Dutch Lion’s 2020 MLB Playoffs Preview
Just two months ago, we published our 2020 MLB Preview. The sixty games flew by and here we are, Opening Day of the 2020 Playoffs. Here’s the recap of our regular season predictions, along with previews and predictions of this unique Postseason.
AL Playoffs PREDICTIONS on 7/27:
- New York Yankees – AL East Champ
- Minnesota Twins – AL Central Champ
- Houston Astros – AL West Champ
- Los Angeles Angels – AL West Runner-Up
- Chicago White Sox – AL Central Runner-Up
- Boston Red Sox – AL East Runner-Up
- Cleveland Indians – Wild Card
- Tampa Bay Rays – Wild Card
AL Playoffs ACTUAL on 9/29:
- Tampa Bay Rays (predicted 8th at 31-29; ACTUAL: 40-20)
- Oakland A’s (surprised us, predicted 30-30; ACTUAL: 36-24)
- Minnesota Twins (predicted 2nd at 38-22; ACTUAL: 36-24)
- Cleveland Indians (predicted 7th at 33-27; ACTUAL: 35-25)
- New York Yankees (predicted 1st at 40-20; ACTUAL: 33-27)
- Houston Astros (predicted 3rd at 37-23; ACTUAL: 29-31)
- Chicago White Sox (predicted 5th at 36-24, finished 7th at 35-25. People laughed at our prediction. Dutch Lion replies, “IN YOUR FACE”.)
- Toronto Blue Jays (surprised us, predicted 28-32; ACTUAL: 32-28)
As you can see, we called six of eight postseason participants. We thought the Los Angeles Angels and the Boston Red Sox would make it but instead the Oakland A’s and Toronto Blue Jays grabbed Playoff berths.
AL Wild Card Round (Best of 3)
#1 Tampa Bay (40-20) vs #8 Toronto (32-28) – The Rays went 40-20 to win the AL East Division. How? I still don’t think they’re very good. I follow baseball closely. It’s one of my favorite sports. If I don’t know their players, how many people actually do? Let’s face it, they’re not that good. Let’s go through some of their main players: Joey Wendle, Brandon Lowe, Manuel Margot, Willy Adames, Kevin Kiermaier, Austin Meadows, Yoshi Tsutsugo, and Hunter Renfroe. No offense to all those Rays fans out there, but who are these guys? Tampa’s strength is their pitching. They have Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, and Charlie Morton. Toronto has an exciting, young team centered around the legacies Vlad Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, and Boba Fett (Bo Bichette), along with Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel, and Hyun Jin Ryu on the bump. PICK: Toronto in an upset…. or is it?
#2 Oakland (36-24) vs #7 Chicago (35-25) – As a biased White Sox diehard, I can see why people would think I’m only picking the Sox based on forty plus years of loyalty. Well, they may be right. Nonetheless, the Sox are awesome. The lineup is amazing, the bullpen is solid, and the first two starters are fantastic. Oakland is kind of like Tampa Bay, they don’t look good on paper but somehow they find a way to win. Not this series. PICK: Sox in an easy two game sweep.
#3 Minnesota (36-24) vs #6 Houston (29-31) – We knew two months ago that both of these teams would make the postseason. What we didn’t know was that the Astros pretty much stunk for 60 games, winning less than half. I guess Justin Verlander finally ruined his elbow, so there’s that. PICK: Minnesota is just a way better team. Their lineup is astounding.
#4 Cleveland (35-25) vs #5 New York (33-27) – The best first round Playoff matchup by far, this opener features Shane Bieber vs Gerrit Cole. What! This seems like an ALCS but instead of one these teams will be gone in three games, or maybe even two. PICK: New York
ALDS (Best of 5)
#5 New York vs #8 Toronto – This is a mismatch. The Yankees are potentially awesome while Toronto is lucky to be in the postseason. PICK: New York in 3
#3 Minnesota vs #7 Chicago – This could be an epic series. Two of the most dominant lineups in the game battle each other to advance to the ALCS. As much as I love our young Sox team, I think Minnesota is just too good this year. PICK: Minnesota in 4
ALCS (Best of 7)
#3 Minnesota vs #5 New York – This would be an exciting series to watch. The Twins have lost to the Yankees in six of their last seven postseason appearances. What! Minnesota’s last series win was against the Oakland A’s in the 2002 ALDS. Then the Twins lost to the Anaheim Angels in the 2002 ALCS. Since then, zilch. Minnesota lost to the Yankees in 2003, ’04, ’09, ’10, ’17 and ’19. They also lost to the A’s in ’06. This is astounding. PICK: New York…again.
NL Playoffs PREDICTIONS on 7/27:
- Los Angeles Dodgers – NL West Champ
- St. Louis Cardinals – NL Central Champ
- Philadelphia Phillies – NL East Champ
- Atlanta Braves – NL East Runner-Up
- Cincinnati Reds – NL Central Runner-Up
- San Diego Padres – NL West Runner-Up
- Washington Nationals – Wild Card
- Milwaukee Brewers – Wild Card
NL Playoffs ACTUAL on 9/29:
- Los Angeles Dodgers (predicted 1st at 42-18, ACTUAL: 43-17)
- Atlanta Braves (predicted 4th at 34-26; ACTUAL: 35-25)
- Chicago Cubs (surprised us, predicted 29-31; ACTUAL: 34-26)
- San Diego Padres (predicted 6th at 31-29; ACTUAL: 37-23)
- St. Louis Cardinals (predicted 2nd at 40-20; ACTUAL: 30-28)
- Miami Marlins (surprised us very much, predicted 15-45; ACTUAL: 31-29)
- Cincinnati Reds (predicted 5th at 32-28; ACTUAL: 31-29)
- Milwaukee Brewers (predicted 8th at 30-30; ACTUAL: 29-31)
NL Wild Card Round (Best of 3)
#1 Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17) vs #8 Milwaukee (29-31) – As much as I like the Brewers, I also love L.A. We must admit the fact it would be a travesty if the Brew Crew won this series. Can you believe it is entirely possible the Dodgers season might be over in as few as 18 innings if the Brewers miraculously carve out two winning scores on Wednesday and Thursday? The MLB bosses including Commissioner Rob Manfred would be forced to answer questions about this farce of a format. Nonetheless, Milwaukee shouldn’t be a problem for this juggernaut. PICK: Dodgers in a two game sweep.
#2 Atlanta (35-25) vs #7 Cincinnati (31-29) – The Reds could easily win this series over the Braves. Cincinnati is throwing Trevor Bauer in Game 1 (led NL with 1.73 ERA and 2 shutouts), Luis Castillo in Game 2 (3.21 ERA), and Sonny Gray in Game 3 (3.70 ERA). Atlanta counters with Max Fried (a perfect 7-0 record) in Game 1. The Braves lineup is better and I suspect that will be the difference. PICK: Atlanta in three.
#3 Chicago Cubs (34-26) vs #6 Miami (31-29) – As much as I bag on the Cubs, I think the Marlins stink way more. How is Miami even in this? The Cubs offense is meek, like a baby bear. However, their starting pitchers are tough. Plus, they have loads of postseason experience. PICK: Chicago in a two game sweep.
#4 San Diego (37-23) vs #5 St. Louis Cardinals (30-28) – Remember how the Cardinals had the early season COVID situation? They found a way to fight through the massive amounts of doubleheaders, albeit 7 inning DH’s, and made the Playoffs. So now what? San Diego is playing great baseball. PICK: San Diego, no St. Louis, no….not sure. We’ll take the Cardinals in three.
NLDS (Best of 5)
#1 L.A. Dodgers vs #5 St. Louis – The Dodgers will breeze through this series. PICK: L.A. in three.
#2 Atlanta vs #3 Chicago Cubs – This is where it gets tough for the Cubs. Atlanta is a legitimate team, unlike the Marlins. PICK: Atlanta in four games.
NLCS (Best of 7)
#1 L.A. Dodgers vs #2 Atlanta – Los Angeles is a great team. Why? They have it all. They have awesome starting pitching (Clayton Kershaw, ). They have a lineup only money could buy (Mookie Betts), along with intelligent scouting (Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler), and development, and experience, and history. L.A. is on a mission. PICK: Los Angeles in 5.
2020 World Series
*(We did a simple copy and paste from our July 27 Preview because our feelings haven’t changed one iota.)
Los Angeles has won their division seven (* now eight) years in a row but still haven’t won the World Series since 1988. Like in 1955, and in ’88, “This is the Year”. Take it from Vin Scully, “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened”. Your 2020 COVID World Champions…the Los Angeles Dodgers.