The Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics are undoubtedly this years biggest surprises baseball. The A’s stormed into the playoffs to overtake the Texas Ranger in the AL West on the last game of the season. The O’s played consistently all season long as most awaited for them to tail off. That didn’t happen, and now they have the opportunity to advance further into the playoffs due to the new wild card format. The A’s and the O’s are two teams that make baseball great and will make this October just that more exciting, but which will make a shocking deep postseason run?
Let’s get to the predictions…
AL Wild Card Round – Orioles over Rangers
The Rangers have to be gassed at this point after back to back World Series losses and getting swept by Oakland to lose the division lead on the last day of the season. The Orioles have some magic in this team full of unlikely heroes like Chris Davis. The O’s steal this one down in Arlington.
NL Wild Card Round – Braves over Cardinals
The Braves are 12-0 when Kris Medlen starts this season. That undefeated record is not going to change in this game against the Cardinals.
ALDS – Athletics over Tigers
The A’s are on an absolute tear and have all the momentum in the world entering this postseason. If the A’s can combine a sturdy rotation and a strong bullpen with timely hitting, they can go deep into October.
ALDS – Yankees over Orioles
Unfortunately, this is where the O’s magic finally runs out. The Yankees surged into this postseason, and the division win allows them to setup their rotation. Yankees over Orioles easily in four games or less.
NLDS – Giants over Reds
This has to be the most intriguing matchup of the first round, and it comes down to pitching. Matt Cain facing off against Johnny Cueto in game one is the key to this series. Which ever team can win this game will take the series. Cain has the experience and players behind him that have been in this situation before. The Giants take this series after Cain wins game one.
NLDS – Nationals over Braves
Even without Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals are the most complete team in the National League. Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman are as good as any 1-2 punch in baseball in the rotation, and they are backed up by one the the best bullpens in the league. The Nationals end the Braves season and the illustrious career of Chipper Jones.
ALCS – Athletics over Yankees
The magical season does not end with another loss to the Yankees October. The A’s rotation and pitching staff is too deep even for the Yankees to overcome. If CC Sabathia can’t win two games for the Yankees in this series, the A’s will come out on top and return to the World Series for the first time since 1990.
NLCS – Giants over Nationals
If the Nationals had Strasburg, they’d take this series. They don’t. This is finally where their decision to sit him comes back to haunt them. With Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Ryan Vogelsong anchoring the rotation, the Giants once again have the starting pitching to take them to the promise land.
World Series – Athletics over Giants
Yes, in a Battle for the Bay Area, Billy Beane’s dream of finally winning a World Series as the Oakland Athletics’ GM comes true, setting up for the sequel, Moneyball 2.