Tomorrow, the divisions series will start with 3 of the underdogs advancing, from the wild card round. The Padres did do in the Mets, and even though I wrote previously that I would not be surprised by who won the other 3 series, I did not predict any of them correctly. Not only would it be surprising, but it would be downright shocking if the bye teams do not advance to the championship series. None of these teams limped into the playoffs. The Yankees had the post All-Star game slump, but what went unnoticed, because of the Aaron Judge home run chase, was that the Yankees finished 20-11. The other 3 teams did not do too shabby either, with the Astros finishing 22-9, the Dodgers 21-12, and the Braves 21-10. Is there any hope for the 4 teams that have to play these juggernauts. Well, there is always hope until the plug is pulled. Which of these teams have the best chance of pulling off the big upset.
In my view, it is the Guardians. That pitching staff has to be brimming with confidence. The Yankees have been known to go into some mighty large batting slumps. Besides Judge, they have not hit that well all year. One 11 game stretch in August they scored over 3 runs only once and went 2-9. Will the Guardians be determined to not let Aaron Judge beat them? The fact that the Guardians did not have to play on Sunday gives everybody that much needed extra day off. On the other side of the coin, the Guardians bats have not exactly been on fire. In 24 innings they scored 3 runs, all of them on the home run ball. The Guardians have one to the best managers in Terry Francona. The Yankees have one of the worst managers in Aaron Boone. Since he is a former media boy, the media treats him with kid gloves, but the bottom line is, he is the king of the bonehead move. If the games are close this could be a major factor. The other team that has the best shot of pulling off the shocking upset is the Padres. The biggest factor they have to overcome is the Dodgers seem to have their number. This was going to be one of the biggest baseball rivalries, with many people thinking that the Padres were going to challenge the Dodgers for the division title in 2021. The Padres collapsed in the 2nd half of the season and did not even make the playoffs. Even this year it was a struggle as they finished the season just 16-14 but it was good enough to get the wild card. I thought the Padres would beat the Mets, not because the Padres were the Padres but because the Mets were the Mets. The Mets have a dark cloud over them, and it just got darker with that playoff loss. The Padres do have that swagger, but the Dodgers are the heavy favorite to take it all. They were the most dominate team with a staggering 111 wins. Can you believe it, they were 1-5 against the Pirates. As the old saying goes, that is why you play the games. However, if the 4 bye teams are still not standing next week it will be a big surprise.