Treasurer, Staff Writer
One of the best things about October is the MLB Postseason. This is the time of year where dreams are made, when men become stars, and stars become legends. This is where all the drama happens.
For us fans, 2015 offers a real treat. Teams that haven’t been in the postseason for years finally make their triumphant returns, allowing their fans to finally have a reason to keep rooting in October.
The Echo is proud to present its predictions for the 2015 MLB postseason, starting with the Division Series this week, then the Championship Series, followed by the World Series. The wild card game, in my opinion, didn’t count because technically, it’s the game that rewards the winner with an actual trip to the playoffs.
(Sorry Yankees and Pirates fans of WestConn.)
Anyway, without further delay, here are the predictions. The series will be judged on five factors: hitting, pitching, coaching, history, and intangibles. Let’s begin with the Rangers and Blue Jays.
ALDS: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers
Hitting: Blue Jays
Why? The Blue Jays have the best lineup in baseball due in part to Josh Donaldson, who is making a very convincing case to be the AL MVP. Additionally, Donaldson is protected in this lineup with a power duo of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, not to mention solid speed from Ben Revere and Kevin Pillar. Newcomers Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin, both of whom have postseason experience, also push this lineup from solid to deadly.
Why? Postseason experience is kinder than star power for pitching staffs. The Rangers have by far the most experienced staff in the AL with 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels leading the attack. Colby Lewis and Derek Holland also are valuable players. Although the final rotation spot is a question mark, if the Rangers rotation is able to carry the team for at least 6 innings in each game, the bridge to Shawn Tolleson, the team’s out-of-nowhere bona-fide closer can get them at least two wins. I’m especially looking forward to the 2008 rematch between Price and Hamels.
Coaching: Blue Jays
Why? John Gibbons has been around the league longer, plus he’s seen this team go through the bad times. He’s managed to bring together a team of bought players into a cohesive unit, a massive enough undertaking as it is, and bring them this far. Gibbons’ passion is definitely going to help him in this situation.
History: Blue Jays
Why? This one’s almost unfair because Toronto has two titles while the Rangers have none. Of note is the 1993 World Series when Joe Carter won it all with a game winning home run off of Mitch Williams in Game 6. The one thing that puts the Rangers close is former pitcher Cliff Lee’s dominating performance in the 2011 World Series, which was completely undermined by St. Louis Cardinals hero David Freese’s dramatic walkoff in game 6, which set the stage for them to win the title that year.
Intangibles: Blue Jays
Why? They’re the only team from Canada, they play in one of the only two stadiums that has artificial turf, and their stadium has a hotel in it. Let’s also not forget that Canadian cuisine, particularly poutine, is downright delicious.