In the year 2008, things seemed a bit simpler. The Philadelphia Phillies owned the best record in the National League and went on to win the NLDS, the NLCS, and then the World Series, all convincingly. And then the tides began to turn in 2012. All of the sudden, the field of four became five. The Wild-Card team, instead of waiting patiently with the rest of the league, had to play a game to decide their fate against another contender. And while many cried out that it unfairly punishes the teams who normally got a free pass into the Divisional Series, something different happened this time around.
Okay, and round two begins – right now.
The NL west hosts the reigning champion of the MLB – the San Francisco Giants. They have a great squad, an ace – and a big three. Which could be problematic for them. Why, you ask? Think about it. Last year, when Posey was out and Sandoval wasn’t putting up numbers, they were out. Who can stop them though? Well, could it be the D-Backs? I don’t know. This team is very streaky and on and off. Could the money-all Dodgers dethrone them? I don’t think so. Putting talent together and putting talent together with chemistry are two completely different things. The Padres and Rockies both have one bright spot, but other than that – not so much.
In the central, things are all but a one-horse race. While I do expect the chemistry filled and talented Reds to take this division, I think the Cardinals, with their young-old talent combo can be a threat. I think the Brewers, with their speed and overall playing could be a threat. The Cubs – well, the worst case for them is losing too many, finishing in fourth, and not getting a good draft pick. The Pirates, however, could be able to finally not only scratch .500 baseball, but maybe even a playoff spot.
And in the NL East… expect that phrase to be introduced this season. The dark horse Nationals with sophomore sensation Bryce Harper, and all aces together with no innings limit look to dominate. But, the Braves could make it hard. With the Upton brothers, this team is a catcher’s nightmare. The Phillies, while making a signing here and there, are simply too old. The Mets and Marlins… well – rebuild. That’s all they really can do, except for David Wright and Giancarlo Stanton.
NL Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander
NL MVP: Bryce Harper
AL MVP: Mike Trout
WILD CARD: Pirates (91-71) over Braves (93-68)
NLDS: Nationals (103-60) over Pirates (in 4). Reds (97-66) over Giants (96-67) (in 5).
NLCS: Nationals over Reds (in 6)
Okay, so we made it. The Tigers VS the Nationals.
Let’s review the case for each side.
Tigers: Have a triple crown winner, tons of speed and batting, and an ace with a good supporting cast with playoff experience.
Nationals: Have a sophomore prodigy, a fireballer, and a great supporting cast with a bit of playoff experience.
So, I have the Nats in game one, with DC nearly exploding. But in game two, the Tigers will take it, quieting them down. The nats will take three and four, not even giving Detroit a chance to be loud. In five, the tigers will take it in their final home game of the season, extending the series to game 6 in DC – where there will be a parade the next day.
Nats in 6.
Note: I don’t know if these are accurate. If they are, then holy cow, I’m a genius! If not, don’t blame me for all the broken windows.