees will use that momentum in this series and to see if the Indians have had too much rest.

Now off to the National League in a upcoming article. Who are your ALDS winners? who would you like to see play in the LCS?

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