Tag Archives: Baseball

2022 World Series Preview & Prediction

By MLB Correspondent Mia Barahona

After a rapid thrilling Championship Series, the World Series is finally here! This year’s “Fall Classic” features the American League pennant winner, the Houston Astros, and the National League pennant winner, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Astros appear in their fourth World Series since 2017 while the Phillies are appearing for the first time since 2009. The previous meeting of both teams occurred in the 1980 NLCS when the Phillies won 3 games over the Astros 2 games, before Houston made the switch from National League to American League in 2013.

American League Championship Series Recap

The Houston Astros completed a four game sweep over the always heavily-favored New York Yankees. The series matchup between the Astros and Yankees marked the third time both teams have met each other in the Championship Series previously in an infamous 2017 ALCS and 2019 ALCS. This meeting marked the first postseason meeting since the reveal of the sign stealing scandal used for Houston during the 2017 season and an infamous Jose Altuve walk-off home run off of the Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman during the 2019 ALCS.

National League Championship Series recap

The Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres came into the postseason as massive underdogs with little to none expectations of competing for the National League pennant. Against all odds, the Phillies defeated the fan favorite Cardinals and defending champion Braves to advance; the Padres defeated the Mets and the profound 111-win Dodgers to advance.

The Phillies defeated the Padres 4 games to 1. Game 2 marked the first time that brothers have played against each other in a postseason game as a pitcher and batter: Phillies’ pitcher Aaron Nola against his older brother, Padres’ catcher Austin Nola.

American League Championship MVP: Jeremy Peña

Jeremy Peña came into the season as a rookie with big shoes to fill in after longtime Astros shortstop, Carlos Correa, signed a 3-year-contract worth $105.3 million this past offseason.

Peña not only helped the Astros win the American League pennant, but he ended his championship series campaign with a batting average of .353, slugging percentage of .824, and an ops percentage of 1.176. He hit a then game-tying 3-run home run off of Yankees’ starter Nestor Cortes in game 4 that led the Astros in route of a 6-5 win.

National League Championship MVP: Bryce Harper

When Bryce Harper debuted for the Washington Nationals in 2012 at the age of 19, he quickly gained a reputation of being a “five-tool” player with an arrogant attitude problem. After reaching free agency during the 2018-2019 offseason, Harper signed a then record contract of 13 years worth $330 million. In a 2019 MLB Poll, written by The Athletic, Bryce Harper was voted most overrated player gaining 62% of votes.

Harper finished his Championship Series campaign with a batting average of .400, hitting 2 home runs, 3 doubles, 5 runs batted in, and scoring 4 runs in a span of the series. With his campaign, he helped the Phillies win their first National League pennant since 2009.

Why each team will win

The Astros had one of the best bullpens and starting rotations this year. Their pitching was good during the regular season, but when it came down to postseason, they were lights out. Their pitching needs to continue their form to win the World Series.

The Phillies had no expectations to go this far in the postseason, but they went as far as making the World Series. Their success starts with their offense led by NLCS MVP Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, and Alec Bohm to just name a few. Their offense needs to score runs at every chance they get to win the World Series.

Why each team won’t win

The Astros’ offense is a force to be reckoned with the many talents of Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, and a rising star Jeremy Peña. But what about longtime Astros second baseman Jose Altuve? Altuve is currently in the midst of a huge slump this postseason while having a batting average of .094 and an OPS of .296. The Astros need him to start performing if they want to win with their calculated offense.

It is no surprise to anyone that the Phillies have two great starting pitchers on their pitching staff with Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Starting pitching will be a determining factor if the Phillies want to win. But, the Phillies need more from their starting pitching other than the obvious 1-2 punch of Nola and Wheeler.

Steal a base, steal a taco

Since 2015 and 3 times before then, Taco Bell has created a promotion that gives fans the opportunity to win a free taco when a base is stolen during the World Series. To collect your free taco, participants must be registered with the Taco Bell Rewards program while downloading the free Taco Bell app. To download the app, please visit your app store. To sign up for the rewards and learn more information, please visit tacobell.com. Enjoy your free taco!

World Series Schedule

All games on FOX

  • Game 1: Friday, October 28
  • Game 2: Saturday, October 29
  • Game 3: Monday, October 31
  • Game 4: Tuesday, November 1
  • Game 5: Wednesday, November 2*
  • Game 6: Friday, November 4*
  • Game 7: Saturday, November 5*

*If necessary (Best-of-7 series)

World Series Predictions

Who will win the World Series: the favored Astros or the postseason underdog Phillies?

Prediction: Astros in 6 games

MLB 2022: Championship Series

Division Series Recaps and Predictions for the Pennant

By MLB Correspondent Mia Barahona

Ironically, the Division Series featured three matchups of division rivals out of the four matchups. The highly anticipated matchups provided upsets from the lower seeds against the higher seeds, the first inside-the-park home run by a catcher in postseason history, extra innings heroics, and a lucky goose to remember.

Division Series Recap

NL: #1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. #5 San Diego Padres

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers
Winner: San Diego Padres

The Dodgers won 111 regular season games and had a huge advantage when it came to playing their NL West rival, the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers won the season series 14 games to San Diego’s 5 games and had a divisional lead of 22 games between the first place Dodgers and second place Padres in the NL West. The Padres and their lucky goose won the series causing an upset over the favored Dodgers.

In game 1, Dodgers’ starter Julio Urias made his first career game 1 postseason start, allowing 3 runs in 5 innings pitched while striking out 6 batters. The Dodgers started their scoring with a Trea Turner home run in the bottom of the first inning. The Dodgers added 3 more runs in the bottom of the third inning chasing Padres’ starter Mike Clevinger out, having only pitched 2.2 innings while allowing 4 runs on 6 hits. The Padres’ Wil Myers tried to start a comeback in the top of the fifth inning hitting a solo home run. The comeback wasn’t enough as the Dodgers won the game, 5-3.

In game 2, Padres’ Manny Machado started the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the first inning. Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning and Max Muncy hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The Padres regained the lead in the top of the third inning with a Manny Machado double and Jake Cronenworth groundout. The Dodgers soon tied in the bottom of the third inning with a Trea Turner solo home run. What should’ve been an inning double play in the top of the second inning, Dodger’s Trea Turner made an error allowing 2 San Diego runners on base that eventually scored a run from Padres’ Jurickson Profar RBI single. Jake Cronenworth added on a solo home run to seal a Padres win 5-3.

In game 3, Padres’ Jake Cronenworth hit an RBI single driving in Juan Soto that gave the Padres a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Dodgers’ starter Tony Gonsolin was shaky and left the game after pitching only 1.1 innings allowing reliever Andrew Heaney to give up a solo home run to Padres’ Trent Grisham. A Mookie Betts’ sac fly in the top of the fifth inning cut the Padres lead to 2-1. The Dodgers offense had many opportunities to score more runs, including a bases loaded jam in the top of the third inning, but failed to capitalize as they went 0 for 9 in runners on scoring position. The Padres eventually won the game 2-1, their first postseason win at home since 2006.

In game 4, after a 31-minute rain delay, San Diego native and Padres’ pitcher Joe Musgrove gave up a 2-run double to the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman in the top of the third inning to put the Dodgers up 2-0 in their elimination game. The Dodgers then added another run in the top of the seventh inning hoping that they could get 9 more outs and force a game 5 in Los Angeles. Other plans happened as the Padres’ Austin Nola started a 5 run comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning that completed the comeback and upset as the Padres defeated the Dodgers 5-3; The Padres earned a championship berth, their first since 1998. With the Dodgers defeat, they became the second team to lose a playoff series to an opponent with 22 less wins as the first was the Chicago White Sox over the Chicago Cubs in the 1906 World Series.

NL: #2 Atlanta Braves vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Prediction: Atlanta Braves
Winner: Philadelphia Phillies

The defending 2021 World Series Champions, the Atlanta Braves, have the highest expectations to repeat as champions once again. The last repeat champions were the ‘98-’00 New York Yankees and the Braves hoped to return back to the World Series starting off with a divisional series against their NL East rival, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves look to have had an easy series win but the Phillies got hot at the right time when it mattered and caused an upset as the Braves would not be looking to repeat as champions.

In game 1, the Phillies’ offense got off to a hot start when Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm hit RBI singles in the top of the first inning to put the Phillies up 2-0. Braves’ Travis d’Arnaud hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning to cut the deficit to 2-1. The Phillies added 4 more runs between the top of the third inning to the top of the fifth inning to extend their lead to 7-1. In a last hope of sparking a ninth inning comeback, Braves’ Matt Olson hit a 3-run home run to put the Braves within a run but ultimately fell short 7-6.

In game 2, a rain delay of 2 hours and 55 minutes didn’t stop Braves’ starter Kyle Wright from pitching 6 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and walking 1 while striking out 6 batters. A struggling Braves offense came to life during the bottom of the sixth inning as they scored 3 runs. The Braves 3 runs was enough to win the game and tie the series a game apart heading back to Philadelphia.

In game 3, the game remained scoreless until the Phillies’ offense exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the third inning that started with a Bryson Stott RBI double, a Rhys Hoskins bat slam for a 3-run home run and ended with a solo home run from Bryce Harper. The Phillies’ offense wasn’t done scoring as they scored 3 more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning that led them to a 9-1 victory.

In game 4, Phillies’ Brandon Marsh hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the second inning followed by an inside-the-park home run by J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto’s home run made him the first catcher ever to hit an inside-the-park home run in the postseason. The Phillies’ opened the scoring with a 3 run bottom of the sixth inning. The Braves’ solo home run efforts weren’t enough to tie as the Phillies added another run with a Bryce Harper solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning that propelled them to a 8-3 win earning a championship series berth, their first since 2010.

AL: #1 Houston Astros vs. #5 Seattle Mariners

Prediction: Houston Astros
Winner: Houston Astros

Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that the Houston Astros are a force to be reckoned with. Their offense is explosive and their pitching is fantastic. Arguably one of the favorites to win the World Series, the Astros will do anything to win and forget about the troubled sign stealing scandal.

In game 1, in his first postseason game since 2019, Astros’ starter Justin Verlander pitched a disappointing 4 innings allowing 6 runs on 10 hits. The Mariners had a substantial lead coming into the bottom of the ninth inning 7-5. Instead of Astros’ Yordan Alvarez being walked with 2 outs, Mariners’ Robbie Ray allowed a walk-off 3-run home run hit by Alvarez as the Astros won 8-7.

In game 2, Astros’ Kyle Tucker started the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. The Mariners quickly tied and regained a 1 run lead in the top of the fourth inning. As if Yordan Alvarez already hadn’t saved the Astros before in the prior game, he did it again. Yordan Alvarez hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning and it was enough to help the Astros win, again, 4-2.

In game 3, a new postseason record was set as this was the first postseason game in Seattle in 21 years. For seventeen innings, the game remained scoreless surpassing the previous record of fifteen innings between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Guardians in  the 2022 American League Wild Card Series game 2. Astros’ rookie Jeremy Pena hits a solo home run in the top of the eighteenth inning to give the Astros a much needed 1-0 lead. The Mariners couldn’t come back to tie and walk-off the game, sending the Astros to the championship series in six consecutive seasons with their win.

AL: #2 New York Yankees vs. #3 Cleveland Guardians

Prediction: New York Yankees
Winner: New York Yankees

The Yankees are one of the best franchises, not only in baseball, but in other sports from around the world. Their 27 championships are a record within the MLB, but the team always strives for greatness and a 28th championship. Their last championship came in 2009, and have struggled to meet the expectations since then. This year, slugger Aaron Judge had a phenomenal season to remember with 62 home runs, 131 RBI’s and a .311 avg. that could possibly win him the MVP and a championship back to New York.

In game 1, Gerrit Cole made his first postseason start at Yankee Stadium since becoming a member of the team in 2020. He gave up a solo home run to the Guardians’ Steven Kwan in the third inning to put the Yankees down 1-0. The Yankees’ offense came back to score runs in the bottom of the third inning, fifth inning, and sixth inning to give them the lead 4-1. Other than allowing a single run, Gerrit Cole pitched 6.1 innings while walking 1 batter, hitting a batter and striking out 8 batters. The Yankees won 4-1 and marked their sixth straight postseason win over Cleveland since the 2017 American League Division Series game 3.

In game 2, Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton started the Yankees scoring with a 2-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. The Guardians came within a run from an Andres Gimenez RBI single in the top of the fourth inning and tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run from Amed Rosario. Guardians’ Oscar Gonzalez hit an RBI single to break the tie and pull ahead 3-2 in the top of the tenth inning. Josh Naylor hit an RBI double to add an insurance run to propel the Guardians 4-2 as that was enough to win the game.

In game 3, the Guardians scored 2 runs between the bottom of the first and second inning but not before Aaron Judge hit a game tying 2-run homerun in the top of the third inning. The Yankees kept on adding on to their lead 5-3 hoping to win. In the bottom of the ninth inning down 2 runs, the Guardians came back to win 6-5. 

In game 4, facing elimination, Yankees’ Gerrit Cole pitched 7 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 8 batters. Anthony Rizzo started the Yankees’ scoring with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. Harrison Bader hit a 2-run home run totaling the Yankee runs to 3. The Guardians came up with an RBI single from Jose Ramirez in the bottom of the third inning and a solo home run from Josh Naylor in the bottom of the fourth inning to pull within a run, 3-2. The Yankees added their final run from a Giancarlo Stanton sac fly and forced a game 5 in New York as they won 4-2.

In game 5, Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton hits a 2-run home run to quickly put the Yankees up 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Aaron Judge adds a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning to extend the Yankees’ lead 3-0. Guardians’ Jose Ramirez hits a sac fly in the top of the third inning to put Cleveland in the scoring column but wasn’t enough as Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo hits an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Yankees ultimately won the game 5-1 and the series.


Championship Series predictions

NL: #5 San Diego Padres vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Prediction: San Diego Padres (series is currently 1-1)

If you were to tell me earlier this year that the Padres and Phillies were competing for the NL pennant with a World Series berth on the line, I would have laughed because the Dodgers and Braves are arguably the best teams in the National League right now. That is nowhere near today’s case as the Padres and Phillies caused their respective upsets and are now looking to compete against each other. Both of these two teams are neck and neck with each other in every category but the Padres have the slightest advantage in offense and starting pitching. The Padres can win, but don’t doubt the Phillies ever.

AL: #1 Houston Astros vs. #2 New York Yankees

Prediction: Houston Astros (Astros currently lead 1-0)

This is a highly anticipated series for numerous reasons. It’s a rematch of the very controversial 2017 and 2019 ALCS. The tension between these two teams building up from the past 5 years will most definitely make this series a must watch with intense moments and a potential winner takes all game 7. Both teams have high scoring offenses, dominating pitching staffs, and skilled defense. But to win the AL pennant, would be the Houston Astros because of their recent domination against the Yankees and how well they can perform in games as they are the better team between the two.

Championship Series Schedule

(Separate schedule for NL and AL)

*If necessary (Best-of-7 series)

NL games will be on Fox/FS1

  • Game 1: Tuesday, October 18 | (Phillies 2-Padres 1)
  • Game 2: Wednesday, October 19 | (Padres 8-Phillies 5)
  • Game 3: Friday, October 21
  • Game 4: Saturday, October 22
  • Game 5: Sunday, October 23
  • Game 6: Monday, October 24*
  • Game 7: Tuesday, October 25*

AL games will be on TBS

  • Game 1: Wednesday, October 19 | (Astros 4-Yankees 2)
  • Game 2: Thursday, October 20
  • Game 3: Saturday, October 22
  • Game 4: Sunday, October 23
  • Game 5: Monday, October 24*
  • Game 6: Tuesday, October 25*
  • Game 7: Wednesday, October 26*

2022 MLB Playoff Preview

By MLB Correspondent Mia Barahona

Guide to the playoff format

For the first time under a new format, this year’s playoff bracket includes a total of 12 teams (6 teams each from the AL and NL), an upgrade from the previous 10 teams in the most recent years. The 6 teams from each league include the 3 division winners (West, Central, and East) along with 3 wild card winners.

The 6 teams from each league will be seeded according to their respective division wins and/or records among fellow wild card teams.

The top 2 seeds get a bye straight into the division series (best-of-5 games) while the #3 seed is hosting the #6 seed and the #4 seed is hosting the #5 seed in the wild card series (best-of-3 games). Winner of the #3 seed/#6 seed play the #2 seed in the division series while winner of the #4 seed/#5 seed play the #1 seed in the division series.

#1 seed: Best League record

#2 seed: 2nd best division winner

#3 seed: 3rd best division winner

#4 seed: Best record among wild card teams

#5 seed: 2nd best record among wild card teams

#6 seed: 3rd best record among wild card teams

2022 Postseason Field

Now that the playoff field is officially all set, let’s take a look at the teams competing for the title in 2022.

American League

#1 seed: Houston Astros

Players to watch: Yordan Alvarez (37 home runs) and Justin Verlander (1.75 ERA)

Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports

#2 seed: New York Yankees

Players to watch: Aaron Judge (record breaking 62 home runs, .311 avg. and 131 RBI) and Gerrit Cole (record breaking 257 strikeouts)

AP Photo/Adam Hunger

AL #3 seed: Cleveland Guardians

Players to watch: Jose Ramirez (126 RBI), Steven Kwan (.298 avg.) and Emmanuel Clase (42 saves and 1.36 ERA)

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

AL #4 seed: Toronto Blue Jays

Players to watch: Vlad Guerrero Jr. (32 home runs) and Alek Manoah (16 wins)

(Frank Franklin II/AP)

AL #5 seed: Seattle Mariners

Players to watch: Julio Rodriguez (28 home runs and 25 stolen bases) and Ty France (low 15.3% strikeout rate)

(Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports)

AL #6 seed: Tampa Bay Rays

Players to watch: Shane McClanahan (2.54 ERA) and Drew Rasmussen (125 strikeouts)

(CHARLES REX ARBOGAST | Associated Press)

National League

NL #1 seed: Los Angeles Dodgers

Players to watch: Mookie Betts (35 home runs) and Freddie Freeman (.325 avg. and 100 RBI)

(Jeff J. Snider | SI.com)

NL #2 seed: Atlanta Braves

Players to watch: Austin Riley (38 home runs) and Spencer Strider (202 strikeouts)

(AP Photo)

NL #3 seed: St. Louis Cardinals

Players to watch: Nolan Arenado (30 home runs and 103 RBI) and Paul Goldschmidt (.317 avg., 35 HR and 115 RBI)

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NL #4 seed: New York Mets

Players to watch: Pete Alonso (40 home runs and 131 RBI), Max Scherzer (2.29 ERA), Jeff McNeil (.326 avg.) and Edwin Diaz (32 saves and 1.31 ERA)

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NL #5 seed: San Diego Padres

Players to watch: Manny Machado (.298 avg., 32 home runs and 102 RBI) and Yu Darvish (16 wins)

(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

NL #6 seed: Philadelphia Phillies

Players to watch: Kyle Schwarber (46 home runs) and Aaron Nola (235 strikeouts)

(via: Philadelphia Inquirer)

Schedule & Predictions for Wild Card Series

Friday, October 7 – Sunday, October 9*

*If necessary (Best-of-3 Series) | All wild card games will be streaming on ESPN, ESPN 2 and/or ABC.

NL:

#3 St. Louis Cardinals vs. #6 Philadelphia Phillies

Winner: St. Louis Cardinals | Will play #2 Atlanta Braves in the NLDS


#4 New York Mets vs. #5 San Diego Padres

Winner: New York Mets | Will play #1 Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS


AL:

#3 Cleveland Guardians vs. #6 Tampa Bay Rays

Winner: Tampa Bay Rays | Will play #2 New York Yankees in the ALDS


#4 Toronto Blue Jays vs. #5 Seattle Mariners

Winner: Toronto Blue Jays | Will play #1 Houston Astros in the ALDS

Zoey Williams: Eagle Athlete Spotlight

By Denisse Sanchez

Our Eagle Athlete Spotlight is on Zoey Williams, an 18-year old senior at John Glenn High School who is in the unique position of being a girl on the boys’ baseball team. 

Her thought process behind joining baseball is that she’s setting a good example for girls. She believes that women and girls can do as much equal hard work as men and boys.

Zoey was interested in playing baseball because she wanted to try something different. Growing up she played Little League baseball until she was 10 years old, and then she transferred to softball. In addition to baseball and softball, she also plays volleyball.

Transferring from Artesia to Glenn, it was time to meet Zoey and learn more about her, so I conducted an interview with her in early May, and this is what she had to say:

Question: What was your thought process when considering baseball at Glenn? Did the fact that the sport is led by men affect your decision at all? Does it make a difference for you?

Zoey: My thought process for considering baseball at Glenn was how I would be treated coming onto the team by the other players and parents. But I kept telling myself at the end of the day I’m setting an example that women can do as much equal hard work as men. The fact that the sport is all men didn’t change my decision on still joining. Being the only female on varsity baseball for Glenn has been different for me because I have to work ten times harder than the rest of my teammates–the throw is longer compared to playing softball and the uniforms are bigger than usual so I have to get special uniforms (laughing), but everything else isn’t really different only because I’m treated equally like how the boys who are my teammates get treated.

Question: What made you want to join baseball instead of softball?

Zoey: I chose to do baseball over softball because I wanted to try something new for my senior year and show others to not be afraid to join something they want to do. But I was on the softball team and ended up leaving the team to join baseball full time with the boys.

Question: What position do you play?

Zoey: I play anywhere in the infield except for pitcher, but my main position is catcher. When I’m not catching, shortstop is my secondary position.

Question: How have the games been going so far?

Zoey: I thought the games were really good, in my opinion, being that I started both games as catcher.

Question: As a kid did you ever play sports? Did you play Little League or softball?

Zoey: As a kid I played T-ball and Little League baseball until I was 10, which then I transferred to softball for 12u all the way up to now which will be 18u going into college level playing for a college. Growing up since I was a kid I also raced dirt bikes and quads (4-wheelers) and I played volleyball which I still do and enjoy very much.

MLB 2021 Predictions

By MLB Correspondent D.Higgins

After the most unprecedented season in baseball history, Major League Baseball gets back to normal in 2021 (well, as normal as pandemic life can get, anyway).

Fans will be in the stands, National League pitchers will be hitting again, and MLB teams will have regular 162-game schedules. Most importantly, spring has arrived and baseball is back!

The Dodgers open tomorrow, April 1 in Colorado, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10pm to kick off the four-game series. Their home opener will be Friday, April 9 against the Washington Nationals.

The Angels begin their season with a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox, opening tomorrow night, April 1, at 7:05pm.

We previewed the reigning World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the Angels extensively when spring training began, and now it’s time to take a wider view of the whole league. I am going to take a stab at the 2021 division standings, as well as postseason predictions and major awards.

So, in what are sure to be guesses that look completely foolish in six months, it’s prediction time!

2021 Standings Prediction

NL WESTNL CENTRALNL EAST
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Diego Padres
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. Colorado Rockies
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Milwaukee Brewers
3. Chicago Cubs
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
1. Atlanta Braves
2. New York Mets
3. Washington Nationals
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. Miami Marlins
AL WESTAL CENTRALAL EAST
1. Houston Astros
2. Los Angeles Angels
3. Oakland Athletics
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Texas Rangers
1. Chicago White Sox
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Cleveland Indians
4. Kansas City Royals
5. Detroit Tigers
1. New York Yankees
2. Toronto Blue Jays
3. Tampa Bay Rays
4. Boston Red Sox
5. Baltimore Orioles

Awards:

NL MVP: Mookie Betts (Dodgers)

NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom (Mets)

NL ROY: Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pirates)

AL MVP: Mike Trout (Angels)

AL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole (Yankees)

AL ROY: Casey Mize (Tigers)

Postseason:

NL Wild Card Teams: Padres and Mets

NL Pennant Winner: L.A. Dodgers

AL Wild Card Teams: Twins and Blue Jays

AL Pennant Winner: Yankees

World Champion: Dodgers

The Dodgers and Yankees will meet in the World Series for the 12th time overall, and for the first time since 1981. Throughout their storied rivalry, the Yankees have beaten the Dodgers in 8 of 11 contests between 1941 and 1981, with the only Dodger victories coming in 1955 (Brooklyn’s only championship), a Koufaxian sweep in 1963, and a 1981 title led by Fernandomania. This time, exactly 40 years since they last met in October, the Dodgers will prevail again, becoming the first MLB champs to repeat since the Yankees did it from 1998-2000.

There are my fearless predictions. I’ll be sure to check back in with you in October to let you know how wrong I was; but, in the meantime, enjoy the return of baseball!

THE 2020 DODGERS ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS!

By Jesus Suarez

Third time’s the charm. 

After losing the World Series in both 2017 and 2018, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally won the World Series, 4 games to 2 over the Tampa Bay Rays, bringing the championship back to Los Angeles for the first time since 1988.

The Dodgers ended the 32-year drought by winning the deciding Game 6 by a score of 3-1, with runs from Austin Barnes and Mookie Betts as well as a solo home run from Betts in the 8th inning. The winning pitcher was Victor Gonzalez for the Dodgers, and Julio Urias secured the save by retiring the final seven batters in a row.

Corey Seager was named the World Series MVP after batting .400/.556/.700 with 2 HR and 5 RBI, scoring 7 runs. Seager also won the NLCS MVP, becoming just the 8th player ever to win both LCS and World Series MVP awards in the same season, and the 2nd Dodgers player after Orel Hershiser did the same thing in 1988.

Many criticized Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash when he took starting pitcher Blake Snell out of the game. Snell was dominating the Dodgers offense, striking out nine batters in four innings and allowing only 2 hits. Soon after Blake Snell was pulled out of the game, the Dodgers immediately came out on top, Betts eventually scoring the go-ahead run to win the game.

Justin Turner Positive for Covid-19

In one of those “Only in 2020” moments, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was pulled out of the game after the seventh inning. Many fans feared that he had an injury and were worried. Turner had actually tested positive for Covid-19 during the game. That’s not what really sparked controversy though–everyone was worried as he was seen celebrating with the team after testing positive, and even appearing in the team photo to the left of the trophy. Shortly after the game, Turner wrote the following on Twitter:

On Friday, November 6, Major League Baseball announced that Turner would not receive any punishment or discipline for breaking Covid-19 protocol. Turner also issued an apology and explanation for coming onto the field for team photographs, explaining that Dodger employees told him it was okay to go back onto the field.

•The NLCS Comeback

Before they won the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers had to do something they had never done before: After being down 3-1 in the NLCS, they forced a Game 7 and defeated the Atlanta Braves by a score of 4-3.

The Braves never lost the lead until Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run to allow the Dodgers to take the 4-3 lead for the first time in the 7th inning. The winning pitcher of the game was Julio Urias who came in during the 7th inning and then pitched three perfect innings, becoming the Mexican pitcher with the most career wins in the postseason.

The game was very intense as the Dodgers relied on their bullpen almost all game. Good defensive plays–like Justin Turner’s double play, and Mookie Betts’ robbery of a home run (below)–helped the Dodgers come out on top of the Braves. Kiké Hernandez also became the first batter to tie a Game 7 as a pinch-hitter with a big home run in the 6th inning.

Mookie Betts robs Freddie Freeman of a home run during Game 7 of the NLCS (Getty Images)

The Dodgers had many important hits like Will Smith’s 2-run double; and both Bellinger’s and Kiké’s homers were done on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. Corey Seager won series MVP despite going 0-5 in Game 7. He was important to the Dodgers in the series, as he had 5 home runs and 11 RBIs.

A lesson that should be learned is that it is not over ‘til it’s over, and the Braves fans found that out the hard way.

•An historic 11 runs in the first inning of the NLCS Game 3

The Dodgers not only had to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the pennant; they also faced a 2-0 deficit when game 3 of the NLCS began. But the Dodgers lineup was hot in the first inning of Game 3 when they scored 11 runs in the first inning–a major league record for any one postseason inning. The Dodgers got home runs by Edwin Rios, Joc Pederson, and Max Muncy added a grand slam in the historic inning, putting the game away early.

Mexican pitcher Julio Urias went 5 strong innings, and along with the Dodgers offense, they managed to win Game 3 easily by a score of 15-3, which kept their hopes of winning the pennant alive. The Dodgers eventually became the first National League team to come back and win a series after being down 2-0 since the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals.