MLB postseason predictions: Sporting Information specialists make picks for pennant, World Sequence

There’s nothing fairly like postseason baseball, and this 12 months it is again to regular.

After the COVID pandemic led to an expanded playoff subject and centralized bubbles final season, issues will really feel extra conversant in groups are again in their very own ballparks — and, extra importantly, in entrance of their very own followers — as they vie to be the one hoisting the commissioner’s trophy when the World Sequence ends. However how will all of it play out? That what we’ll focus on right here.

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As all the time, we provide a normal caveat: Attempting to foretell something in baseball is a foolish endeavor, however it’s very true within the postseason. There’s all the time a crapshoot nature to October hardball, and that is certain to play out once more in some type this season. Having stated that, we’re gonna make daring predictions anyway, as a result of why not. Listed below are Sporting Information’ predictions for the 2021 MLB postseason.

2021 MLB postseason predictions

Ryan Fagan, lead MLB author

ALCS: Rays over Astros
NLCS: Giants over Brewers
World Sequence: Rays over Giants
Breakout star: Wander Franco, Rays


— I wish to consider within the White Sox. I actually, actually do. Once they’re taking part in nicely, they’re a lot enjoyable to observe. I might not be shocked in the event that they marched all the way in which to the World Sequence title. A lot persona on that staff and so many gamers who’re simple to root for. It might be an ideal factor for MLB if these gamers — Tim Anderson, Lucas Giolito, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Lance Lynn and firm — gained the championship. I actually hope I am unsuitable. However I am unable to decide them. I do not belief the bullpen, and I do not belief the starters aside from Lynn (particularly if Carlos Rodon is out). I do not like that they went simply 13-19 towards the opposite groups within the playoff subject, together with a 2-5 mark towards the Astros, their ALDS opponent. And I actually do not like the truth that they completed twenty sixth within the bigs in Defensive Runs Saved, at minus-39 (the Astros, by the way in which, had been third at plus-77). Cannot give away outs in October and beat baseball’s greatest groups.

— I don’t know what to do with the Giants/Dodgers/Cardinals part of the NL bracket. In doing these predictions, I had every of these groups within the NLCS in numerous variations. I imply, the Giants gained 107 video games within the least-flukey method doable. They’re a superb, relentless staff that passes across the hero cape in addition to any staff I’ve ever seen. The Dodgers are probably with out Max Muncy or Clayton Kershaw at the very least for 2 rounds, and that is tough. There’s nonetheless a ton of expertise on that roster. Having to make use of Walker Buehler within the remaining sport of the common season makes the one-game wild-card contest a bit scarier. The Cardinals have been taking part in higher than simply about everybody in September — 11 of their wins in the course of the 17-game successful streak had been on the highway — as soon as they slotted Tyler O’Neill into the lineup between Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, and now they add Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson to their postseason pitching employees. That may very well be big. I do assume if St. Louis survives the Giants/Dodgers combo, which completely might occur, the Cardinals will high the Brewers or Braves within the NLCS.

— It is going to be attention-grabbing to see how groups — particularly on the NL facet — modify for current accidents to key gamers. The Giants are with out Brandon Belt, who led the membership with 29 homers however is sidelined with a fractured thumb. If any group has proven the power to seamlessly modify for accidents, although, it is this San Francisco staff. The Dodgers gained 106 video games within the common season, however we already talked about Muncy and Kershaw, two stalwarts who went down within the final week. The Brewers had been constructed on pitching — three stud starters atop the rotation and two lights-out relievers in the back of the bullpen. Nicely, now setup man Devin Williams is out after breaking his hand with a wall punch after Milwaukee’s division celebration.

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Jason Foster, senior MLB editor

ALCS: Rays over White Sox
NLCS: Dodgers over Braves
World Sequence: Dodgers over Rays
Breakout star: Wander Franco, Rays


— Although I haven’t got the Yankees or the Crimson Sox advancing previous the ALDS, I do wonder if their wild-card matchup will likely be worthy of the rivalry or whether or not it’s going to be a four-hour slog that does not actually entertain anybody outdoors these fan bases. The baseball fan in me needs an exhilarating back-and-forth affair, however the realist is anticipating one thing in between a basic and the aforementioned slog. In any case, it is all the time doable the winner might keep scorching, shock everybody and break these predictions. However I would not wager on it.

— It is not mirrored in my picks, however I am curious how a lot Cardinal Satan Magic we’ll see this postseason. It is doable we cannot see any and the Cardinals will fall to the Dodgers within the wild-card sport. But when St. Louis wins the wild-card sport, the NL postseason might change into downright Satanic. Sorry, I do not make the principles. However critically, the Cardinals do appear to discover a new gear as soon as the postseason arrives, irrespective of their regular-season document. Though, their current 17-game successful streak might imply they discovered that new gear somewhat too early.

— The Braves gained simply 88 video games this season in a really weak NL East, however the staff that completed the season isn’t the identical staff that performed so mediocre within the first half. Commerce-deadline acquisitions Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario have remodeled the Atlanta outfield and considerably lengthened the lineup within the absence of injured Ronald Acuña Jr. To not point out that starters Charlie Morton and Max Fried are loads able to giving even the perfect lineup suits. The purpose is, it should not shock anybody if Atlanta makes a deep run. Do not let the document idiot you.

— Regardless of every thing I’ve simply stated, search for a repeat of final 12 months’s Fall Traditional. Dodgers over Rays, regardless of the absence of Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw. However at the very least Blake Snell cannot be eliminated too early this time.

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Edward Sutelan, content material producer

ALCS: Rays over White Sox
NLCS: Brewers over Dodgers
World Sequence: Rays over Brewers
Breakout star: Wander Franco, Rays


— The Dodgers have been essentially the most proficient staff in baseball for the previous a number of years, but they’ve only one title to point out for it. They’re the perfect staff within the sport but once more, however the Brewers look constructed for the postseason. Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta give Milwaukee a one-two-three punch to counter the Dodgers deep rotation of Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias, whereas Josh Hader and Brad Boxberger will likely be weapons within the postseason, even with out Devin Williams. Christian Yelich may very well be a sleeping large primed to get up and bolster a deep lineup within the playoffs. 

— For the second 12 months in a row, the Rays will attain the World Sequence representing the American League. Tampa Bay has an absurd quantity of pitching depth regardless of missing a real ace and the lineup has maybe the 2 AL Rookie of the Yr front-runners in Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco. The White Sox have loads of star energy, however the Rays’ unconventional model of play makes them a very difficult staff to organize for, and Tony LaRussa is a really old-school supervisor. 

— The 2 postseason groups with the bottom payrolls make it to the World Sequence right here, in what would definitely be a low-scoring Fall Traditional. The Rays have the bullpen depth to hold with a staff just like the Brewers, and their lineup benefit over Milwaukee ought to assist make up the distinction within the rotation. That elusive title lastly is introduced south to Tampa Bay.

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