“Joe Talkin’ To Me?!” NL Takeover: What To Look Forward To If Your Fantasy Baseball Season Is Over (Other Than Fantasy Football, Duh!)
After six months, or a half-year, of rankings, drafts, injuries, drops/adds, and day-after-day of grueling lineup decisions, the end is near. I have given as much advice as I possibly could, potentially committing espionage against myself by giving top-secret analysis to the public that my enemies could use against me. TREASON!
Thanks for reading all season long. And thanks to The Godfather of MLFS, Corey Roberts, for giving me a shot at writing with zero credentials. Corey, I hope you saw the Mets drop 35 runs in three games at Coors while Tulo is struggling with a .218 BA away from the Drunken Air…or should I say High Air? It’s not even real baseball in that park. Anyway…No one likes to hear “I told you so”, but I did.
If you are out of it this season, have no fear as the MLB playoffs are around the corner, even if your fantasy ones are not. Time to talk a little bit of real life baseball by giving you guys my playoff predictions for the NL.
National League East Winner: New York Mets
I wanted so badly to pick the Mets in our preseason predictions, but I didn’t have the balls to go with my gut and picked the Nats with the Mets grabbing a Wild Card. I can pinpoint the exact moment that I knew the Mets were going to take this division. It was when Jason Werth declared the Nats as “the team to beat”. For a team that was coming off a sweep at the hands of the newly revitalized Mets, this was brash, arrogant, and showed complacency. It showed the Nats had zero sense of urgency and no hunger. He followed it up making excuses about injuries, as if the Mets have not had any. The Mets were trotting a AAA lineup out on the field for two months, and the Nats could not pull away. After acquiring Cespedes, the Mets have gone 16-6, and are the team with all the swagger and confidence. There’s no excuses coming out of Queens. The Mets have three pitchers who are all better than the most overrated “ace” in baseball history, Stephen Strasburg. Imagine how far behind the Nats would be if they did not come in at the 11th hour and sign Max Scherzer, and if Bryce Harper waited one more year to blossom. The Mets hold a 5-game lead with the team captain due back today. He has been out since April 14th.
National League Central Winner: St. Louis Cardinals
They have the best record in baseball, despite losing their ace, Adam Wainwright, for the year. The Pirates, four games behind, are red-hot and charging hard, but they won’t stay that hot and all the Cards do is win. The baseball factory in St.Louis keeps churning out good MLB players. What else would you expect from the organization that invented the minor-league system (literally, they invented it).
National League West Winner: San Francisco Giants
After seemingly having the division wrapped up, the Dodgers now find themselves clinging to a one game lead over the Giants. The D-Backs are even alive behind the awesome power of Paul Goldschmidt, trailing by five games. I get the feeling that the Giants are going to get hot and overtake the Dodgers, leaving them to fight for a “Wild Card Playoff Spot”. Other than Greinke and Kershaw, the Dodgers do not have much going on. Joc Pederson has come crashing down to Earth. After a red-hot May and June, the rookie finds himself batting .214 on the season. Yasiel Puig is quick becoming a talented, but overrated player. The Giants on the other hand, much like the Cardinals, keep pumping out good, solid MLB players. Matt Duffy and Joe Panik are the new craze, while Brandon Crawford has hit his prime. Those three along with Buster Posey form a terrific infield. In crunch time, give me MadBum over Greinke and Kershaw.
National League Play-In Game (That is what it is folks): Dodgers vs Pirates
With much respect to the Cubs, I can’t see them staying this hot with all the young talent on the roster. I like the Dodgers behind Greinke and Kershaw to overtake the Cubs for the final spot, after they themselves are overtaken by the Giants. The other spot will go to the Pirates, who are one of the best all-around teams in baseball, but unfortunately play in the same division as the Cardinals.
Winner: Operating under the assumption that both teams get their aces lined up for this game (not likely if they are fighting for this spot down the stretch), we would have Kershaw vs Cole in PNC Bank Park. I would pick the Pirates to win late on the strength of the bullpen, and the simple fact that they have a little more “it” than LA does.
Pirates vs Mets – As the Wild Card team, the pirates are supposed to play the team with the best record. However, MLB has a rule that states a team cannot play a team from their own division in the Divisional Round. So the Pirates find themselves here, facing Harvey, Degrom, and Syndergaard in a short series with their ace already used up in the play-in game. Advantage Mets.
Giants vs Cardinals – This is like being in one of those public bathrooms with mirrors in front and behind you, and you can see an infinite amount of reflections of reflections. This series is so difficult to pick, but I will go with the cards based on home field advantage and a deeper starting rotation.
Mets vs Cardinals – Trying to be as unbiased as I can, I would think the Cardinals will be coming off a tough series where they faced MadBum twice, While the Mets might be rested with their pitching aligned. The Cards get at least this far almost every year, but this is often their ceiling. Yoenis Cespedes has transformed this Mets team and behind the three aces they have, can beat anyone…including the Cardinals.
National League Champion New York Mets
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