Inside the Mind of Ditti: October Rules!

Mike Venditti
October 04, 2018 - 4:41 pm
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The glorious month of October is upon us and as a sports fan, there really isn't a dull moment.  NFL and College Football seasons are in full swing, the NBA and NHL have returned and...most importantly, playoff baseball.

As a baseball-first guy, I'm obviously most interested in the MLB Postseason, but that doesn't mean I'm ignoring the rest.  Just don't expect anything beyond baseball in this blog post.

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Now that the actual playoffs have been set after the play-in games, I'm ready to make my predictions for the 2018 MLB Postseason.

And yes...I will make both a homer pick and an educated pick when it comes to the Red Sox...but we'll start in the National League and a little closer to home.

NLDS- LA Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves

This is maybe the most interesting series match-up not involving a team that I root for.

The Braves, according to pre-season predictions, have overachieved all season long.  Riding a perfectly crafted roster of journeyman vets and rising super stars to a National League East Division title and doing so one or two years sooner than most experts expected.

NL Rookie of the Year candidate Ronald Acuña Jr. has been the driving force behind the new-look Braves club this season and even though Atlanta will be without Dansby Swanson in this series, the overall talent on this team is enough to make things a lot of fun against a far more experienced Dodgers club.

Los Angeles, unlike the Braves, have more or less underachieved in 2018.

As the clear-cut favorites in the NL West, the Dodgers needed 163-games to clinch their division and had to battle down the stretch to even earn that shot against the red-hot Rockies.  

Of course, the Dodgers still have to be considered the favorite in this series with the depth and talent of their roster and that guy named Clayton Kershaw in the rotation, but don't sleep on this Braves team.  A lot of people did coming into the season.

Ditti Pick:  Braves defeat Dodgers in 4 games

Just feels like one of those magical seasons when you watch Atlanta play this year.  Couple that with the fact that the Dodgers' have been so Jekyll and Hyde all year and I think the Braves pull it off and head to the NLCS

NLDS- Colorado Rockies vs Milwaukee Brewers

The Rockies have had a long week, but remain one of the hottest teams in the league heading into October.  With the playoff game loss to the Dodgers on Monday, Colorado had to make the overnight trip to Chicago to face off with the Cubs on Tuesday night in the National League Wild Card game.

A game that they were able to win, showing not only great resilience, but that they are legit and need to be taken seriously this postseason.  

Meanwhile, the Brew Crew was also able to take out the Cubbies at the Friendly Confines in the NL Central playoff game on Monday and not only clinched a division crown, but earned home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Brewers, like the Rockies and Braves, were not really expected to be here.  This is why the NL postseason sets up to be so much fun.  The unexpected is inevitable.  

Ditti Pick: Brewers defeat Rockies in 5 games

I think this one is back and forth.  The Brewers can mash, so road games in the Mile High city could actually benefit them, but the Rockies do play very well on the road.  I do expect home field advantage to play a role in the decisive game 5, as Miller Park is a crazy place and Milwaukee will be rocking that night.

ALDS- Houston Astros vs Cleveland Indians

This match-up is very interesting. 

Two of the best teams over the last few years squaring off in a divisional series sets up for endless drama.  

Just look at the Game 1 pitching match-up; Kluber vs Verlander.

I mean, wow.  Then there's even more ace level starters behind them, playoff seasoned bullpens and not to mention, star-studded line-ups with POP.

This one is almost guaranteed to go 5-games and come down to the last few frames.

Ditti Pick- Indians defeat Astros in 5-games.

In a shocker, the Indians will outlast the 'Stros in Houston in Game 5.  Kluber will twirl a gem and Terry Francona will either be on his way to meet his former team or former rival for the American League pennant. 

ALDS- New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox

The rivalry is back in action in October!

As a Red Sox fan, I'm excited, nervous and bummed.

I'm excited to see yet another epic showdown of these two franchises with a chance to play for the AL Pennant.  

I'm nervous because it's Yankees/Red Sox and anything can happen.  The Yankees line-up seems healthy after the throttling of the A's in the Wild Card game and you always see legendary performances from unexpected players in pinstriped come October.

I'm bummed because we're only getting a 5-game series.  

For the very first time, the Red Sox and Yankees will match up in an ALDS.  Shockingly, this is only the 4th time they two clubs have even played a playoff series against each other.  All since 1999.

Like the Houston/Cleveland series, this series is also loaded with super stars.  Judge, Stanton, Betts, Martinez, Sale and more.  It's going to be emotional, it's going to be gut wrenching and it's going to be a reminder that this is one of, if not the, best rivalries in all of sports.

"Homer Mike" Pick- Red Sox sweep Yankees in 3

Yup, the homer in me see's nothing to worry about.  Sale cruises through game one, Price earns his Sox in Game 2.  The series shifts to the Bronx and Pretty Ricky takes care of business like a former Cy Young Award winner should and the Sox will face, and defeat, their former skipper in the ALCS.

Professional Broadcaster/Analyst Ditti Pick- Red Sox defeat Yankees in 5-games

Yeah, that's right.  I'm picking the Sox regardless.  Why?  Chris bleeping Sale is why.  Did you see his presser today?  Dude is locked in and Price is ready too.  I don't have faith in the two games in the Bronx so I'm predicting 5-games, but if Sale goes in 1 and 5, the Red Sox are heading to the ALCS and there is nothing homer about that pick.

If these picks all come true, then these are your Championship Series match-ups:

  • NLCS- Atlanta Braves vs Milwaukee Brewers
  • ALCS- Cleveland Indians vs Boston Red Sox

We will see in a week just how far off I am on all of this because after all...that's why they play the games.

Stay tuned for more Inside the Mind of Ditti blogs and even new podcasts (RETURNING SOON!!!).  After the divisional series, I will do a recap of the action, check my predictions and point out my inaccuracies and make my predictions for the actual AL and NL Championship series'

As always, find me on Facebook (/InsideTheMindOfDitti), Twitter (@Ditti33) and Instagram (dittius33).  Any and all respectful feedback is welcome!

Until next time...

Be Excellent to Each Other!

-Ditti

 

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