Thanks to injuries, a shitty starting rotation, and various odd-year gremlins, my San Francisco Giants will not be participating in the playoffs. See you at the victory parade after the 2016 season!
But just because the Giants aren’t in the playoffs doesn’t mean I’m not interested. In truth, we have a fascinating slate of matchups ahead of us for this postseason. I always like to get my picks on record, so here, for your reading pleasure, is how I see the playoffs shaking out. I would encourage you to run to Vegas to bet against these picks.
Pirates vs. Cubs
The narrative around this game has been almost entirely about the invincibility of Jake Arrieta, and I get that. Dude has been a beast this season, and he’s shut the Pirates down several times. But you know what? Weird things happen in the playoffs sometimes. I can’t really justify this pick, but in my gut I just feel like something is gonna go awry for Chicago. I mean, they are still the Cubs.
Give me the Pirates.
Mets vs. Dodgers
What a fun series this is gonna be. The Dodgers have the best one-two pitching punch in the big leagues in Kershaw and Greinke, but if there’s any team that can match them, it’s the Mets with deGrom, Harvey, and Syndergaard. I may be betting with my heart more than my head here—the Mets are definitely my bandwagon team for these playoffs—but I can see New York’s young pitchers matching LA’s stars, and that repugnant Dodger bullpen is gonna come back to bite them in the ass. I’ll take the Metropolitans in 5 games.
Cardinals vs. Pirates
The Cards were the best team in the bigs this year, but they had a ton of RISP and cluster luck (see, these picks aren’t entirely based on truthiness!), and their outstanding pitching took a hit with Carlos Martinez getting shut down for the year with shoulder problems. I actually think the Bucs will have the advantage on the mound in this series, and an epic crowd at PNC Park will push Pittsburgh to a win in 4 games.
Pirates vs. Mets
Let’s ride this Mets bandwagon all the way to the World Series! (I mostly just want to see a New York team play in the World Series while I’m living here.) Mets in 6.
Yankees vs. Astros
I really haven’t been that impressed with the Yanks as of late. But I’m even less impressed with the swooning ’stros. Give me New York’s power, quality bullpen, and homefield advantage in this game. The Bronx Bombers move on.
Blue Jays vs. Rangers
I’m totally sold on this Blue Jays team. They had by far the best run differential in the Majors, they went on a huge second half run, their lineup is awesome, fans will be nuts at the prospect of Canada’s first playoff team in more than 20 years, and they have David Price at the head of their rotation. I’m smelling a Blue Jays sweep.
Royals vs. Yankees
This harkens back to the old days of George Brett and Billy Martin and pine tar and Goose Gossage and the greatest umpire argument of all time.
Here’s hoping Kansas City brings back the powder blue unis for this series. No matter what color their jerseys are, KC is the superior team. Royals in 4.
Royals vs. Blue Jays
This series will be so fun. Both teams are really good, and they really don’t like each other—there have already been a couple of brawls between them this year. But KC is showing some cracks at the worst possible time—Johnny Cueto has struggled since he arrived from Cincinnati, and closer Greg Holland is out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Even were it not for those issues, I just think the Jays are the better team. Toronto in 6.
Blue Jays vs. Mets
Which one of these Cinderella seasons will end with a trophy presentation? I really would love for my friends Stan and Charlie to see a ticker-tape parade through the Canyon of Heroes for the first time since Keith Hernandez…
But I’m taking the team that I think was actually the best in baseball this year. Toronto in 6. Touch ’em all.
If it’s any consolation, guys, I’m always wrong.