By: Pete Apostolopoulos
We’re finally here: September. School, Netflix, sweater weather and Pumpkin Spice Lattes are all officially back as another Summer has come and gone. While I’m happy to have all those things back (especially the Lattes, don’t be hatin’), we’re also one month away from the start of playoff baseball.
In all honesty, this year’s MLB season has been pretty weird. Teams are either really REALLY good, or wildly mediocre. Nonetheless, we’re pretty much set on everything except the *bleep*-show going on in the American League Wildcard race. As we watch things unfold and find out sub par team will go to Yankee Stadium and probably get pounded, I would like to revisit my April predictions. Now I know this website didn’t exist in April, but my predictions were made on the Big and Tall Sports show (coming to RTM soon).
Right now we’ll just take a look at the American League, with blogs about the NL and award predictions coming later this week.
My Pick: Boston Red Sox
Current Leader: Boston Red Sox
LET’S GOOOOOOOOOO. 1/1 coming out of the gate, but most had the Sox winning the east. Sale has been dynamite and Benentendi has led the charge in the second half, the Sox are lookin’ good. Hopefully Sale, Bennie, and the Jets (Elton John joke, ask your parents) can parlay an AL East title into some playoff W’s.
My Pick: Cleveland Indians
Current Leader: Cleveland Indians
2/2. Again, another clear pick in April with the tribe on the heals of a Game 7 lose in the World Series last season. The starting pitching has had it’s ups and downs, but has righted the ship, while the bullpen has been stellar once again. Add a healthy Michael Brantley, Eddie Encarnacion and Jay Bruce to a team that was one win away from a title last year without them and the Indians are going to be tough to beat in October.
My Pick: Seattle Mariners
Current Leader: Houston Astros
What can I say, I guess I’m not perfect after all. 2/3 and like they’ve done the last couple seasons, Seattle has screwed me once again. Houston is leaps and bounds better than anyone in their division, and with the addition of Justin Verlander, they’re weakness in the rotation has become a strength. It’s WS or bust time in Houston over the next few seasons and it should be fun to watch.
My Picks: Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros
Current Leaders: New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins
I don’t know what’s more shocking; the fact that i’m 4/5 in my AL picks or that the Minnesota Twins are in a playoff spot on September 2nd. Probably the latter, but as I mentioned above, mediocrity is king in baseball this season. I actually don’t think they’ll be able to hang on to their spot here. Look for the Angels and Mike Trout to head to the Bronx for the WC game. I had the Astros in, but just in a different spot, Still counts though. The Yankees are great, and if superhuman first-half Aaron Judge shows up in September and October, look out #1 Seed (perfect segue, right?)
AL Playoff Prediction
My Pick: Cleveland Indians
WC: #5 Yankees over #6 Angels
Luis Severeno is a true ace and the Angels don’t have one to match him. Mike Trout goes deep against the team he idolized as a kid, but he falls short. Yankees 6-2.
ALDS: #1 Astros over #5 Yankees in 5 games
Justin Verlander wins game 2 and 5 for the ‘Stros and the Houston offence is too much for the Yankees to handle, but it’s a dogfight of a series.
ALDS: #2 Cleveland Indians over #4 Boston Red Sox in 4 games
Sale wins game 1 2-0, but Kluber closes the series in game 4 with a 1-0 W. Another tight series, but the Indians experience and depth will lead them to oust the Red Sox once again.
ALCS: #2 Cleveland Indians over #1 Houston Astros in 6 games
This one is a coin flip for me, but the Astros haven’t been great in the second half, and the momentum swing from the Verlander deal won’t be enough to get them by the Indians.
I had Cleveland as the AL champion in April and I’m sticking with them in September. who do you think wins the AL? Tweet me @BigPete44 or @RallyTowelMedia, or comment below!