And the winner is…

As I write this, the Royals have carried over their pre-Game 7 success from last season and remain undefeated. Their winning attitude may have lingered on in the clubhouse but it’s not enough to get me to rethink my earlier predictions for the 2015 season — yet.

So, it’s a long road til October, but without further ado, here are my playoff predictions.

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

As previously noted, I look for Boston, Chicago and Seattle to take their divisions with Los Angeles Anaheim and Detroit squeaking in via the wild card.

WILD CARD: Anything can happen in one game but Detroit can outpitch the Angels

ALDS: A battle of the Sox pits grit and experience (New England style) against a better-rounded lineup (on the shores of Lake Michigan). I don’t think the Red Sox will reprise their 2012 surprise run. Pick Chicago

The M’s would have home advantage over the wild card winner. King Felix is awesome, but I like the Tigers pitching over five games. Pick Detroit.

ALCS: the previous leads us to a battle of the Central division. White Sox have home field advantage, but the tabbies have more pitching depth and a (thus far) revitalized looking Miguel Cabrera. Put Detroit into the World Series.

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

My predictions weren’t too much different than most other pundits (save for the Cub-loving, billy goat-hating Sporting News). Washington, St. Louis and Los Angeles win their divisions while surprisingly improved San Diego and Miami catch the wild cards.

WILD CARD: The Padres have six months for all the new components to mesh and form a cohesive team. One which should be better than the East Coasters, advance San Diego.

NLDS: The Nats should have won a ton thanks to their weak divisional rivals and would thus be home against the wild card winner. Padres improved by leaps and bounds in the off-season … but not enough to overcome Washington.

In the other series, the luxury tax champ Dodgers would host the Cardinals. The blue-and-white might not live upto their hype or talent on paper… but still top the midwesterners. Advance LA.

NLCS: No one’s surprised if the two teams generally picked as best in baseball face off against each other here. Even with his previous poor post-season record, I’d pick Kershaw over Scherzer and then Greinke over Strasburg. And between surly, spoiled young stars, Puig can alter a series single-handedly more than Harper; onto the World Series Los Angeles.

WORLD SERIES: It’s been over 25 years since fans of either team have celebrated a championship. This could be a close one and the All Star game could effect the outcome a little by deciding home advantage. But I think David Price will show up in a “Madbum”-like way and the AL’ers will finally find a way to roar, not purr lazily, in October. Congratulations DETROIT – despite not winning your division, you’re the World Series champions.

Of course, I might be wrong. I think that’s why they’ll be playing about 155 more games. It should be a fun ride!

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