Ahhhh yes, Fall is in the air. It’s October, better known as Spooky Season and the weather is cooling down. At least if you’re not in Florida, Texas or California. The pumpkin spiced lattes are spreading like wild fire and that can only mean one thing: playoff baseball! So put down the latte and indulge the DraftKings Nation staff in some predictions for this year’s postseason. Below you’ll find our picks to win World Series and who they’re taking down in the Fall Classic.
World Series predictions
It has to be the year. Please let it be the year. If you think I’m talking about the Toronto Blue Jays or Seattle Mariners or New York Mets, you’re wrong. It’s the New York Yankees! I know, insufferable. It’s been 12 seasons since the Yankees last were in the World Series. The franchise has only appeared in a World Series once since 2004. Yes, that’s better than most, but for how much success the team has had in the regular season, it’s pretty disappointing.
All that side, this team is a bit different from the 2017 and 2019 iterations. There’s a little bit more magic, which the team had been lacking. The pitching should be better and the bats more consistent. It also may help if the Astros aren’t cheating this time around. The Yanks have a nice mix of veterans who are still motivated, players in their prime and youngsters looking to make an impact. Gerrit Cole has a lot to prove. Luis Severino looks healthy. Nestor Cortes could be a nice compliment in the rotation. The question is can the bullpen hold up? If so, I think the Yankees have enough offense and top-end pitching to get it done.
Pick: Yankees over Braves in 6
Betting pick: Cardinals +2200
— Ben Zweiman, Senior Managing Editor
The MLB postseason is finally here and with the expanded format, I think there’s a chance for a lot more drama than in years past. The typical heavyweights are still in play with the Dodgers, Astros and Yankees making the field, but there are some intriguing teams like the Cardinals, Braves and Mets who could get hot at the right time and make a run all the way to the title.
I see the Dodgers coming out of the NL. This team racked up 111 wins in a somewhat casual manner and has the most complete roster for the postseason. They’ve also got some star power with Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw to give them the edge in those close contests which make or break a playoff run.
The AL is a much tougher call, as both the Yankees and Astros have clearly been ahead of the rest of the league. New York is playing much better of late with a 20-9 close to the season, while Houston went 42-22 to finish with the best record in the AL. I think we get a rematch of the 2017 World Series as Houston makes its fourth Fall Classic appearance in the last six seasons.
Pick: Dodgers over Astros in 7
Betting pick: Dodgers +340
— Chinmay Vaidya, Sports Editor
This pains me to write as a Braves fan, but I don't think that we make it to the World Series this year. We seem destined for a matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS and would likely be rewarded with the Dodgers in the NLCS. No thanks. Los Angeles has been absurd this year and will be tough to beat in a series. It’s going to hurt seeing Freddie Freeman in another WS for a different team, but that's why they signed him.
Houston is the favorite to come out of the American League for many people, but I think the Yankees pull it off. If you have turned on the tv in the last week, you have seen all eyes on Aaron Judge going for illustrious home run number 62 on the year. Well, he finally hit it, and the pressure is off of his shoulders. New York has as good of a chance to get hot as any of the remaining teams, and good luck getting through their lineup when it’s firing on all cylinders. They have a well-rounded pitching staff where if they have some momentum and can sneak some spider tack, they should find themselves in the WS yet again.
Pick: Dodgers over Yankees in 5
Betting pick: Dodgers +340
— Teddy Ricketson, Staff Writer
I think we’re going to be in for a late ‘90’s classic this year with the New York Yankees taking on the Atlanta Braves in the World Series.
Even with Houston finishing with a better record, the story of the American League this season has centered around the Bronx and it goes beyond Aaron Judge belting 62 dingers. We’ve seen this ballclub run the gamut from a ridiculously hot start, to going into a deep slump after the All-Star break, to rebounding and playing good baseball right before the start of the postseason. I think overcoming some of that adversity is going to help this team in the playoffs and they’ll knock off the Astros in the ALCS.
On the National League side of things, I have to stick with the defending champs here. They are a 101-win ballclub that managed to shake off a slow start and hunt down the Mets in the final weekend for the division title. Yes, the Dodgers have had a historic season and the Cardinals look tough. But I think the champ’s got it here.
As for the World Series itself, to the chagrin of the rest of baseball, I’ll go Yanks in six. New York gets its 28th ring and we all suffer for it.
Pick: Yankees over Braves in 6
Betting pick: Yankees +550
— Nick Simon, Staff Writer
Listen, I’m a rotten Mets homer and been a fan since my first game at Shea in 1981. When I worked at ESPN I refused to shake Orel Hershiser’s hand because I’ll never forgive him for the 1988 NLCS. If I saw Mike Scott tomorrow I’d punch him square in the mouth with a fist full of sandpaper.
In the American League, I’m picking Cleveland. I like Tito Francona and I hate the Yankees and Astros. As long as Francona is managing, Yankee fans will be reminded of blowing a 3-0 lead in the 2004 ALCS. But really I’ll take anyone in the AL other than the Yankees and Astros.
In the National League, I’m taking the Mets. Why? Because I want to. There’s no good reason to. They have annoyed me to no end recently. Jacob deGrom has basically become a slightly better and far less insufferable version of early 2010s Chris Archer. That means he can only go 5 2/3 innings, he’ll strike out 13 guys and allow three 450-foot solo homers. Pete Alonso probably leads the majors in “home runs when team is already ahead by four runs or more” (it’s a stat...somewhere). Also I also absolutely despise the Dodgers, Braves, Phillies and Cardinals. The Padres are fine with me and if they beat the Mets this weekend than I’m all in on them. Great city, great weather, great food, amazing ballpark.
Mets over Guardians in five because I don’t want Cleveland fans to think they will actually win a World Series in their lifetimes. What the Cubs did to you guys in 2016 was just mean. And believe me if you think Yankee fans are the more insufferable on Earth after winning a World Series...just let that trophy end up at CitiField and I promise you’ll never hear the end of it.
Pick: Mets over Guardians
Betting pick: Mets +900
— Corey Long, PT Staff Writer