TWSN 2022 MLB Divisional Series Predictions

@Phillies on Twitter

TWSN 2022 MLB Divisional Series Predictions

Baseball

TWSN 2022 MLB Divisional Series Predictions

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@Phillies on Twitter

Wild Card weekend provided fans with plenty of entertaining baseball. With the MLB Postseason continuing this week, TWSN analysts Christian De Block, Tom Seipp, and Micheal Seitz break down all four matchups and who they have advancing to the next round. 

American League:

Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros:

Christian De Block: The storybook run of the 2022 Seattle Mariners is far from over after their remarkable two-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. Luis Castillo dominated in Game One, and the lineup was able to come back from being down 8-1 to win 10-9 in Game Two. The road to the ALCS will be quite difficult for them, as they will have to take down one of their division rivals.

It’s rare for a team to win 106 games and still go somewhat under-the-radar, but that is how it went for the Houston Astros in the regular season. Dusty Baker has done a brilliant job getting the best out of this group, but now it is time for this core to win a World Series. 

A lot of individuals will play a key role in who advances here, but the one player I want to mention is Robbie Ray. The Mariners gave him $115 million in the offseason, but the former Cy Young Award winner has pitched below expectations. If he can shake off his poor performance against the Blue Jays in Game Two, he could help the Mariners pull off a shocking upset.  

The Astros know what it takes to win in October, which is always valuable for a team with aspirations to win it all. But this Mariners team has a certain kind of energy that can not be understated, and I think they are going to pull off the unthinkable. This series goes five games, but the Mariners will answer the call to take a win-or-go-home game in Houston. 

Prediction: Seattle Mariners in five.

 

Tom Seipp: Does it get any better than this? For the first time since 2001, the Mariners are back in the ALDS. Seattle is RED hot after a dominating performance against Toronto. I expect that to continue here in Houston. While Houston has the experience, Seattle’s offense will be difficult to slow down. 

The Mariners pitching has been superb, keep an eye on Chris Flexen, who has dominated versus Houston multiple times this year. 

I think this is Seattle’s year — and they will prove it this week. 

Series Prediction: Seattle Mariners in four.

 

Michael Seitz: The Mariners broke its 20-plus year playoff drought and followed that up with a series win that included a massive comeback. The Astros are back in familiar territory as the AL West Champions and one seed. Houston dominated the season series with Seattle, winning 12-of-19 games during the regular season. 

I see an eerily similar ALDS for the Astros as last season’s against the Chicago White Sox. Houston takes games one and two at home. The team’s head to Seattle, which will be a zoo, as the Mariners stave off elimination. Game four comes and Hosuton’s experience takes over and finishes off its division rival. Houston as a whole will be too much for Seattle to handle. 

Prediction: Houston Astros in four.

 

Cleveland Guardians vs. New York Yankees:

Christian De Block: The Cleveland Guardians took care of business against an injury-raveled Tampa Bay Rays team in the Wild Card series, which should not come as much of a surprise. I will admit, I underestimated the Guardians against an experienced Rays team (I took the Rays in three), but don’t make the same mistake in the ALDS. This Guardians team is for real, and they can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the American League.

The New York Yankees had a historic start to the season, led by their elite pitching and Aaron Judge seemingly dominating every pitcher he faced. But as the year went on, the only constant was the production of Judge. At various points, the starting pitching, bullpen, and the overall quality of the lineup were considered to be an issue. Even with all of those concerns, the Yankees won 99 games to earn the AL East pennant. 

From a managerial perspective, the Guardians have a leader in Terry Francona who knows how to win in the postseason. The same cannot be said about Aaron Boone, who has yet to help the Yankees return to the World Series. Decisions made by both managers will play a critical role in how this series ends up going. 

The Cleveland Guardians are a great team, and I would not be surprised if they manage to win this series. While they are well-managed and have an all-around team that can cause problems for their opposition, the Yankees provide a different test. This series will go to a fifth game, but the Yankees will prevail at home.

Prediction: New York Yankees in five.  

 

Tom Seipp: Is this déjà vu? Or are we really getting another Yankees versus Cleveland divisional series matchup? For months, it looked like the Yankees would be a shoo-in for the ALCS, if not the World Series. 

Now, they’re on serious upset alert. 

While I’m picking the Yankees since they have the star-power and experience, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cleveland’s rotation and offense outplay the Yankees to advance. 

It will be incredibly important for the Yankees to start off on the right foot with Gerrit Cole on the mound in Game One. I expect him to bounce back from last year’s AL Wild Card dud in a big way. 

Series Prediction: New York Yankees in five. 

 

Michael Seitz: This series will finally give this Cleveland team the recognition it deserves. The Guardians can play all three phases really well, with its best trait being the entirety of its pitching staff. On paper, the Guardians’ starting pitching slightly edges out New York’s, while the Yankees have the strong edge in its lineup. 

This series is going to come down to the bullpen matchup. Cleveland has two guys who can effectively close games with a solid middle inning arsenal. The case can be made that Cleveland has the best bullpen in the majors. New York kept Aroldis Chapman off the ALDS roster and did not have a solidified closer. This will end up costing the Yankees a well-pitch, low-scoring series. 

Prediction: Cleveland Guardians in four.

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