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MLB postseason predictions from a sports reporter

October is here, and that means the Major League Baseball postseason is upon us. A time of year where all 162 games played comes down to a few tightly contested matchups where every game, inning, and even pitch matters. This year is no exception. With the new pitch clock rules where the game happens so fast, the 2023 playoffs should be extra exciting. 

Why? Well, game time is down by nearly 30 minutes. No more players standing around, rubbing substances on their bats, or readjusting their helmets. Also, stolen bases are up, the highest they’ve been since 1997. This includes the fewest baserunners that have been caught stealing since 1920

To add this all up, MLB in 2023 has seen more action, less dead time, and more meaningful games. How can someone not watch playoff baseball this season? Before I preview the teams in the postseason and make my predictions, let’s start with how the playoffs work. 

There are 30 teams in the MLB and only 12 make the postseason. MLB is divided into two leagues, American and National, each having 15 teams. Each “league” has three divisions with five teams in each division. The division winners at the end of the season all make the playoffs which results in six teams automatically making the playoffs. 

The top two division winners in each league with the best record all get a bye week and avoid playing in the Wild Card round. The remaining division winners in each league with the worst record all play in the Wild card round. The other six teams that didn’t win the division will join them. 

Here is my ranking of each playoff team from worst to best:

(Graphic by Spinnaker)

Division Series Round: 

Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles – This series will be a dogfight if it happens. Two teams that are of a small market with homegrown talent and win in different ways. Texas has a dominant offense with over 880 runs scored in the regular season while Baltimore won over 100 games. The Orioles have the home-field edge and win the series 3-2.

Minnesota Twins vs. Houston Astros – This matchup will be quite one-sided. The Astros just have too much firepower and experience, with a great home-field advantage too. Houston also has better starting pitching with Minnesota only having the bullpen edge. Houston sweeps the Twins 3-0.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – A very similar type of matchup. The Dodgers have great hitters in the likes of Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts, while the Diamondbacks just aren’t quite in the same talent zone. Arizona can keep games close with their starting pitching, but LA will sweep Arizona 3-0.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – This is probably the best matchup of the whole division series round. The Phillies are coming off of a World Series run and Atlanta had one of the best offensive performances ever in the regular season. Atlanta just has too many weapons on offense in Ronald Acuña and Austin Riley; the Braves take this one in 4 games, 3-1.

League Championship Series:

Baltimore Orioles vs. Houston Astros – These teams are totally different. The Astros have tons of playoff experience with seven straight postseasons under their belt, while Baltimore is finally in for the first time since 2016. With Baltimore’s bullpen being slightly better and Houston having the better offense and experience, the Astros win this series in 7 games, 4-3 and advance to the World Series.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves – Easily the best matchup so far in the postseason. Two teams with a ton of stars and prolific offenses, we should be seeing some great games in this series. I feel LA will just not quite play at the same level on offense and with the Braves having home-field advantage, Atlanta wins this series 4-2.

World Series:

Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves – A rematch of the 2021 World Series, when the Braves upset the Astros. This Atlanta team is too good offensively not to win it all this season. With players like Austin Riley and Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves have too much talent. Atlanta wins their second World Series in three years, defeating Houston 4-1.


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About the Contributor
Ethan Howick
Ethan Howick, Sports Reporter
Ethan Howick is a first-year communications major at the University of North Florida. Ethan has a passion for sports journalism with hopes of becoming a journalist and/or broadcaster for a sports media company someday. During his free time, Ethan enjoys spending time with his family and attending many sporting events with friends.

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