MLB ALCS and NLCS Staff Picks
Rangers vs. Astros ALCS Predictions
MLB ALCS AND NLCS STAFF PICKS – The Rangers dominated the Orioles and the Astros reached the ALCS for the seventh time in a row.
Now, the stage is set for the most important matchup between these two franchises in the history of Texas baseball. Not since the 1994 clash between George Bush vs. Anne Richards has the state of Texas been so divided.
The Astros look to secure their third-straight trip to a World Series and solidify their rule as baseball’s most evil empire. Meanwhile, the Rangers put their massive payroll to the test. The battle for the silver boot has never looked shinier.
Our baseball experts at Godzilla Wins are here to give you their prediction for the series outcomes in the ALCS.
Texas Rangers Series Winner (+120)
Houston Astros Series Winner (-140)
Season Matchup – Astros 9 – Rangers 4
Dispatches from a Houston Homer
John: (Houston) Veteran team. Tough under pressure. The most potent line-up top to bottom. This is just Houston’s best matchup in a seven game series. Houston’s depth of starting pitching and their insane bullpen gives the Astros a tremendous edge. Starters: Verlander, Framber, Javier and Urquidy-all have significant big game experience.
Then check out this bullpen: Brown, Maton, Montero, Neris, Stanek, France, Abreu and Pressly. Yikes. Texas has two starters and their bullpen blew more saves than they had saves this season.
Related: Dan’s Week 7 College Football Picks
Houston is the better all around team and they get four games at home. With three games left in the regular season, there was virtually no shot Houston would get home field in the ALCS. What a difference a week makes.
The Texas Two Step
Nate: (Texas) There are years where teams just emerge in October, and Texas feels like that team. Everything seems to be going their way right now and the bats are unbelievable.
Jordan Montogmery has been great since he got traded from the Cardinals, but the big news would be the return of Mad Max for this series.
Bruce Bochy knows how to navigate a team to a World Series title, as does Dusty Baker. This is going to be a great series, but I lean towards the team that looks hotter.
The sweep against Baltimore was no joke. This team is real.
Confessions of a Houston Diehard
Jack: (Texas) I might be a Houston diehard, but I’m picking against the juggernauts in the ALCS here.
The Astros rode quality starts by Christian Javier and Jose Urquidy to a 3-1 series victory over the Twins, but those two have not been as reliable as in years past. Bruce Bochy is 4-0 in the LCS. Even though the ‘Stros have owned this series since 2017, a new sheriff is about to emerge.
It’s October. Don’t Doubt the ‘Stros
Darian: (Houston) The Astros offense will be unleashed on the Rangers in this series. The Rangers took advantage of the Orioles youth and playoff inexperience.
They also quieted the critics on their shaky bullpen; however, this Astros line-up is lethal. Yordan Álvarez is an X factor for the Astros offense with Brantley and Abreu heating up at the right time. Not to mention they have the best starting pitcher left in the playoffs in Justin Verlander.
Diamondbacks vs. Phillies NLCS Predictions
Two teams that aren’t supposed to be here will face off in a wild NLCS.
The Diamondbacks swept the Dodgers, flashing dominance on the mound and a hilarious uptick in run production.
Meanwhile, the Phillies continue to be the albatross around the neck of all Atlanta Braves fans. A meltdown of epic proportions by both division winners opened the door for two of the most exciting Wild Card teams to face off in this seven game series to see who can play spoiler to the Texas two step.
Can the Diamondbacks steal a game at the Bank and shock the league? Or will the Phillies return to their second-straight World Series with their excellent game plan of hitting 75 home runs in the first inning?
Arizona Diamondbacks Series Winner (+145)
Philadelphia Phillies (-170)
Season Matchup – Phillies 4 – Diamondbacks 3
Cashing My Tickets
Nate: (Philadelphia) I’m all in on the Phillies. Since late August, I’ve had my sole World Series bet on them at +2200. When the playoffs started, I grabbed +675 for them to win the pennant.
I am fired up.
The Braves might end up being their toughest matchup of the postseason and they looked completely fearless against the juggernaut. Harper and Schwarber will lead the way in the lineup, and I feel confident with Nola and Wheeler in the rotation.
Usually when I have all these bets, I start to get anxious and imagine all the ways this goes wrong. Not this year. The Phillies are basically last year’s team, but with deeper pitching and better defense.
A breakthrough is coming this year after getting close last year.
Don’t Expect to Win in Philly
Jack: (Philadelphia) The Phillies are relentless with a lineup full of stars and the best home field advantage in the major leagues.
Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler are a scary 1-2 punch from a team that can beat you with the bats. Their biggest weakness is the lack of bullpen depth, but those clowns showed some serious gumption in the Atlanta series.
The Diamondbacks have been fun to watch, but the playoff experience of the Phillies and the smothering atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park will prove to be too much. Phils in five.
A Philly Phantasitc in Phive
Darian: (Philadelphia) The Phillies are on a warpath, defeating the mighty Braves last night to move on to the NLCS. The bullpen is playing complementary baseball and it will be interesting to see if they can keep this up.
Although the Diamondbacks faced a Dodgers club that lived and died on the production of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, they will be in for a rude awakening against this lineup led by Bryce Harper.
I like Harper and Turner’s bats in this series. Not to mention that all teams crumble in Citizens Bank Park. Phillies in five.