MLB postseason predictions in a pandemic year

Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, stays empty for the entire 2020 season. Photo courtesy of

Patrick Arth, Contributing Writer

2020 was a disastrous year for everyone. COVID-19 has become a world-wide pandemic, resulting in the shutdown of businesses, events and sports. July came along, and the MLB announced a shortened 60 game season and a regular postseason.

Now that the regular season has come to an end,  the playoffs will be starting Monday, Sept. 29. 16 teams will enter, and one will remain holding up the commissioner trophy. There’s always debate around how these teams will matchup and what the outcome will be. Here is my take on who will most likely remain victorious by the end of October.

Round 1

No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays vs. No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays: While the Blue Jays struggled to make their October appearance, the Rays are cruising through the rest of the season, resting up for their world series hopeful playoff run. The Rays best player, Brandon Lowe, leads the team in Batting Average, Homeruns, and Runs Batted In– there’s no way the Blue Jays can stop him. And just to add on, the Blue Jays can’t even play in their home stadium. This series is easy, Rays move on to the next round.

No. 7 Chicago White Sox vs. No. 2 Oakland Athletics: The White Sox, towards the end of the season, quickly falling in seeding, can’t matchup against the Athletics. Even with the A’s losing their key player, Matt Chapman, due to an injury. With the White Sox dropping like flies, and the A’s surging as a team with great chemistry, the White Sox have no chance. The A’s move on.

No. 6 Houston Astros vs. No. 3 Minnesota Twins: With the notorious Houston Astros going into their first postseason after the cheating scandal. And the Twins with key player Nelson Cruz (.303 Batting Average) there’s no way the Astro’s can compete with any team without their cheating. The Twins will march on to round 2 easily.

No. 5 New York Yankees vs. No.4 Cleveland Indians: This has to be the series to watch– it’s going to be a serious battle. The once World Series hopeful New York Yankees, have turned to a mediocre baseball team. With the Indians and the best pitching rotation in the MLB, with Bieber as their ace, and an impressive 1.63 Earned Run Average. This series will be a battle to the end. But the Yankees are a different team whenever they make the playoffs, especially with their best player at the moment, DJ LeMahieu, batting a whopping .364. However, Cleveland will still come on top limping to the next round.

No. 8 Milwaukee Brewers vs. No 1 Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers going into the regular season were predicted to be a powerhouse and the favorites to take it all. Still remaining as the favorites, with a powerful batting row of Corey Seager (.307), Mookie Betts (.292) and AJ Pollock (.276). The Brewers have no chance of winning a single game this series. The Dodgers sweep the Brewers.

No. 7 Cincinnati Reds vs. No. 2 Atlanta Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. has been an exciting player for the Atlanta Braves all year long. The Braves might be a tough team to beat, but they actually might struggle against the Cincinnati Reds. Trevor Bauer, with a 1.73 Earned Run Average, and the pitching rotation are one of the main reasons why the Reds will make their postseason appearance. But the Braves will remain victorious after this tough battle.

No. 6 Miami Marlins vs. No. 3 Chicago Cubs: The Cubs once again are in the mix for the Commissioner trophy. With a strong ace pitcher, Yu Darvish, with a 2.01 Earned Run Average. But going into the postseason with Kris Bryant hurt, it will be a struggle. Having an incredible season, and the Marlins having their ups and downs, I do believe that the Cubs will move on to the next round.

No. 5 St. Louis Cardinals vs. No. 4 San Diego Padres: The Cardinals had a tough season, with all the players being tested positive for COVID-19 and having an even shorter season. And the Padres with Fernando Tatis Jr. having a breakout year, batting .274 with 17 Home Runs. One disadvantage the Padres have though, is a dent in their pitching rotation, their newly acquainted Mike Clevinger with his sprained right elbow. This is definitely an exciting series to watch. But I see the Padres moving on to the next round.

Round 2

No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. No. 4 Cleveland Indians: This is where the Indians’ season comes to an end. Assuming Cleveland will struggle… and not get as much rest. Matching up against the Rays, their playoff run ends here. The Rays will move on to the next round.

No. 3 Oakland A’s vs. No. 2 Minnesota Twins: This will be a very good series to watch. Yet the Athletics have had an amazing season and will have a good postseason run. The Twins have no chance after the first round, with the Indians burning out their pitching rotation. The A’s will move on to the ALCS.

No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. No. 4 San Diego Padres: This might be a tough one for LA, after not being challenged by the Giants, the Dodgers might be surprised about what Tatis Jr. and the Padres have to bring. The Dodgers will still win but it will be a tough series.

No. 3 Chicago Cubs vs. No. 2 Atlanta Braves: Again, another tough matchup for both teams. Both of them being equally as good, and another good series to watch. The series will go back and forth. But after the long series struggle, the Cubs will be going home.

Round 3

No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. No. 3 Oakland A’s: At this point, the Athletics might be running out of gas, especially with the lack of a good pitching rotation. They will keep on competing, but not to their full potential after a hard series against the Twins. The Rays will move on to the world series, but it’s going to be one of the most interesting and hardest series for both teams, a battle to the end.

No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. No. 2 Atlanta Braves: The Dodgers are tired, the Braves are tired. But when they start playing, the Dodgers will surprisingly glide through this series. Not a sweep, but a hard battle. The Dodgers will move on to the world series.

World Series

No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays: The final series everyone has been waiting for. A surprisingly tough battle for both teams in the postseason. This crazy season will come to an end with a crazy world series. It’s going to go back and forth for both teams all the way up to game 7. But with an amazing season, and offseason, I see the Los Angeles Dodgers bringing the Commissioner trophy back home. Dodgers win in 7.

This short 60 game season has been an up and down roller coaster for not only these teams that have qualified for the playoffs, but for all the other teams too. COVID-19 has definitely been a huge factor to this season. But everyone will already be looking forward to the next year, in hopes of a normal season with actual fan attendance.