Library of Congress

2017 Playoff Predictions

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The playoffs are weaponized randomness. The one-and-done Wild Card games are like Russian roulette, only with worse odds. As such, the sorts of caveats we offer with our usual regular season predictions apply even more so now. Picking playoff winners is a fool’s errand. Luckily, we here at HardballTalk are not afraid to look foolish.

As a general observation, the Indians strike us as the strongest team in the AL. Both Bill and Ashley like the Nationals in the NL. I’m less sure about that, even though it wouldn’t surprise me if they advanced. I just think the Cubs look a bit stronger than them and that the Dodgers have figured out their late season problems and will finally move past the NLCS. For what it’s worth, Ashley picked the Nationals to win it all way back in March. Bill picked the Dodgers. I picked the Cubs to repeat. At least Ashley has the courage of her long-held convictions. Bill and I drift with the wind. Men, right?

Anyway, here you go. If you place actual wagers based on these predictions, God help you.

CRAIG

AL Wild Card: Yankees over Twins

NL Wild Card: Diamondbacks over Rockies

ALDS1: Astros over Red Sox in 5
ALDS2: Indians over Yankees in 4

NLDS1: Cubs over Nationals in 5
NLDS2: Dodgers over Diamondbacks in 5

ALCS: Indians over Astros in 6
NLCS: Dodgers over Cubs in 6

World Series: Indians over Dodgers in 6

 

BILL

AL Wild Card: Yankees over Twins

NL Wild Card: Diamondbacks over Rockies

ALDS1: Astros over Red Sox in 4
ALDS2: Indians over Yankees in 4

NLDS1: Nationals over Cubs in 5
NLDS2: Dodgers over Diamondbacks in 3

ALCS: Indians over Astros in 7
NLCS: Nationals over Dodgers in 6

World Series: Indians over Nationals in 5

 

ASHLEY:

AL Wild Card: Yankees over Twins

NL Wild Card: Diamondbacks over Rockies

ALDS1: Astros over Red Sox in 5
ALDS2: Indians over Yankees in 3

NLDS1: Nationals over Cubs in 4
NLDS2: Diamondbacks over Dodgers in 4

ALCS: Indians over Astros in 5
NLCS: Nationals over Diamondbacks in 6

World Series: Nationals over Indians in 6

Phillies pause Jerad Eickhoff’s rehab

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Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.

Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.

Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.

Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.