MLB Division Series Predictions

Posted: 10/06/2012 by levcohen in Baseball

I was wrong on both MLB predictions yesterday, and I’m happy to say so, as I was rooting for the Cards and Orioles. Now it’s time to predict the whole first round.

Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Skinny: This should be a very good series. The Nats have had a surprisingly good season, but they are without their ace, Stephen Strasburg. However, they still have a very good rotation even without Strasburg, led by Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez and young Jordan Zimmermann. Their hitting has also been surprisingly good, led by Adam LaRoche and rookie phenom Bryce Harper.

The Cardinals are coming off a win over the Braves in the one game playoff. The defending world series champions have to be feeling good about themselves this year, as they face a Strasburg-less Nationals and the winner of two good but not great teams in the Reds and Giants. With Chris Carpenter back, their rotation is solid. They are led by veterans Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Kyle Lohse. St. Louis also has a great lineup, even without Albert Pujols. Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and MVP candidate Yadier Molina make a scary middle of the lineup.

Bottom Line: The Cards should be favored in this series.
Prediction: Nationals win the series in 5 games in a slight upset.

Cincinnati Reds vs. San Francisco Giants
The Skinny: This could be another close series between two evenly matched teams. The Reds were great this season, pulling away from the Cardinals and Brewers to win the NL Central. Their pitching is solid. They are led by Cy Young Candidate Johnny Cueto, and also have someone who hurled a no hitter- Homer Bailey. Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo round out the rotation. Their hitting is unmistakably lead by Joey Votto. Votto would have been a lead MVP candidate if he hadn’t gotten hurt, and he was on pace to shatter the single season doubles record. The Reds are a good all around team.

The Giants are seemingly a perfect playoff team. They won the world series two years ago, and have a great all around team. Their rotation is led by 2 young aces who had great years in Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. After that, they have some question marks. Tim Lincecum has two Cy Young Awards already, and should be just entering his prime, but he has had a horrific year. Barry Zito has generally been a disappointment after signing a monster deal 4 years ago, but he turned it around a little bit this year. Ryan Vogelsong has had a decent year. Overall, this is a very good rotation. The Giants hitters are led by MVP frontrunner Buster Posey, the catcher, and big third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
Bottom Line: Giants should be slightly favored
Prediction: Giants win in 5 games

Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers
The Skinny: The A’s are a surprisingly good team. They don’t have a great all around team, but have found ways to win. They have an all rookie rotation, so it’s hard to believe that will continue in the playoffs. Their hitting is also young.
The Tigers barely got into the playoffs. They had a disappointing season, but in the playoffs, anything can happen. Their bats are led by power hitters Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Those two are arguably the best 3+4 hitters in the game. They are led by last year’s Cy Young and MVP, Justin Verlander. Verlander is a Cy Young candidate this year, too.
Bottom Line: The Tigers have more talent, and should be favored.
Prediction: Tigers win in 4 games

New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles
The Skinny: The Yankees are not unfamiliar to this position, as they are going for world series number 28. They have a shaky rotation, led by CC Sabathia, who is, well, not shaky. But after Sabathia and Andy Pettite, the rotation looks bad. The lineup is as powerful as usual, led by Robinson Cano, the best second baseman in the major leagues. While this team is getting old, they still have a great team.
The Orioles have to be the biggest shock of the season. They got into the playoffs as the second wild card, and shockingly knocked off the Rangers. Their rotation is really bad for a playoff team. I find it amazing that they’ve gotten this far with a bad rotation. Their hitters are decent. Adam Jones could finish in the top five in the MVP voting. The Orioles got into the playoffs by winning 16 straight extra inning games. They posted an incredible 74-0 record when leading after seven innings this season, and went an incredible 29-9 in one run games.
Bottom Line: The Yankees will be fairly heavily favored.
Prediction: Orioles win in 5 games in an upset. Can’t pick against them again.


  1. philabundant says:

    Hope you’re right about the O’s, but pretty unimaginable. Of course their getting this far is probably more unimaginable.

  2. Marinite says:

    And, naturally, I hope you’re right about the Giants!

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