Dutch Lion’s 2019 MLB Playoffs Preview
We are very excited about the baseball playoffs this October, as usual. However, with the Cubs not qualifying for the first time since 2014, we’re even more pumped than usual. Back in our 2019 Season Preview, we correctly predicted four out of six division winners. Those were the N.Y. Yankees, Houston, St. Louis, and the L.A. Dodgers. We also hit on two more Playoff teams: Washington and Milwaukee. Overall, that means “Dutch Lion” correctly selected 6 of 10 MLB Playoff teams, way back in April. Not bad!
Hits! (“Dutch is an amazing soothsayer”):
- N.Y. Yankees went 103-59 (Prediction: 102-60)
- Chicago White Sox went 72-89 (Prediction of our favorite team: 74-88 and in 3rd Place; Only 1.5 games away from a perfect call!)
- Houston won the A.L. West with a 107-55 record (Prediction: 97-65 and 1st Place)
- Washington went 93-69 and made the Wild Card (Prediction of one of our favorite N.L. teams: 95-67; Only 2 games away!)
- Miami went 57-105 (Prediction: 57-105….to quote: “They stink like fish. They might set a record for worst record ever (1962 Mets were 40-120). Well, they won’t be that bad. Will they?”)
- St. Louis won the N.L. Central with a 91-71 record (Prediction: 96-66 and 1st Place)
- Milwaukee was a Wild Card qualifier at 89-73 (Prediction: 93-69 and 2nd Place)
- Chicago Cubs finished in 3rd Place, out of the Playoffs at 84-78 (Prediction: 89-73 and out of the Playoffs; We actually OVERrated the hated Cuuuuu. An actual text message from a Cubs fan after reading my Preview column: “I think you’re being too harsh on the Cubs.” Not enough apparently.)
- L.A. Dodgers won the N.L. West for the 7th consecutive year at 106-56 (Prediction: 99-63 and in 1st Place!)
- San Francisco went 77-85 in Manager Bruce Bochy’s last season (Prediction: 76-86 and in 3rd Place; A quote from the Preview, “Unfortunately, the Giants aren’t good enough to give him a deserved send-off. San Francisco won 73 games last year. Expect more of the same.”)
Misses 😦 (“Dutch is just plain dumb”):
- Minnesota won the A.L. Central at 101-61 (Prediction: 81-81)
- Tampa Bay is a Wild Card at 96-66 (Prediction: 81-81)
- Seattle bottomed out at 68-94 (Prediction: 90-72 and a Wild Card. A 22 game miss. Ouch!)
- Oakland qualified for a Wild Card at 97-65 (Prediction: 73-89 and in 4th Place. Doh!)
Updated MLB Playoff Predictions
A.L. Division Series: #1 Houston over #5 Tampa Bay – Houston’s rotation (Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and in-season addition Zach Greinke) is just too darn good for Tampa to compete.
A.L. Division Series: #2 N.Y. Yankees over #3 Minnesota – I guess we were wrong about Minnesota, but we were right about New York. The Yankees are awesome! Despite all of the injuries, they won 103 games and will win 3 more in this best-of-5 series.
A.L. Championship Series: #2 N.Y. Yankees over #1 Houston – It’s hard to pick against the wonderful ‘Stros, but we’ll stick with our original preseason pick for American League Champion. The Yankees will go to their first World Series since 2009. In case you’re counting, that’s a full decade of zero World Series’? What! New York can’t have that.
N.L. Division Series: #1 L.A. Dodgers over #4 Washington – The Dodgers are primed to pump the competition. They have home-field advantage. They have the best starting rotation in the National League. They have experience. Pick Los Angeles to move on.
N.L. Division Series: #3 St. Louis over #2 Atlanta – The Cardinals are on a roll over the second half of the season. They were 44-44 at the All-Star Break, but went 47-27 the rest of the way to win the Central. One of the biggest reasons was SP Jack Flaherty. He went 11-8 with a 2.75 ERA for the year, but he was red-hot at the end, going 7-2 with 3 no decisions since August 1. He only allowed 7 earned runs over the last two months. What! Those are Bob Gibson type numbers. Atlanta’s rotation isn’t nearly as good.
N.L. Championship Series: #1 L.A. Dodgers over #3 St. Louis – This potential NLCS has pitching galore. Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Rich Hill for L.A. St. Louis counters with Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright, and Dakota Hudson. That is some serious pitching. This series could be fantastic. Watch for Los Angeles to continue winning with at least one more walk-off victory. Their 12 walk-off wins this year was almost too hard to believe. However, their franchise record was 15 walk-off wins in 1974. The Dodgers won the pennant with a 102-60 record in ’74. Then they lost the World Series to the Oakland A’s 4 games to 1.
2019 World Series
I’m sticking with my preseason prognostication. The Dodgers will beat the Yankees in a classic World Series from days gone by. Like the 1950’s when “Dem Bums” finally got over the hump to beat their New York City rivals, the now Los Angeles Dodgers will finally knock down the door and win their first World Series Championship since 1988. As in 1955, the 2019 Dodgers will put years of “close but no cigar” to rest. This is the Dodgers year. No more waiting until next year. This finally is ‘Next Year’. Dodgers are the Champs. I Love L.A. !!!!!