By: Justin Bjorseth
So here we are, two games deep into each championship series, the Fall Classic just around the corner. In the National League, we have the heavily favored Cubs against Clayton Kershaw and Adrian Gonzalez. I know that the series is listed as “Cubs Vs. Dodgers,” but I’m still waiting to hear from the rest of the people on the Dodgers roster. Except for Joe Blanton. I don’t think I need to hear any more from him. When I wrote this article a few weeks back, I took the Nationals over the Indians in the World Series. Injuries to Stephen Strasburg and Wilson Ramos lead me to replace the Nationals with the Dodgers. Not to brag, but the bracket is perfect. I’ll attempt to keep my White Sox fan bias out of the equation when talking about this series. This could be the year. Things are happening for the Cubs that never go their way in October. I mean, a Miguel Montero grand slam? Seriously? Who saw that coming? Joe Maddon is the key to this team. They needed a man in charge who was not going to buy into the curse and could keep the young players in line after tough losses. The Cubs have the best in the game leading them every night. All he has left to do is realize that Chapman can’t pitch in the 8th. The Cubs offense hasn’t been what it was in the regular season. So much of the production in the NLDS came out of the pitchers spot. Players like Javy Baez, MVP candidate Kris Bryant, and the pitching staff have kept them alive and the favorites. I would love to pick LA to win this series. However, they have to show me they can win without Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Home field is theirs, let’s see if they take advantage.
The AL is more of a surprise. Not many people thought Cleveland would beat Boston and Toronto has again proven that the Wild Card game can be the ultimate source of momentum. Cleveland simply has the best pitching staff in the American League. Andrew Miller is doing things we have never seen done before. If he can somehow continue this for the rest of the playoffs, it will be one of the greatest postseasons in the history of baseball. What a trade. Could you imagine if Jonathan Lucroy hadn’t vetoed being sent there? Toronto’s bats could very easily heat back up when things go north of the border, but I think this series is over. I said all summer that Cleveland was a forced to be reckoned with, I picked them at the beginning of the playoffs to win the AL, and I proudly stick by it. No matter who takes it home this year, a long drought is ending. It’s going to be something special to witness.