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“Joe Talkin’ To Me?!” NL Takeover: What To Look Forward To If Your Fantasy Baseball Season Is Over (Other Than Fantasy Football, Duh!)

How's that workin'?

How’s that workin’, Bryce?

After six months, or a half-year, of rankings, drafts, injuries, drops/adds, and day-after-day of grueling lineup decisions, the end is near. I have given as much advice as I possibly could, potentially committing espionage against myself by giving top-secret analysis to the public that my enemies could use against me. TREASON!

Thanks for reading all season long. And thanks to The Godfather of MLFS, Corey Roberts, for giving me a shot at writing with zero credentials. Corey, I hope you saw the Mets drop 35 runs in three games at Coors while Tulo is struggling with a .218 BA away from the Drunken Air…or should I say High Air? It’s not even real baseball in that park. Anyway…No one likes to hear “I told you so”, but I did.

If you are out of it this season, have no fear as the MLB playoffs are around the corner, even if your fantasy ones are not.  Time to talk a little bit of real life baseball by giving you guys my playoff predictions for the NL.


National League East Winner: New York Mets

I wanted so badly to pick the Mets in our preseason predictions, but I didn’t have the balls to go with my gut and picked the Nats with the Mets grabbing a Wild Card. I can pinpoint the exact moment that I knew the Mets were going to take this division. It was when Jason Werth declared the Nats as “the dudateam to beat”. For a team that was coming off a sweep at the hands of the newly revitalized Mets, this was brash, arrogant, and showed complacency. It showed the Nats had zero sense of urgency and no hunger. He followed it up making excuses about injuries, as if the Mets have not had any. The Mets were trotting a AAA lineup out on the field for two months, and the Nats could not pull away. After acquiring Cespedes, the Mets have gone 16-6, and are the team with all the swagger and confidence. There’s no excuses coming out of Queens. The Mets have three pitchers who are all better than the most overrated “ace” in baseball history, Stephen Strasburg. Imagine how far behind the Nats would be if they did not come in at the 11th hour and sign Max Scherzer, and if Bryce Harper waited one more year to blossom. The Mets hold a 5-game lead with the team captain due back today. He has been out since April 14th.


National League Central Winner: St. Louis Cardinals

They have the best record in baseball, despite losing their ace, Adam Wainwright, for the year. The Pirates, four games behind, are red-hot and charging hard, but they won’t stay that hot and all the Cards do is win. The baseball factory in St.Louis keeps churning out good MLB players. What else would you expect from the organization that invented the minor-league system (literally, they invented it).


National League West Winner: San Francisco Giants

madbumAfter seemingly having the division wrapped up, the Dodgers now find themselves clinging to a one game lead over the Giants.  The D-Backs are even alive behind the awesome power of Paul Goldschmidt, trailing by five games.  I get the feeling that the Giants are going to get hot and overtake the Dodgers, leaving them to fight for a “Wild Card Playoff Spot”.  Other than Greinke and Kershaw, the Dodgers do not have much going on.  Joc Pederson has come crashing down to Earth.  After a red-hot May and June, the rookie finds himself batting .214 on the season.  Yasiel Puig is quick becoming a talented, but overrated player.  The Giants on the other hand, much like the Cardinals, keep pumping out good, solid MLB players.  Matt Duffy and Joe Panik are the new craze, while Brandon Crawford has hit his prime.  Those three along with Buster Posey form a terrific infield.  In crunch time, give me MadBum over Greinke and Kershaw.


National League Play-In Game (That is what it is folks): Dodgers vs Pirates

With much respect to the Cubs, I can’t see them staying this hot with all the young talent on the roster.  I like the Dodgers behind Greinke and Kershaw to overtake the Cubs for the final spot, after they themselves are overtaken by the Giants.  The other spot will go to the Pirates, who are one of the best all-around teams in baseball, but unfortunately play in the same division as the Cardinals.

Winner:  Operating under the assumption that both teams get their aces lined up for this game (not likely if they are fighting for this spot down the stretch), we would have Kershaw vs Cole in PNC Bank Park.  I would pick the Pirates to win late on the strength of the bullpen, and the simple fact that they have a little more “it” than LA does.


Divisional Round

Pirates vs Mets – As the Wild Card team, the pirates are supposed to play the team with the best record.  However, MLB has a rule that states a team cannot play a team from their own division in the Divisional Round.  So the Pirates find themselves here, facing Harvey, Degrom, and Syndergaard in a short series with their ace already used up in the play-in game.  Advantage Mets.

Giants vs Cardinals – This is like being in one of those public bathrooms with mirrors in front and behind you, and you can see an infinite amount of reflections of reflections.  This series is so difficult to pick, but I will go with the cards based on home field advantage and a deeper starting rotation.


National League Championship Seriesyoenis

Mets vs Cardinals – Trying to be as unbiased as I can, I would think the Cardinals will be coming off a tough series where they faced MadBum twice, While the Mets might be rested with their pitching aligned.  The Cards get at least this far almost every year, but this is often their ceiling.  Yoenis Cespedes has transformed this Mets team and behind the three aces they have, can beat anyone…including the Cardinals.

National League Champion New York Mets








Remember to send questions to [twitter-follow screen_name=’theCiccone’] or to be featured in future columns.



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  1. Nick DeSisto ? (@L1Z4RDK1NG)

    August 24, 2015 at 9:19 am

    “As the Wild Card team, the pirates are supposed to play the team with the best record. However, MLB has a rule that states a team cannot play a team from their own division in the Divisional Round.”

    In 2013 the Pirates played the Cardinals in the NLDS after beating Cinci in the wild card game. Was that a mistake by MLB?

    • Joseph Ciccone

      August 26, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      MLB did not makr an error. I forgot about that series. If I didnt “misremember”, I would have caught myself. The rule changed in 2012 with the addition os a 2nd wild card. My bad, where is the editor? Fire that guy!!!!

      Either way, better for the Mets, they are 0-6 vs pitt this season, sonitnwont change my predictions.

      1994–2011: Three rounds
      By 1994, further expansion was making it very difficult for any individual team to make the postseason. Major League Baseball went through a realignment, expanding to three divisions (Eastern, Central, Western) in each league. However, only allowing divisional winners in the postseason would make an odd number of teams in each league, three. To rectify the odd number of teams, the league added wild-cards to each league, imitating the original post-merger NFL system. The wild-card team would be the team with the best record in each league of all the teams that did not win their division. Splitting the leagues into three divisions, plus the addition of a wild-card team, doubled the postseason contenders in each league from two to four, and from four teams overall to eight. The additional teams meant another elimination round was necessary. This new round would become the new first round of the postseason, the best-of-five Division Series. This term had first been used for the extra round required in 1981 due to the “split-season” scheduling anomaly following the midseason baseball players strike. This format was in place for the 1994 season, but the players’ strike canceled the postseason. The format was realized on the field in 1995.

      Under this format, the wild card team played, in the Division Series, the division champion outside its own division that had the better record; and the remaining two teams from that league played each other in the other Division Series. The winners of the two Division Series from each league went on to play each other in the League Championship Series. As with the previous postseason format, the winners of each League Championship Series met in the World Series.

      2012–present: Expanded wild card
      With the adoption of the new collective bargaining agreement in November 2011, baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced that a new playoff system would begin within two years; the change was ultimately put into place in 2012.[1] The format chosen was the one-game Wild Card playoff.

      Under this format, a second wild card team has been added to each league, i.e., the team with the second-highest win total in each league among non-division winners. The two wild card teams play in a one-game playoff after the end of the regular season, with the winner advancing to the Division Series. The divisional champions qualify for the Division Series just as in the previous format; however, under the expanded wild card format the winner of the one-game wild card playoff faces the top-seeded divisional champion in the Division Series, regardless of whether the two teams are in the same division, while the second- and third-seeded divisional champions play each other in the other Division Series. The format for placement in the League Championship Series and World Series remains.

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