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Baseball

GCSN ALCS/NLCS Previews and Predictions

The next round of the 2019 MLB playoffs are set, and we now know which teams will be battling each other to play in the 2019 World Series. Here at Game Changer Sports Network, we will be giving you a preview of the ALCS and the NLCS, along with all of our predictions for those series.


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ALCS

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins the ALDS. The Yankees are looking to capture their record 28th World Series title. In the ALDS, New York relied on a very good series from infielder Gleyber Torres, who posted a .417 batting average and 4 RBIs.

Jesse Johnson – USA TODAY Sports

Also for the Yankees, the bullpen only gave up 3 runs in 13.1 innings pitched. The Yankees bullpen success means the starters don’t have to pitch as many innings, as evident by the ALDS. Against the Twins, James Paxton only pitched 4.2 innings, Masahiro Tanaka pitched 5, and Luis Severino pitched 4.

In those 5 innings by Tanaka in Game 2, Tanaka gave up only 1 earned run. With a bullpen full of very impressive arms, Aaron Boone has the luxury of being able to pull his starters after 5 innings, letting the bullpen close out the game.

The Yankees will be looking to get early runs against a very good Astros rotation, and get their bullpen into the game with a lead, while keeping a talented lineup in check.

Jim Mone – Associated Press
Houston Astros

Following an extremely impressive game 5 performance by Gerrit Cole, the Astros defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. Tampa Bay definitely made the series interesting, however, winning 2 games in a row and bringing Houston to the brink of elimination.

Alex Bregman has been hot for Houston all year, and has continued that into the postseason posting a .385 batting average. Jose Altuve has also been a huge part of Houston’s offense, leading the team with two home runs, and tied for most RBI’s on the team with 3.

Associated Press

Houston will continue to ride the success of their three very impressive starters. Verlander looked great in game 1 pitching 7 scoreless innings, however the story changed when pitching on 3 days rest, with Verlander giving up 4 earned runs in 3.2 innings.

Against a loaded Yankees lineup with danger all throughout the card, Houston will rely on Verlander, Cole, and Greinke to eat up a lot of innings and hold the Bronx Bombers in check.

Dirk Shadd – Tampa Bay Times

Predictions

Mike Rosa – Yankees
Nick Lombardi – Yankees
Elizabeth Losoya – Astros
Bryan Beggs – Yankees
Jake Jollymore – Astros
Matthew Boyce – Yankees
Hunter Meine – Yankees
Kyle Hernandez – Astros

NLCS

St. Louis Cardinals

When you step back and look at this Cardinals team, you realize that they really have talent all over. They have a very solid rotation with very good hitters scattered throughout the lineup.

Jack Flaherty, at one point, was considered the hottest player in baseball. During the regular season he posted a 2.75 ERA. However, in game 2 against Atlanta he surrendered 3 earned runs in 7 innings pitched. The veteran Adam Wainwright pitched 7.2 scoreless innings, while Miles Mikloas gave up 1 run in 6 innings pitched.

Associated Press

One issue that worries me is the Cardinals closer, Carlos Martinez. Martinez gave up 3 runs in game 1, and blew the save in game 3, surrendering 3 earned runs in the 9th inning.

The Cardinals have been getting wonderful results from first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who is batting an incredible .429 with 2 home runs. Also raking in great numbers is outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who is also batting .429, with 2 home runs and a team leading 5 RBIs.

The Cardinals will be looking to rely on the key veterans they have on their team. Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Dexter Fowler all have won World Series rings which is a definite plus in the playoffs.

Jeff Roberson – Associated Press
Washington Nationals

Man oh man! Not only did the Washington Nationals lose their best player Bryce Harper to the Philadelphia Phillies, but they were going up against two very good teams.

After beating a solid Brewers team, the Nationals marched right into Los Angeles for a date with the Dodgers. The Nationals obviously have 3 aces in their rotation with Strasburg, Scherzer and Corbin, but a surprising performance by veteran Anibal Sanchez should have National fans pretty excited.

Mark Humphrey – Associated Press

Washington’s bullpen is shaky, however, as the only trustworthy pieces are Daniel Hudson and Sean Doolittle. We saw against the Dodgers the Nationals have to rely on starters entering the game in relief, and never really using any other pitchers other than Hudson and Doolittle in tough situations.

The Nationals lineup has scored a lot of runs in the postseason. Juan Soto leads the team with 6 RBIs, with Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick both having 5. That lineup could definitely do some damage, as we saw against LA.

FOX Sports

Predictions

Mike Rosa – Cardinals
Nick Lombardi – Cardinals
Elizabeth Losoya – Cardinals
Bryan Beggs – Nationals
Jake Jollymore – Nationals
Matthew Boyce – Cardinals
Hunter Meine – Cardinals
Kyle Hernandez – Cardinals

Be sure to come back to GCSN after the Championship series games for an in-depth look at the World Series, and to also get our picks for who we have winning the whole thing!

Featured photo credit: Mike Rosa/Game Changer Sports Network

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