MLB playoffs: Biggest reason why each postseason team can win the World Series

The eight-team MLB postseason subject for the League Division Sequence is ready following the pair of Wild Card Video games earlier this week. The Boston Red Sox eradicated the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game to advance to the ALDS towards the Tampa Bay Rays. Then, the Los Angeles Dodgers snuck previous the St. Louis Cardinals on a walk-off home run from Chris Taylor on Wednesday to arrange a showdown with the San Francisco Giants within the NLDS. You can view the full postseason schedule by clicking here.

Which group might be topped champions on the 117th version of the Fall Traditional later this month?
CBS Sports activities

Now that we’ve our eight remaining postseason golf equipment, we thought it may be a great time to interrupt down the highest motive why every group may win the World Sequence this yr. Let’s dive in.

Rays – Roster versatility

Is that this probably the most Rays-y reply doable? Sure. Is it not as thrilling as saying their offense or bullpen? Additionally sure. However, details are details. Come on, did not we be taught something from Tampa Bay’s run to the World Sequence final yr? This group in some way at all times manages to make it work, at all times discovering probably the most versatile gamers to make use of for matchups and deploying unconventional, but efficient, pitching methods. This season, the Rays used 61 gamers, setting a franchise document. The Rays may have six rookies who’re anticipated to play huge roles this October. There’s 20-year-old rookie shortstop Wander Franco, final yr’s postseason hero Randy Arozarena, rookie reliever J.P. Feyereisen and rookie starters Shane Baz, Shane McClanahan and Luis Patino. The depth and adaptability of Tampa’s roster made their common season success doable, and it figures to be a key half in the event that they hope to return to the World Sequence this yr.

Pink Sox – Deep lineup

With one of many deepest lineups in baseball, the Pink Sox may be relentless on offense for any opponent. Kyle Schwarber has been one of many hottest hitters within the second half of the season. He is in a lineup that additionally consists of Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez (although nonetheless batting an ankle damage in the intervening time). Devers, Bogaerts and Martinez stay from the 2018 World collection group, so that they have already got expertise taking part in within the huge moments. Veteran slugger Schwarber additionally has a hoop from his 2016 championship with the Chicago Cubs. The Sox even have Enrique Hernandez, Alex Verdugo and Hunter Renfroe to additional bolster the lineup. If they will hold the core of their offense firing within the playoffs, then that may very well be an enormous motive they will win all of it. 

A surface-level take a look at the Chicago White Sox will let you know that they gained the AL Central (for the primary time since 2008) in dominant vogue. However, in the event you peel again just a few layers, you may see that they weren’t precisely competing in a balanced division with almost all of their different rivals registering as rebuilding. The Twins, Tigers, Royals and Cleveland all completed nicely beneath the .500 mark. The White Sox just about had locked up their division crown in July. A more in-depth look, and you will additionally see that the White Sox stumbled alongside the best way this yr. However whatever the adversities confronted — Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert have been on the injured record for almost all of the season, and at one level, Tim Anderson, Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn have been all on the injured record on the similar time — the White Sox have been resilient. When at full energy, this lineup is harmful. Past the offense, they boast a reliable rotation.

However we’ll give the bullpen the sting on this one. On the commerce deadline, Chicago added All-Star reliever Craig Kimbrel to its bullpen to affix All-Star nearer Liam Hendriks. Kimbrel hasn’t been at his greatest for the reason that commerce, nevertheless it would not look like something of main concern and the veteran ought to be capable to settle again through the playoffs. Hendriks, for his half, has been key to the White Sox bullpen. The 32-year-old right-hander completed the common season because the AL saves chief with 38 saves. Kimbrel and Hendriks mix for the back-end tandem with Michael Kopech, José Ruiz, Garrett Crochet and Ryan Tepera filling out the late-inning roles. Carlos Rodón, who pitched one of MLB’s record nine no-hitters this year, is caught in limbo whereas coping with a shoulder damage however he may return as a reliever. In the end, October baseball places all of the strain on groups’ bullpens, and for the White Sox, if issues go as they’ve been, the reduction corps may very well be the largest motive this membership wins the Fall Traditional.

The Houston Astros noticed large offensive performances from Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker and Yuli Gurriel this yr. Tucker, specifically, has been a breakout star for this membership, ending the common season with an OPS of. 917 and 147 wRC+, good for the seventh-best in all the majors. Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez and Michael Brantley have been stable for the membership as nicely. Regardless of dropping George Springer this offseason in free company, the Houston offense did not seem to really feel the absence. They completed the common season with a plus-205-run differential. Solely the Rays (+206) and Giants (+210) offenses put up higher run differentials. The Astros additionally led the league in runs scores. Houston sports activities a well-balanced assault on offense; it is not one which’s overly reliant on residence runs to attain. 

Giants – Veteran resurgence 

The San Francisco Giants had probably the most unbelievable run to the postseason of those eight groups. However for the Giants, unbelievable does not imply any much less proficient. This group is simply pretty much as good as its fellow playoff golf equipment this season. Positive, their run to dethroning the Dodgers within the NL West was completely sudden, however when a membership is ready to preserve a excessive stage of consistency within the 162-season (just like the Giants have been in a position to) then it would not appear as out of the blue. The Giants simply by no means had a foul month of play — their worst month was in July once they completed 15-10 (.600) — and their longest dropping streak this season was simply 4 video games. In reality, the Giants have been the primary NL group for the reason that 1942 Brooklyn Dodgers to put up a .600 successful share in every of the primary 5 full months of the season.

The consistency in play may be traced again to a bunch of veterans who led this group all the best way to their first division title in 9 years. Brandon Crawford (34 years outdated), Buster Posey (34) and Evan Longoria (36) have seen a resurgence on the plate this yr, and it has been large for San Francisco. Crawford leads the group with a 6.1 WAR, per Baseball Reference. Posey’s .506 slugging share is his greatest since he took residence the NL MVP Award in 2012. And, Longoria has posted a 123 wRC+ this yr, his greatest since 2016. Pair the slugging veterans with a bunch of high quality contributors like commerce deadline get Kris Bryant, LaMonte Wade Jr., Darin Ruf, Austin Slater and Steven Duggar, and this membership has a implausible steadiness of expertise and depth.

Brandon Belt (33) was additionally stable, however his postseason future is unclear after he fractured his left thumb through the remaining week of the common season. Supervisor Gabe Kapler stated that best-case state of affairs would for Belt to be prepared in time for the NLCS ought to they advance.

Dodgers – Depth

The Dodgers are one of the full groups in all of baseball, if not, the most full. For that motive, it is Los Angeles’ depth that is going to be the largest motive it could win back-to-back World Sequence championships. Positive, it appears a bit of primary of a motive, nevertheless it’s confirmed to be the membership’s greatest energy day in and time out.

For this postseason specifically, the Dodgers’ depth might be put to the check. Clayton Kershaw will miss the postseason as a consequence of elbow discomfort (although no ligament injury), whereas standout first baseman Max Muncy suffered an elbow damage of his personal through the common season finale. Muncy’s ulnar collateral ligament is undamaged, so he will not want surgical procedure nevertheless it’s too early to know if he’d be capable to return to the lineup for potential NLCS or World Sequence video games. It isn’t going to be simple to fill these holes, but when there is a group that has that depth to take action, it is the Dodgers. Take the NL Wild Card Game for instance the place a versatility gamers like Chris Taylor got here by way of within the huge second. The Dodgers boast a complete roster of gamers who’ve the potential to step up when mandatory.

Braves – Energy hitters

After the Braves misplaced Ronald Acuna Jr. to a torn ACL in July, the membership made a handful of small strikes on the commerce deadline in an try and fill the offensive hole Acuna left behind; they added Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall. The membership got here storming again and gained the NL East with ease. Total, the Braves offense completed the common season with 239 residence runs, third-most behind the Giants and Blue Jays. Infielders Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley every hit 25+ homers. The ability of Atlanta’s hitters seems to be their greatest weapon for this postseason.

For some motive, it nonetheless feels just like the Milwaukee pitching employees is taken into account by some as underrated. Or, perhaps we’re all simply not speaking about it sufficient? Both approach, this employees is elite. They’re going to be the X issue for if this membership can win its first World Sequence title in franchise historical past. The vast majority of the Brewers starters — Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta — have been closely featured within the NL Cy Younger dialogue. The three starters have been additionally the group’s high three WAR leaders. Burnes took residence MLB‘s ERA (2.43) title this yr and led the league in Okay/9 with 12.61. Woodruff and Peralta have been additionally standouts, every recording sub-3 ERAs. In 2021, Milwaukee led the league in shutouts.

I particularly went with “pitching” because the Brewers’ greatest motive they will win the World Sequence as a result of it is not simply their rotation that is lights-out, the bullpen dominates as nicely with arguably the most effective reliever in baseball, Josh Hader, closing out video games. Sadly for Milwaukee, their reduction corps took a success when high-leverage right-hander Devin Williams broke his hand punching a wall. He’ll miss your complete postseason. The bullpen takes a success with the Williams’ absence however the depth (rookie Aaron Ashby, maybe may fill the function) is there to maintain them in it. Pitching is the cornerstone of this Milwaukee ball membership and it will be the largest motive they discover success this October. | MLB playoffs: Largest motive why every postseason group can win the World Sequence


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