MLB Postseason: League Championship Series Staff Picks
The 2020 MLB Postseason is down to four teams entering its third week of play. For two of the teams remaining, the Astros and Dodgers, this is familiar territory. The Rays and Braves, however, have not been on this stage in quite some time. For each round, we will survey 11 of our staff members for their picks. Here is how it shook out for the League Championship Series:
Tampa Bay Rays (40-20, 1st AL East) vs. Houston Astros (29-31, 2nd AL West)
PREDICTION: Tampa Bay in six games
Despite a losing record in the regular season, and being the underdog in both series they’ve played in the postseason, the Astros find themselves in their fourth-consecutive ALCS. They have been fairly dominant on this run, only dropping Game 3 of the ALDS to Oakland en route to a 5-1 record.
The Rays, who were the best team in the American League during the regular season, outlasted the Yankees in Game 5 of a tightly-contested series. This series marks the first time in 12 years that Tampa Bay has made it this far in the playoffs. With one of the most complete teams in baseball, the Rays have a very good chance to make it to the Fall Classic.
Our staff liked Tampa Bay slightly more than Houston, with five of seven votes calling for either six or seven games.
Also receiving votes: Houston (4).
Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17, 1st NL West) vs. Atlanta Braves (35-25, 1st NL East)
PREDICTION: Los Angeles in six games
If it’s hard to remember Atlanta being in the NLCS, it’s probably because this is their first appearance since 2001. Prior to this playoff run, Atlanta lost their previous ten postseason series (including a Wild Card game loss in 2012). The Braves young talent, especially on the mound, has come to fruition this postseason, as they made quick work of both the Reds and Marlins.
The Dodgers, like the Braves, have not lost yet, as they breezed through Milwaukee and San Diego. The sweep of the Padres marked probably the most impressive feat of the postseason so far for any team, as Los Angeles dispatched the team that was right under them in relatively quick fashion. The depth on their roster is something that has been rarely seen in any sport in recent years, with an unrelenting lineup and pitching staff.
Our staff unanimously selected Los Angeles, as they Dodgers have received 31 of a possible 33 votes from our voters for all three rounds.
Also receiving votes: none.
(Cover Photo: Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)