The Major League Baseball Playoffs Breakdown

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Photo by Phil Goodwin on Unsplash

Riley Bird, Staff Writer

With the unique 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs underway, some teams have already emerged as clear favorites and some have emerged as underdogs. From the majority favorite Los Angeles Dodgers to the underdog Miami Marlins, all teams have talent and should be exciting to watch as the playoffs progress. Here is a team by team breakdown of the 2020 MLB Playoffs:

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers :

After having the best record in the MLB during the regular season, making quick work of the Millwauke Brewers during the wildcard series, The Dodgers have to face off against another strong National league favorite, the San Diego Padres. According to ESPN, LA has the most favorable odds for winning the World Series at 39.5 percent. With a star studded lineup that has  players like, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Mookie Betts they should be a hard team to beat this postseason. The Dodgers over the past few seasons have had trouble in the playoffs even though they did really well in league play all of these seasons. Losing to both Houston and Boston in consecutive seasons in 2017 and 2018, Dodgers fans are hoping this isn’t the same this season. “ I’m hoping that this year isn’t like the last few and I genuinely feel that this is the best team we have had in the past five years,” lifelong Dodgers fan Joe Gonzalez ‘22 said.

 

     2. San Diego Padres: 

The San Diego Padres are not a team to be reckoned with. With stars in the field like Fernando Tatis Jr, Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer, and Mitch Mooreland and a phenomenal pitching rotation of MIke Clevenger and Dinelson Lamet, they are a serious contender on paper. The Padres have the second highest winning probability at 14.7 percent. However with the injuries of both  Clevenger and Dinelsom , they are going to need the rest of their rotation to step up their game, especially playing against a offensive powerhouse like the Dodgers. So far, their bullpen has proven to play better than expected, with players like Tim Hill and Adrien Morjeno standing out and putting up suprising numbers.

 

    3. New York Yankees:

After an up and down season all year, They started out the season on a tear winning 16 out of their first 20 games, then they hit a rough patch and only won 4 more games until the end of the season when they won 10 straight. The Yankees are up in the air as far as their playoff run. They happened to be the favorites to represent the American League in this year’s world series, but they will have to make it through some formidable opponents. They are facing off against the Tampa Bay Rays in the divisional series which is tied at one game a piece. Technically, the Ray’s had the better record against the Yankees during the season but it’s worth noting that New York was missing some of their key players. With Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, and Dj Lemahieu all healthy they should give the Rays a tough series.

 

   4. Atlanta Braves:

Atlanta has as good a  offense as anyone,  with players like Freddie Freeman, Ronal Acuna Jr., and Ozzie Albies. They also have some young stud pitchers like Max Fried and Ian Anderson. As they face off with the underdog Miami Marlins in the division series it should be an easy win for them, and according to ESPN they are favored to win the series by 70 percent. The big question for them is will they be able to hold their own against either San Diego or Los Angeles if they make it to the Championship series. With the talent in the National League it will be hard for them due to their lack of experience if they are to advance their probability of winning the world series according to ESPN is 12.6 percent. 

 

  5. Tampa Bay Rays:

The second highest ranked team coming out of the American League is the Tampa Bay Rays with an 8.8 percent chance of winning the World Series. The real brightspot for the Ray’s this year has been their dominant pitching staff which takes a lot of pressure off their offense. This should help them out greatly in the playoffs due to the great amounts of offensive talent in these teams. Where they lack is their offensive with the only standout being Brandon Lowe who helped lead Tampa to have a lineup that ranked 12 in the league for runs scored.

 

   6. Oakland A’s

The Bay Area team,  The Oakland A’s came out stronger than ever this year which was a breath of fresh air for many A’s fans. In the 2020 regular season the A’s finished with the sixth best Earned Run Average in the entire MLB. Their stellar pitching coupled with the offensive power of Matt Chapman, Khris Davis, and Ramon Laureano should give them the edge in their series against the Astros. However they have already lost two games and all the Astros need to sweep them is to win one more. “ As a lifelong A’s fan, this year it’s probably not going to happen but I think we need to get the new guys playoff experience so they hopefully will stay with the team and lead them to the trophy in upcoming years,” JJ Savala ‘22 said. The A’s have a 6.7 percent chance of winning according to ESPN.

 

   7. Houston Astros:

After the cheating scandal that put a large dent in the Houston Astros’ reputation, they are out to prove the league wrong and say that they didn’t just win the 2018 World Series because they cheated. With the lowest percentage in the American League at 5.9 percent the Astros are looking like they might upset the A’s with a 2 game lead. Their offensive power which was heavily questioned after the scandal led by Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman has looked very promising against the A’s. If the Astros could keep their momentum rolling they could give the winner of the Tampa vs New York series a run for their money. The Astros have a 5.9 percent  percent chance of winning the World Series.

 

  8. Miami Marlins:

The so-called “Cinderella team” of this post season has been the Miami Marlins. Not a lot of people expected to see them here, in fact according to ESPN’s MLB insiders they had a 300-1 chance of winning the World Series in july but their pitching staff and some rookie offense has gotten them into the spot they are in now. With Sandy Alcantara and Sixto Sanchez, they should be able to hang in with the Braves, but with the Braves odds it doesn’t look too good for them. They have a 1.2 percent chance of winning the World Series this year.