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My MLB Division And Playoff Predictions

I’ve been talking football, football, and more football lately, but now it’s time to discuss baseball.

The Major League Baseball season is quickly coming to an end and division races are hotter than ever. If you haven’t been paying attention (I know 162 games is a long season), now is the time to tune in. The playoffs start in less than three weeks.

The Texas Rangers are the only team that’s locked up a playoff spot (it’s not official yet, but they have a 15.5 game lead in the AL West with 17 contests left), so that means everyone else is fighting to stay alive. This is when the baseball season is at its best!

Here’s how I see the division/wild card races shaking out:

AL East

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay faces Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Baltimore, and Kansas City to end the season, while the Yankees get Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Boston (twice), and Toronto. If the Rays don’t win the division with that schedule advantage…they don’t even deserve the wild card. The series between the Rays and Bombers will be epic September 20th-September 23rd.

AL Central

Minnesota Twins

There was a solid race going between the Twins and White Sox, but Minnesota has blown open a nine-game lead (not to mention they’re the hottest team in baseball since the break). This is a no-brainer.

AL West

Texas Rangers

Like I mentioned above, nothing is going to stop the Texas Rangers from winning the division. The American League West is easily the most pathetic division in baseball. Feel free to argue that point…you’ll lose.

AL Wild Card

New York Yankees

While the AL West is pathetic, the AL East is ferocious. The Boston Red Sox are the best team in baseball that won’t make the playoffs. The Yankees only have a six-game lead on the Sox, but I think Boston is too banged up to make a run. No one else is even close in the wild card race.

On to the National League…

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia only has a three-game lead on the Braves, but I don’t think Atlanta can pull it off. Here’s why…the Braves are 52-23 at home this year and only 31-41 on the road. Atlanta plays nine of its last 16 games away from Turner Field. I hate the Phillies, but they’ll win the division.

NL Central

Cincinnati Reds

I can’t believe I just typed the Cincinnati Reds as National League Central champs. Talk about the surprise team of the year! I thought they would flame out, but it never happened. With a seven-game lead on St. Louis, the Reds are on their way to the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

NL West

San Francisco Giants

I really wanted to give the nod to the Rockies, but just like Atlanta, Colorado can’t win on the road (29-42 away this year). Again, just like the Braves, the Rockies play nine out of their last 16 away from home. That should make the wild card race interesting, but I’ll get to that in a second. The Giants and Padres (currently separated by a half game) play in the final series of the season (October 1st-October 3rd) in San Francisco. I have a feeling the race will still be on at that point, but the Giants will prevail.

NL Wild Card

Atlanta Braves

I wanted to go with the Colorado Rockies again (they trail the Braves by 2.5 in the race), but I don’t know if they have enough gas in the tank to get the job done. They’re hot right now, but will that last for nearly three more weeks? I honestly don’t know, so I’m taking the conservative road here by picking the Braves. San Diego is also in the mix, but I don’t have much faith in the Padres (even though I don’t have a good reason why).

On to the playoffs…

AL Championship Series

Tampa Bay Rays v. New York Yankees

It’s almost not fair that these two teams can’t meet in a division series. They’re too battled tested and should have no problem getting past the Twins and the Rangers. In the end, you’ll see the New York Yankees advance to the World Series…again.

NL Championship Series

Philadelphia Phillies v. San Francisco Giants

Aside from the Philadelphia Phillies, there aren’t any strong contenders in the National League. I’m not confident enough that Atlanta will even make the playoffs, and I feel like the Reds will collapse under the postseason pressure. I hate the Phillies (I thought I would emphasize that), but Philadelphia will advance to the World Series for the third straight year.

World Series

New York Yankees v. Philadelphia Phillies

The Yankees and Phillies will meet in the World Series for the second consecutive season. This time the Phillies have home-field advantage, but I think the results will be exactly the same. New York will win the championship in six games. The Yankees have a magical ability to perform in the postseason, hence the 27 World Series rings they already have. Go ahead and make it 28.

NOTE: I hate the Yankees as much as I hate the Phillies. I’m just being a realist…not some crazy Yankees homer.

That’s it for my MLB playoff predicitions. I’m sure some of you would love to debate with me. I’m totally open to that. Leave me a comment below, get in touch with me on Twitter @lewissports, connect with me on Facebook, or email me at tim@timlewissports.com.

Watch for my Major League Baseball awards (MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, etc.) right here tomorrow!

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