HardballTalk’s Playoff Predictions

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Back in March, we made predictions for the season. They weren’t terrible as far as predictions go. We picked the Red Sox to win the east and the Blue Jays as a Wild Card team. We picked the Mets, Cubs, Dodgers and Giants to make the playoffs, whiffing on the Nats and instead putting the Pirates in. Bill had the Cubs beating the Astros in the World Series. I had the Giants beating the Red Sox. Bill’s World Series outcome and my whole matchup could still happen.

Given that we, as always, led those predictions with the caveat that all predictions are just guesses which should not be taken seriously, we can’t really crow about ours. But they weren’t terrible as far as these things go, so why not take a stab at the playoffs too?

The playoffs are weaponized randomness. The one-and-done Wild Card games are like Russian roulette, only with worse odds. As such, those prediction caveats apply even more in the postseason than they do for the regular season. Picking playoff winners is a fool’s errand. Luckily, we are not afraid to look foolish.

We’ll be breaking down each series as they get going, but as a general observation, the Red Sox strike all of us as the strongest team in the AL and the Cubs strike all of us as the strongest team in the NL. As you’ll see below, both Bill and Ashley think the Cubs beat the Sox in the World Series. I think the odds favor that matchup at least, and possibly that outcome, but I’m choosing to be difficult. So that I may be able to say I stuck with my preseason predictions the whole time,, I’m going to have the Giants beating the Red Sox in the Series. This requires that the Giants beat the Cubs, which I do not think will actually happens, but who cares?

All of that said, Madison Bumgarner winning a one-and-done and Even Year B.S. working again would be a clear sign that the cosmos like to mess with us. On some level, I like the idea of the cosmos messing with us, so I’m comfortable with it.

Predictions:

CRAIG:

Wild Card
Orioles over Blue Jays
Giants over Mets

ALDS: Rangers over Orioles in 5
ALDS: Red Sox over Indians in 5
NLDS: Giants over Cubs in 5 (UPSET SPECIAL!!)
NLDS: Dodgers over Nationals in 5
ALCS: Red Sox over Rangers in 6
NLCS: Giants over Dodgers in 7 (THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!)
World Series: Giants over Red Sox in 7

 

BILL:

Wild Card
Blue Jays over Orioles
Giants over Mets

ALDS: Rangers over Blue Jays in 5
ALDS: Red Sox over Indians in 4
NLDS: Cubs over Giants in 4
NLDS: Dodgers over Nationals in 4
ALCS: Red Sox over Rangers in 6
NLCS: Cubs over Dodgers in 6
World Series: Cubs over Red Sox in 6

 

ASHLEY:

Wild Card
Blue Jays over Orioles
Mets over Giants

ALDS: Blue Jays over Rangers in 5
ALDS: Red Sox over Indians in 5
NLDS: Cubs over Mets in 5
NLDS: Dodgers over Nationals in 5
ALCS: Red Sox over Blue Jays in 4
NLCS: Cubs over Dodgers in 6
World Series: Cubs over Red Sox in 5

Now that that nonsense is over, let’s watch the games and see what really happens.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.