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NL Playoff Predictions!

NL Playoff Predictions!

Well it’s a day later than we expected and a day earlier than I selfishly had hoped, but the Atlanta Braves have clinched the NL East title. As I was watching the last game versus the Cubs to determine which type of article I would be writing tonight, my phone popped up those annoying spoiler notifications (that always seem to come just a few seconds too soon) that the Nationals had lost (to the Marlins?!) and thereby allowed Braves fans everywhere to release their held breath and stop spouting off times when our beloved Braves have choked over the last eight years of failing to secure a division title (let us not venture into what I’m sure would be less than polite discussion of last year’s colossal fail of a Wild Card game).


I secretly wondered/fantasized if someone went into the visitor’s dugout and told the team they had clinched or if the person who changes the manual scoreboard was the one to deliver the news. I can picture a few Braves fans in Wrigley cheering as the green and white painted numbers changed, and Cubs fans looking bewildered at them.


The remaining series are against the Milwaukee Brewers (which I will be attending in less than 24 hours) and Philadelphia Phillies, both at home (EDITORS NOTE: So the Braves won’t be playing any Professioanl Baseball Teams?). Though it doesn’t matter, I always like to see my Bravos win and I always like to see the Phillies lose, so it should be an enjoyable rest of the season. I will also joyfully be aware of the Wild Card Game and the fact that the Braves need not be subjected to that this year (I refuse to watch such nonsense).


That being said, of much more importance is the upcoming NLDS and NLCS. I think it’s really arrogant to believe one can predict the Wild Card game due to its single game nature, but regardless of who advances, I think the Braves have a pretty good chance at crushing either the Pirates or the Reds in a series. If I had to choose which winner of the Wild Card game the Braves will be eliminating based on gut, it would be the Pirates, and I won’t be surprised whether I’m wrong or right.


Meanwhile I’ll take the Dodgers over the Cardinals any day, partially over hatred of the Cards and their arrogance/tenth man on the field, umpire Sam Holbrook (#NeverForget). However, Yasiel Puig, unsavory character as he is, Clayton Kershaw (14-9/1.94 ERA), Zack Greinke, and Matt Kemp are amazing. But if a few impressive players made a World Series team then I’m pretty sure the Yankees would be undefeated. A series between the Dodgers and Braves is sure to be a pitchers’ duel throughout. As much as the Braves are known for their incredible pitching staff, the Dodgers starting rotation holds the lowest combined ERA in the Majors at 3.18. I’m still going to go with the Braves because at the end of the day their overall ERA is 3.20 and the Dodgers overall is 3.34. And because if Yasiel Puig gets a World Series ring I might go into a deep depression and question the Baseball Gods’ existence.


I’m not even going to delve too deep into my American League picks because it’s not real baseball and I kind of like to pretend those teams don’t exist 99% of the time. However, I’m on board with the Red Sox going all the way to the World Series, which would be a dream come true for MLB and its waning viewership. The two teams with the most loyal and most spread out fan bases coming together for the World Series? The Cinderella story of Boston’s emotional rise to the top, and the Braves, with their eight year delayed winning season, who I’m pretty sure has a hold on the entire Southeast portion of the U.S. (What’s that you say? I should be a Marlins fan since I grew up in Florida? How dare you). The Braves have a home record of .703 (52-22) and road record of .500 (41-41), so even without home field advantage they should hold their own; however, I refuse to jinx their chances by naming them my pick.


The Atlanta Braves are the only original National League team the Red Sox haven’t played in a World Series, though it came close once when the Braves were still in Boston. Watching the two best teams in baseball this season compete in the World Series is what baseball needs right now.


Here’s what my predictions look like. Agree? Disagree? Comment with your picks.


Hayley takes pride in that her favorite team is the oldest continuously playing team in major North American sports and refuses to jinx their chances at winning the World Series.