The Braves have been the best team in baseball over the course of the regular season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything in October. There’s a reason MLB has a 162 game season—yes, the money, but it also takes a lot of games to determine who the best baseball team is. Baseball is weird, in the best way and in a short series screwy things happen. Over the course of 162 games, everything evens out. This is not the case in a five or seven-game series.
All that being said, the Braves can beat you in so many ways; they get on base, they steal bases, they pair good starting pitching with an excellent backend of the bullpen, and they hit for power. Oh boy, do they hit for power.
The American League is wide open and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Houston, Tampa Bay, or Texas win the AL pennant. However, I love these young Orioles. They have terrific starting pitching in Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez that can get them deep into games and take some pressure off a worn out bullpen. Meanwhile, Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson can anchor a dangerous lineup.
I’ve looked at it every which way, and I just can’t pick against Atlanta. It doesn’t mean they’re a lock to win it all, but they have too many weapons. No lead is safe against this lineup, and it’s not like they’re falling behind in games often anyway.
I feel like the Phillies have everything you need to win in October. Veteran starting pitching that’s better than their regular season numbers would suggest. A good bullpen, and a lineup full of dangerous hitters. They also beat the Braves in the postseason last year, and since they’re in the same division they face them a lot, and they know how to beat them. And the Dodgers tend to find ways to lose in the playoffs more than they find ways to win. I like the Phillies to repeat as NL champs.
The Orioles feel like a team of destiny. We hear a lot at playoff time in any sport that you need to go through it to make a deep run, and that’s why (Fill in the blank) young team can’t do it this year. The thing about that theory is there’s a good amount of exceptions to that. The Phillies and Padres last year for instance, or the Rays in 2020 and 2008. Baltimore will be the next exception.
The Phillies got so close last year and I don’t think they’re gonna waste a chance to finish the job this year. They’ll be your 2023 World Series champs
Whether you believe it or not, the Braves have a tough road back to the World Series. How often have we seen 100+ win teams struggle in the playoffs? Things could go south for the Braves if the issues with the blisters on pitching hands aren’t solved in that rotation before the NLDS starts in a week. The Braves really could be relying on Bryce Elder & the bullpen to pitch game 3 of that series. Nevertheless, the offensive production from this team is unprecedented. They have enough power to win a shootout playoff game or two this post season on their way to another World Series appearance.
The Astros are back at it again. Its not a popular pick, nobody wants to see it happen, but you can’t deny the talent on in this ball club. Despite some woeful pitching down the stretch for Houston they will get hot and stay hot. They make a return back to the World Series for a rematch with the Bravos.
The Braves best the most hated team in baseball (Yankees who?) in an epic 7 games series that features the most runs scored in World Series history.
Dale Murphy Previews The MLB Playoffs on The Bill Riley Show: