Stone’s Sports Corner: MLB playoff predictions

Back again with my sports talk and oh boy are things heating up in the sports world. It’s October and you know what that means.  

 MLB playoffs, NHL regular season, NBA regular season, and the quarter mark point of the NFL season.  

 Let’s start with the race to the World Series.  

 The MLB regular season has come to a close, and the matchups for the Wild Card round are set. 

We got Tampa Bay against Cleveland, and Seattle against Toronto, with the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros both getting byes to the ALDS.

On the NL side we have Philadelphia against St. Louis, and San Diego against New York Mets. The Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers got the byes to the NLDS.   

Now I don’t know a crazy amount about baseball, but I do know enough about it to know that a couple of these teams didn’t look like they were supposed to make the playoffs going into the 2022 season.  

Three teams in particular, Cleveland, Seattle, and Philadelphia are three teams that looked like question marks. Cleveland and Seattle definitely surprised a lot of people this season.

And Philadelphia, well they have a good roster but there was one point where they were losing a ton at the beginning of the season, and I feel like a lot of people counted them out. But they have Bryce Harper, so you can’t really count them out completely, I guess. 

 This might be a hot take, but I think that we are going to see a very interesting World Series. 

The Dodgers I feel are mostly likely the favorites from the NL side, which is almost a yearly thing at this point, but I think they’ll lose to the Braves in the NLCS. 

For the AL side I think it is a toss-up between the Yankees and Astros for the AL favorite, however I have neither coming out of there. I have the Toronto Blue Jays beating the Yankees in the ALCS. Making it a Blue Jays versus Braves World Series, and I have the Braves winning it again and defending their World Series title from last year.   

They just look built to win, with great hitting, great pitching, and great fielding. I think they have what it takes to win. I have the Blue Jays making it to the World Series ‘cause honestly, I just don’t really care for the Yankees or the Astros and I don’t see any of the other teams doing too well besides the Blue Jays. 

Onto the NFL.  

The NFL has definitely been interesting. The Jets aren’t last place in their division, the Browns are in first in their division, the Jaguars are in first place in their division, and the Lions have the highest scoring offense in the league, but also the worst defense through 4 weeks.  

All of that is a huge ‘what the hell is going on.’ 

Oh yeah, and the Cowboys without Dak look better than they do with Dak. Cooper Rush is undefeated as their starter. 

If you asked me who Cooper Rush was 5 weeks ago, I would have zero clue who he was.  

My biggest question through week 4 is if Jared Goff is actually a good QB or if he will come back down to earth soon. He is tied with Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes for the league lead in TD’s. 

Talk about good company to be around. Hopefully he keeps it up because I benched Matt Stafford for Goff in fantasy because Stafford has been brutal for me.  

A big shock to me is that the Eagles are still undefeated. 

Sitting at 4-0 they are the last team standing with a perfect record, but I don’t think it’ll last much longer, they almost lost to the Jaguars last week, and the only reason they won was because of the monsoon and the Jaguars WRs and RB became lost once the rain commenced.  

On the topic of the Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence looks good this season. 

Everyone saying last year was a bad representation of what Lawrence can do are looking around saying I told you so to the people that said he was a bad pick.  

My last thing I want to mention is Tua Tagovailoa. 

It’s unfortunate to see him taken out on a stretcher after that hit but there was no way he should have even been cleared to play. 

He had taken a hit the week prior and couldn’t even stand up without falling over and stayed in that game too. 

Hopefully a speedy recovery for him as he looked really good before the injury.  

Onto my humble abode of the sports world, the NHL.  

My personal favorite time of the year comes right around my birthday oddly enough, and it’s not because it’s my birthday. It’s because hockey regular season starts either on my birthday most years or the day before.  

As preseason finishes up, there is the opening night of regular season starting with the Nashville Predators and the San Jose Sharks facing off over in the Czech Republic for the NHL Global Series.  

A couple things happened during the NHL preseason action. 

Connor McDavid did some more McDavid-esque things by dangling through a whole team again. 

Nathan MacKinnon signed an 8-year extension making him the highest paid player in the NHL. The Islanders locked up Matt Barzal for another 8 years, and Jason Robertson finally agreed to terms with Dallas. 

Now that that is out of the way, I want to get into how I think this season is going to play out.  

There are three teams that I think can make a large turn around this season compared to last year. 

The Detroit Red Wings, the Ottawa Senators, and the Buffalo Sabres are 3 teams I think people should be on the watch for. 

All 3 have been bottom of the barrel teams the past couple years but are poised for a turn around. 

Three teams I think we will see major regressions in are the Boston Bruins, the Dallas Stars, and the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Just going to say it now, the Blackhawks will be the worst team in the league and Patrick Kane won’t be there the whole season. 

It’s been a trend of me mentioning how bad they are every time I write this, but they are going to be that bad. They will be in a race with the Arizona Coyotes for who will get the number one pick to take Connor Bedard.  

The reason I put the Bruins here is not because I think they will be bad but I’m not too sure how they will fair with Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand missing the first part of the season. They are both huge parts of that team and it leaves me questioning how they will do without them.  

The Dallas Stars however I think just aren’t that great. Yes, they resigned Robertson but with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin taking up a large part of their cap, it’s tough for them to bring in any more players to help them win.

 They barely squeaked into the playoffs last year and relied heavily on Jake Oettinger to get them there. 

How much they can lean on him this season will determine how well they do.   

Alright, onto the NBA. 

NBA preseason has started and well just like any other sports preseason it’s a lot of guys trying to make a push to make the team and teams key players playing limited minutes, so they don’t get injured. 

Which I have absolutely no issue with, but it makes me not want to pay attention as much as I probably should.   

On a much funnier note, the Phoenix Suns lost a preseason game to the Adelaide 36ers of the National Basketball League down in Australia. 

They were the only team to lose to one of the international teams that were played against this season. 

Kind of funny in my opinion, but they straight up got outplayed.  

Other NBA news, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole threw hands at a Warriors practice this past week which was kind of interesting. 

Blake Griffin signed with the Boston Celtics. 

Zion Williamson is set to be back on the court this season after missing all of last season due to injury. 

Lastly, next year’s first overall looks locked up by Victor Wembanyama. 

Try saying that 5 times fast. 

This guy is a 7’2 monster who can shoot and handle the ball like a guard it seems like, should be interesting for whoever gets him. 

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