2016 MLB Postseason

A Reds fan’s guide to the 2016 MLB Playoffs

So the Reds missed the postseason for the third straight year. That doesn’t mean baseball is over! The MLB Postseason features the best playoffs in professional sports. There are plenty of good story lines, and plenty of former Reds to root for.

That is why without further ado, I’ll bring you my third consecutive MLB Postseason preview from a Reds perspective, with picks from our staff writers. If you would like to see how bad my picks were in 2014, click here. If you would like to see how bad my picks were in 2015, click here. Please share your picks in the comments sections. The person with the best picks wins….bragging rights.

AL Wild Card Game: Orioles at Blue Jays

Tuesday, 8:00 PM (TBS)

edwin

The first game of the postseason will feature….EDWIN! Our founder Chad Dotson has always been a defender of Edwin Encarnacion long before his recent run of 42, 36, 34, 39, and 42 home run seasons over the last five years. Hmmmm, I wonder what Scott Rolen is up to these days #toosoon

This matchup will feature Chris Tillman (3.77 ERA/4.23 FIP) vs Marcus Stroman (4.37 ERA/3.71 FIP). The game will be played at the Rodgers Centre, which hosted one of the loudest postseason games of all-time last season, which included the greatest bat flip in MLB history. The Orioles had the most home runs in the MLB this season (253), while the Blue Jays were 4th (221). That means this will be a 1-0 game, with the winning run scored on an RBI groundout.

Drew Stubbs and Paul Janish are both also on the Orioles current roster. Stubbs will likely make the playoff roster, while Janish will probably be on the outside looking in. Dioner Navarro is on the Blue Jays roster. He had a cup of coffee with the Reds win 2012, including a really cool walk-off triple.

Nick Kirby Blue Jays
Matt Wilkes Blue Jays
Chad Dotson Blue Jays
Patrick Jeter Orioles
Nick Carrington Blue Jays
Jeff Gangloff Blue Jays
Matt Korte Blue Jays
Wesley Jenkins Orioles
Grant Freking Blue Jays

NL Wild Card Game: Giants at Mets

Wednesday, 8:00 PM (ESPN)

brucecueto

Thor vs Bumgarner. Thor vs Bumgarner. Thor vs Bumgarner. Ok, so this game doesn’t feature the true magical matchup of  Johnny Cueto vs Jay Bruce, but this pitching matchup is spectacular. Noah Syndergaard leads the MLB in fWAR (6.5) and FIP (2.29). Madison Bumgarner has been really good in his own right (2.74 ERA/3.24 FIP), and has a decent playoff pedigree.

It will be difficult for a Reds fan to chose who to root for. We need to see the Giants win to see Johnny Cueto actually pitch in the playoffs (unless he comes out of the bullpen on Wednesday night, which would be awesome!). But, how cool would it be to see Jay Bruce hit a huge postseason bomb (wait, those dirty Mets fans don’t deserve that!). Bruce went into one of those really, really dark Jay Bruce signature slumps™ to begin his time in NYC. Bruce turned it around at the right time, homering in three straight games in the final week of the season. Let’s just hope Jay sobered up from that big celebration on Saturday.

The Giants also have that “even year” thing going for them. Me and Chad are the only ones who still like Jay Bruce. The other writers have turned quickly.

Nick Kirby Mets
Matt Wilkes Giants
Chad Dotson Mets
Patrick Jeter Giants
Nick Carrington Giants
Jeff Gangloff Giants
Matt Korte Giants
Wesley Jenkins Giants
Grant Freking Giants

ALDS: Rangers vs Orioles/Blue Jays

Game 1: Thursday, 4:30 (TBS)

choo

The Rangers kind of quietly had the best record in the AL at 95-67. Yet, the Rangers were 22nd in the MLB in team ERA (4.38), and 28th (!) in FIP (4.58). So they must have had an incredible offense, right? Well, they were actually tied for 15th in the MLB in wRC+ (98). But wait, how the heck then did they have the best record in the AL? They went 36-11 in 1-run games, the best mark in the modern era. Some view it as clutch, I view it as luck.

The Rangers do have Shin-Soo Choo though! Well, maybe. Choo missed most of the last two months of the season, and just returned over the weekend going 2 for 12. The Rangers are noncommittal right now if he will make the postseason roster. Oh the glory days of having the two on-base machines on the same roster.

Nick Kirby Blue Jays
Matt Wilkes Blue Jays
Chad Dotson Rangers
Patrick Jeter Rangers
Nick Carrington Blue Jays
Jeff Gangloff Blue Jays
Matt Korte Rangers
Wesley Jenkins Rangers
Grant Freking Rangers

ALDS: Indians vs Red Sox

Game 1: Thursday, 8:30 (TBS)

hanigan

The Red Sox have by far the best, and deepest lineup in baseball. The Indians starting rotation is beat up, and they will be starting Trevor Bauer in Game 1, who was their #4 starter just a month ago. All signs don’t look good for the Tribe, but they should have Corey Kluber for Game 2 (who could win the Cy Young with a 3.14 ERA/3.26 FIP), and a nasty bullpen featuring Andrew Miller (1.45 ERA/1.68 FIP), Cody Allen (2.51 ERA/3.31 FIP), and Dan Otero (1.53 ERA/2.33 FIP). Still, 8 of the 9 Red Sox regulars have a wRC+ of 113 or better. That lineup is nasty.

The Red Sox have Ryan Hanigan, although he may not make the postseason roster. One guy that will make the roster is Cincinnati’s own Andrew Benintendi. He hit .295/.359/.476 with a 120 wRC+ after being called up in early August. Benintendi attended Maderia High School, and was actually drafted by the Reds in the 31st round of 2013, although he didn’t sign.

On a personal note, I have to ask that you root for the Indians. Ya, ya, ya, I know you all hate Cleveland, but I have a good reason. My wife is a die-hard Indians fans (you can view her tears as proof from when they clinched here). Anyway, she cheered hard against her better judgement for our Reds in 2012 and 2013, so I think we owe it to her to return the favor, right? We will be at Game 1 and Game 2 in Cleveland, so look for us!

See, Patrick believes (sorry honey).

Nick Kirby Red Sox
Matt Wilkes Red Sox
Chad Dotson Red Sox
Patrick Jeter Indians
Nick Carrington Red Sox
Jeff Gangloff Red Sox
Matt Korte Red Sox
Wesley Jenkins Red Sox
Grant Freking Red Sox

NLDS: Dodgers vs Nationals 

Game 1: Friday, 5:30 (FS1)

This is a very intriguing matchup. The Dodgers and Nationals have been to the postseason a combined five times in the last five years, but neither has had much success (the Dodgers won just one series, and the Nationals franchise hasn’t won a playoff series since 1981).

The Nationals are of course managed by the polarizing Dusty Baker. They also have one of my all-time favorite Reds, Chris Heisey. He has hit five pinch-hit home runs this season, and maybe, just maybe he could hit a big one for the Nationals. The Nationals also have former Reds Matt Belisle and Mat Latos (gross). Belisle is expected to make the roster, Latos is not. Yasmani Grandal is also the Dodgers starting catcher, although he was only a top prospect with the Reds and never made the big league club.

Personally, I really hope this is the year Clayton Kershaw has that masterful postseason we have all been waiting for. Kershaw literally could go down as the greatest pitcher ever, and I am tired of his ridiculous criticism for having a couple bad 7th innings in the playoffs.

Nick Kirby Dodgers
Matt Wilkes Nationals
Chad Dotson Dodgers
Patrick Jeter Dodgers
Nick Carrington Dodgers
Jeff Gangloff Nationals
Matt Korte Nationals
Wesley Jenkins Dodgers
Grant Freking Nationals

NLDS: Cubs vs Giants/Mets

Game 1: Friday, 9:00 (FS1)

Chapman

1908. 1908. 1908. This could be the year the famous chant ends. Chanting 2016 next season when the Cubs come to town just doesn’t have the same ring to it. The Cubs have a couple Reds on their roster: Travis Wood, David Ross, and some guy named Aroldis Chapman.

I wrote all about the Cubs in my 2016 NL Central review yesterday, so I’ll just direct you there. Wesley Jenkins also added #evenyearsorcery to his prediction.

Nick Kirby Cubs
Matt Wilkes Cubs
Chad Dotson Cubs
Patrick Jeter Cubs
Nick Carrington Cubs
Jeff Gangloff Cubs
Matt Korte Cubs
Wesley Jenkins Giants
Grant Freking Cubs

World Series Predictions 

Greg Dafler was the only RN writer to predict the Royals to win the World Series last year. He decided to quit making predictions while he was ahead. We had pretty good diversity this year, but Red Sox over Cubs was the most common pick. Enjoy the postseason everyone, and don’t forget to share your picks in the comments! You may also use this page to discuss the games, although we may open some more threads for individual games.

Nick Kirby Red Sox over Cubs
Matt Wilkes Red Sox over Cubs
Chad Dotson Cubs over Red Sox
Patrick Jeter Cubs over Indians
Nick Carrington Dodgers over Red Sox
Jeff Gangloff Blue Jays over Cubs
Matt Korte Red Sox over Cubs
Wesley Jenkins Giants over Red Sox
Grant Freking Rangers over Cubs

12 thoughts on “A Reds fan’s guide to the 2016 MLB Playoffs

  1. Would like to make mention of OF Mr. Jared Hoying of the Rangers as well for this post. He will most likely be on the playoff roster, and, while not a former Red he is a fairly local kid to Cincinnati being only 90 minutes up the road from small town Fort Loramie!

  2. I am definitely on the Windians train but I will admit I did not watch much AL at all this year and did not realize how good the Red Sox are. Going to be a tough series

  3. Oh, man… Buck Showalter doing the Dusty. The team’s best reliever doesn’t sniff the field. If I was an O’s fan, I’d be pretty livid. And by livid, I mean absolutely stark raving livid.

  4. EE? Can a Reds fan ever really root for EE given the disconcerting lack of effort and discipline he showed in Cincinnati? Oh, he’s grown into a power hitter and is no longer the agile third baseman that we saw in GABP. Puzzling. Is something afoot here?

    • I see nothing afoot. EE seems to be the same free-swinging hitter he was with the Reds. His defense at third base was erratic, to say the least.

    • Just looked through all his numbers… between 2011 and 2012, he started walking more and hitting the ball harder and he’s been doing that ever since That’s it…

      His fly ball rates and pull rates were largely the same between Cincy and Toronto. He didn’t lower his oSwing%, so I don’t know where the walks were coming from…pitchers pitching around him for no apparent reason before his breakout…

      A weird transformation, indeed.

  5. I’m late to the party but at the beginning of the year I had Texas and Washington with Texas winning the WS. So much for that pick. Nats are still holding on.

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