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

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.