2017 Playoff Predictions

Library of Congress
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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

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

toronto blue jays
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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.