World Series Preview

The best month of the baseball season has come and gone, and the World Series is beginning to come into view. Before we go over the World Series matchup, let’s recap how everyone else did.  


Toronto Blue Jays 

This year was supposed to be the movie to last year’s trailer, according to Vlad Guererro. It was, in a way. It was a horror film of choking and failure that diverted attention away from the Leafs for a few days. Toronto’s trip to the playoffs couldn’t have gone worse than it did. They got dominated by Seattle in game 1, but the real magic took place in the elimination game. A 7-run lead in the 6th inning should have been game over. They chose to imitate most of Toronto’s sports over the past decade by blowing that lead too. Aren’t you guys so proud, Jays fans? Way to waste the best season you’ve had in 6 years. Now Toronto can go back to crying over the Leafs and Raptors as they continue to underachieve.  

Tampa Bay Rays 

This year was more of the same for the Rays. A great regular season, followed up by an embarrassing playoff collapse. Even on the road against a division winner, the Rays were favored to advance into the playoffs. Instead, they got ground into dust by a far inferior opponent. Tampa chose to execute death-by-bullpen in game 2 and it backfired horrifically. Time for the organization to cut more payroll this winter. It’s honestly deserved.  


St. Louis Cardinals 

The voodoo magic didn’t carry over into the playoffs. Despite home field and a huge advantage in pitching, the clock once again struck midnight on the Cinderella Cardinals. The Phillies pummeled them into submission with the long ball and St. Louis’s bats couldn’t keep up, leading to an embarrassing sweep. So long to Albert Pujols’s swan song.  


New York Mets 

I thought these guys had turned the corner. That was until they executed what was quite possibly the most heartbreaking skid in recent Mets history. With a 10.5-game lead over the Braves at the beginning of September, what did they do? Collapse and fizzle out just like every other year. The highlight of which was getting swept by that Braves team in the final week to complete the choke. All hope wasn’t lost, though. They were facing a Padres team that they dominated in the regular season. However, this is the Mets we are dealing with. What do you think happened? That’s right, their power bats suffered deathly silence as Hader and Musgrove pitched circles around them. A 101-win season and they still find agonizing ways to let their fans down. Steve Cohen is now the most frustrated owner in professional sports. Jacob DeGrom will be catching the first bus out of town, too. I smell a purge. 

Seattle Mariners 

They came; they saw; they got their butts kicked. Going into Houston is a tall task on its own, but the Mariners chose to find new and creative ways to give their fans their annual metaphorical junk shot. In game 1, with a 7-5 lead and the Astros down to their final strike, they decided to pitch to the best slugger in the league with an inconsistent reliever. Guess what happened. That’s right, he hit a walk-off bomb to win game 1. You thought that was it for the pain, you’re wrong. How about an 18-inning loss at home to lose the series? The games were close, and they have hope for next year, but this is still a crushing loss. Now all attention in that city focuses on the Seahawks as they haven’t been completely terrible this year.  


Los Angeles Dodgers 

Dave Roberts needs to be fired. There, I said it. The main reason why the Dodgers lost this series was the guy behind the bench. Roberts is one of the most overrated managers in the game, and his antiquated game planning and strategizing came back to bite the Dodgers in the rear end when it mattered. The last few years you could excuse, what with the mickey mouse title and losing to the eventual champs every other year, oh, but this year against the Padres? They took LA’s big market pain to a whole new level. A 111-win season, Roberts declaring a championship before they even started playing, and a matchup against a team that they all but filed property to in the regular season, and they still fell apart when it mattered due to poor game planning and scheming. Here’s the thing, with all the talent and resources they have, the Dodgers should be making it at least to the World Series every single year. The fact that they haven’t is a damning testament to Roberts’s tenure in LA. Your move, Friedman. Do the right thing this offseason.  


Atlanta Braves 

And with that, each NL Division winner has been eliminated in the first round for the first time in the luxury tax era. What killed the Braves in this series was their inability to respond to the Phillies’ bats, and their pitching owning them once they made their way up to the Bell. Losing all those pieces in the offseason wound up coming back to bite them. Do you think they regret being cheap and letting them walk yet? If so, it’s about time.  


Cleveland Guardians 

I will now list the only positive of the Guardians’ postseason: They showed effort. That’s all. Against the Yankees, it was an uphill battle from the start, but they still put up a fight and forced a game 5. Once that game got underway, though, it turned into a death march for Cleveland. Home run after home run hit into the seats as the Guardians’ optimism slowly died in front of them. If there’s one thing to take from this year, it’s this: They’re back. I’m looking forward to next year.  


San Diego Padres 

The clock struck midnight. There’s nothing else I can say on this front, they just had no answers to Philly’s power bats. The Padres’ biggest issue this year was their bullpen and it showed. Whenever they yanked their starter, it allowed the Phils to run hog wild on them for the rest of the game. Their entire lineup feasted on endless stats and home runs all series. They have hope for next year, especially with Tatis coming back, but this year will be one of the what-ifs. I’m interested to see what they do this off-season.  


New York Yankees 

What did I tell you: the Yankees pull this garbage every single year. They had trouble taking out a mediocre team in Cleveland, but against a true juggernaut like Houston, they had no chance. Aaron Judge couldn’t get anything going and the Yankees were swept into the pits of hell by a far superior Houston order. I will say this, Harrison Bader is a transcendent talent and should be treasured. Talent like this would be great if they weren’t the Yankees. They find a way to waste it every year. My point still stands, we need a new manager. The Bronx Bombers won’t stand a chance otherwise.  

With the failures who didn’t make it properly eulogized, it’s time to unveil this year’s World Series matchup and preview the fight for the Commissioner’s trophy.  


World Series preview and prediction 

I see this matchup being closer than everyone anticipates. Remember, the Braves and Nationals, both thought of as inferior to Houston, beat these guys in the fall classic to win titles against largely the same roster. The Phillies have some of the best power bats in the league, their deep playoff run this year proves it. However, the real question is if they can hit the Astros’ ace pitching. Signs point to probably. I would show some optimism and hope, but screw you and screw your ambitions, I’m taking the Astros in six. To the chagrin of Yankees fans such as me, the cheating narrative is vanquished and every baseball fan outside of the Houston metro area falls into a bottomless sinkhole. Reverse jinxing, don’t fail me now!  


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