Staff Picks | MLB Playoff predictions


AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole pitches to a Toronto Blue Jays batter during a game in New York on April 13, 2022.

By The Pitt News Staff

Major League Baseball just wrapped up its Wild Card series, setting the stage for the divisional rounds. With those games starting on Tuesday, The Pitt News sports desk gives their predictions about how the rest of the bracket will play out.

Yankees take down Braves in World Series for title No. 28 // Dalton Coppola, Sports Editor

Sure, my Yankee fandom is definitely shining through with this pick. But the Yankees’ starting rotation is criminally underrated. The trio of Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino can go toe-to-toe with any team’s top three pitchers.

Aaron Judge is getting some protection in the lineup back with DJ Lemahieu and Matt Carpenter returning. Judge finally gets his long-awaited World Series ring this October, and the Bronx Bombers win their 28th after a 13-year drought.

Braves go back-to-back over Astros // Frankie Richetti, Senior Staff Writer

The last time there was a World Series rematch involving the same two teams as the previous year was in 1978, when the Yankees matched up against the Dodgers.

There hasn’t been a repeat champion in baseball since the Yankees in 2000. Both of those things will change this year.

Atlanta is hot at the right time. Since Aug. 8 — when they were seven games back of first place in their division — the Braves surged to a 37-15 record. Atlanta has all the ingredients to repeat.

Braves defeat Yankees in five (sorry, Dalton) // Alexander Ganias, Staff Writer

There’s just no stopping Atlanta right now. Their roster is jam-packed with talent of differing experiences, and the pitching is some of the best in the league — Charlie Morton, Max Fried, Ronald Acuña, Matt Olson, Austin Riley and the list goes on. However, in order to party like it’s 1999, the Yankees will have to break out of their version of a slump.

The Bronx Bombers haven’t made it to the Fall Classic since 2009, when they defeated the Phillies in six games. They have the pieces to do it, including the should-be MVP Aaron Judge. But with inconsistencies in their lineup, including several players coming back from injury, they won’t stand a chance against the Braves’ bats and staff.

Mariners win battle of the underdogs against Phillies in seven // Richie Smiechowski, Assistant Sports Editor

Just two games into their playoff run, the Seattle Mariners have stolen my heart. 

They knocked off Toronto in two games at one of MLB’s most raucous stadiums, and now they’re about to give the fans of Seattle their first home playoff game since 2001. This team can handle adversity and will continue to provide magical comebacks and breakout performances down the stretch. 

Seattle will win all three of their World Series games at T-Mobile Park. All they’ll need is one out of four in Philly. 

Embrace unpredictability. Hey now, hey now, hey now. 

Astros avenge last year’s loss by sweeping the Braves // Brian Sherry, Staff Writer

As an Anaheim Angels fan (yes, Anaheim, not Los Angeles), it pains me to say that the Houston Astros are the most talented team in baseball. They’ve consistently dominated the American League, playing in three title series in the last five years. 

This year’s team might be the best in Astros history. Pitcher Justin Verlander is the clear favorite to win the AL Cy Young, and Yordan Alvarez has been electric this season.

Plain and simple, no team compares to the Astros. Houston will return to Atlanta and obliterate the Braves in four. 

Astros take down a historic Dodgers team // David Scott, Staff Writer

I think the Houston Astros are quite simply the best team in baseball right now.

Now, there are a lot of really good teams in the MLB playoffs and they have a lot of games, but the Astros would strike the most fear into me as an opposing team. 

They are the most well rounded of all the teams in the league. Their pitching is nothing short of nasty, and on top of that, they have possibly the most productive lineup in baseball.

The Los Angeles Dodgers produced a historically good record in the regular season, but this year the Astros will bury the 2017 cheating scandal and take the World Series in six games.

Dodgers beat Mariners for first World Series sweep since 2007 // Zack Gibney, Senior Staff Writer

Boring, I know.

I tried to pick a team other than the 111-win juggernaut that consistently laughs at all forms of parity in Major League Baseball, but in the words of Dennis Green, “They are who we thought they were.”

Julio Urias has been the most underrated pitcher in baseball over the past few years. He enters October on one of the best runs of his career, sporting a 1.27 ERA in his last 14 starts. Oh, and the Dodgers also boast four former league MVPs.

Los Angeles may not lose four games in the playoffs, let alone a single series.

Don’t overthink it.

The Dodgers get revenge for 2017 and beat the Astros in six // Ben Pisano, For The Pitt News

If the trends of the last five years are any indication of how this MLB postseason will turn out, we can expect to see either the Houston Astros represent the American League or the Los Angeles Dodgers represent the National League in the World Series. I predict we will see both teams make it to the championship this year for a rematch of their 2017 bout.

The 2017 series is a contentious subject for Los Angeles fans, after reports emerged that the Astros stole signs during the 2017 season and postseason. Later this month, the teams will run it back, but this time the Dodgers will emerge victorious.

The Dodgers are the behemoth of the National League right now, breaking a franchise record for regular season wins and outscoring their opponents by 334 runs. 

The Astros can bang on as many trash cans as they want. There’s no stopping this Dodgers team.

Yankees edge the Dodgers in six, in another clash between legendary franchises // Mason Carter, For The Pitt News

Two of the biggest brands — and wallets — in the sport clashing at the end of October is a thought that haunts most baseball fans.

I believe that the fun is just beginning for both of these teams, who finished off historic seasons. The Yankees endured a rollercoaster season powered by arguably the greatest offensive season in baseball history by star outfielder Aaron Judge. On the other hand, the preseason title favorites didn’t disappoint, finishing with a franchise best 111 wins.

I think the teams are more evenly matched than people think, with the Yankees securing major pieces back from the IL. Not only does the Yankees 13 year World Series drought end, but they’ll finally complete the chase for 28.

Yankees repeat history, defeat Phillies in six // Jermaine Sykes, Staff Writer

The Yankees will finally get their 28th World Series championship by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games — the team they defeated for their 27th championship in 2009. 

The Phillies, coming into the playoffs as a sixth seed, have an improbable road to the World Series. But they’re clicking at the right time. Unfortunately, they will run into the Yankees.

Everyone has heard of and seen of the Yankees’ playoff mishaps over the course of the last decade, but this season has a different feel to it. I think they get it done and cap off a historic season for their soon-to-be 16th captain, Aaron Judge.