Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Who will win? Experts weigh in

September 30, 2019

Who will win the 2019 World Series? How will the postseason play out? MLB.com's experts weigh in here with their predictions for every playoff series from the Wild Card Games through the Fall Classic. • Postseason schedule

Who will win the 2019 World Series? How will the postseason play out?

MLB.com's experts weigh in here with their predictions for every playoff series from the Wild Card Games through the Fall Classic.

Postseason schedule

ANTHONY CASTROVINCE

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Nationals
ALWC: TB-OAK -- A's
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Braves in 5
NLDS: WSH-LAD -- Dodgers in 4
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Yankees in 4
ALDS: OAK-HOU -- Astros in 3
NLCS: ATL-LAD -- Braves in 7
ALCS: NYY-HOU -- Yankees in 6
WS: ATL-NYY -- Yankees in 6

Every intellectual and analytical fiber in my being (not that I have many) screams that we’re going to get a 2017 World Series rematch between the Astros and Dodgers, because they are clearly the best teams in their respective leagues. But the ball takes some funny bounces in October. The Yankees advance with their deep and flashy bullpen, while the Braves shake off some late-season injury concerns to make a run. In the end, we party like it’s 1999.

MARK FEINSAND

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Brewers
ALWC: TB-OAK -- Rays
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Braves in 4
NLDS: MIL-LAD -- Dodgers in 5
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Yankees in 4
ALDS: TB-HOU -- Astros in 4
NLCS: ATL-LAD -- Dodgers in 5
ALCS: NYY-HOU -- Astros in 7
WS: LAD-HOU -- Astros in 6

Everyone has been waiting for the Yankees and Astros to face off in the ALCS -- and it’s going to happen. Houston’s home-field advantage helps it return to the World Series, where it will get the Dodgers in a 2017 rematch. Just like the first time, the Astros will emerge victorious, winning their second title in three years.

ALYSON FOOTER

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Nationals
ALWC: TB-OAK -- A's
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Braves in 4
NLDS: WSH-LAD -- Dodgers in 5
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Twins in 4
ALDS: OAK-HOU -- Astros in 4
NLCS: ATL-LAD -- Dodgers in 5
ALCS: MIN-HOU -- Astros in 6
WS: LAD-HOU -- Astros in 6

It shouldn't be that difficult for the Dodgers to capture the NL pennant again, but there will be tremendous pressure on them to not lose the World Series for a third time in a row. The Astros have their own pressure to deal with, having turned in the best regular season in club history with expectations to turn that into their second championship title in three years. Advantage: Houston.

RICHARD JUSTICE

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Nationals
ALWC: TB-OAK -- Rays
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Cardinals in 5
NLDS: WSH-LAD -- Dodgers in 4
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Yankees in 5
ALDS: TB-HOU — Astros in 3
NLCS: STL-LAD -- Dodgers in 6
ALCS: NYY-HOU -- Astros in 7
WS: LAD-HOU -- Astros in 6

The Astros appear to have no weakness, and no other postseason team can say that. But the road to winning the World Series has seldom been more difficult. The Rays and A’s are especially dangerous because both had regular-season success against the Astros. The Yankees and Dodgers both pushed Houston to deciding Game 7s in instant-classic postseason series two years ago. But the Justin Verlander-Gerrit Cole rotation anchors make the Astros solid favorites.

SARAH LANGS

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Nationals
ALWC: TB-OAK -- A’s
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Braves in 4
NLDS: WSH-LAD -- Dodgers in 4
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Yankees in 5
ALDS: OAK-HOU -- Astros in 4
NLCS: ATL-LAD -- Braves in 7
ALCS: NYY-HOU -- Astros in 5
WS: ATL-HOU -- Astros in 6

The Astros are the best team in baseball and we’ve seen how dominant they can be at numerous times throughout the season, including an MLB-high six games with 15-plus runs this year, with two of those coming against 2019 playoff teams -- one each against the A’s and Rays. And of course we know the future-Hall-of-Fame caliber of their pitching staff, which is the second in Major League history to have two pitchers with 300 strikeouts. While it could very likely be the Astros and the Dodgers again in the World Series like 2017, this Dodgers team has a bigger bullpen question mark than either of the last two, which could give way to a new NL champ in the youthful, yet veteran-inspired, Braves.

WILL LEITCH

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Nationals
ALWC: TB-OAK -- Rays
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Braves in 5
NLDS: WSH-LAD -- Nationals in 5
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Twins in 5
ALDS: TB-HOU -- Astros in 4
NLCS: WSH-ATL -- Braves in 7
ALCS: MIN-HOU -- Astros in 5
WS: ATL-HOU -- Astros in 6

The more you've paid attention to baseball this year, the clearer it has become that the way the Dodgers are run and the way the Astros are run just feels a cut above the way every other team is run. But as Billy Beane famously said: That ... something ... doesn't work in the playoffs. Strange things happen in the playoffs. When in doubt, trust teams that play good defense, make contact and have solid bullpens. But let's not kid ourselves: We're all just guessing.

JON MOROSI

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Nationals
ALWC: TB-OAK -- Rays
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Cardinals in 4
NLDS: WSH-LAD -- Dodgers in 5
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Yankees in 4
ALDS: TB-HOU -- Astros in 5
NLCS: STL-LAD -- Dodgers in 7
ALCS: NYY-HOU -- Astros in 6
WS: LAD-HOU -- Astros in 5

After a regular season of openers and record-setting home run totals, October will belong to the Astros -- with their dominant old-school rotation and lineup that has registered the fewest strikeouts in the Majors this year. In the National League, recent injuries to Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr. changed my projection of the Braves' path to the World Series. The Dodgers’ bullpen has been better lately than most critics realize. However, as in 2017, Houston has the better team.

MIKE PETRIELLO

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Nationals
ALWC: TB-OAK -- Rays
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Braves in 5
NLDS: WSH-LAD -- Dodgers in 5
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Yankees in 4
ALDS: TB-HOU -- Astros in 4
NLCS: ATL-LAD -- Dodgers in 6
ALCS: NYY-HOU -- Astros in 7
WS: LAD-HOU -- Astros in 6

It’s probably not great that the sport is so stratified right now -- 10 teams losing 90 games is too many -- but the upshot of it is that we're left with a postseason bracket just full of super-teams, and that should make for some highly competitive series. Most importantly, remember that regular-season baseball is very different from October baseball, home runs are a good thing that helps you win … and the Astros might not just be the best team in baseball, but the best team of all time. We’ll call it two titles in three years for Houston, in a rematch of the thrilling 2017 World Series. Sorry, Dodger fans.

JESSE SANCHEZ

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Nationals
ALWC: TB-OAK -- A's
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Braves in 5
NLDS: WSH-LAD -- Nationals in 5
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Twins in 5
ALDS: OAK-HOU -- Astros in 4
NLCS: WSH-ATL -- Nationals in 7
ALCS: MIN-HOU -- Astros in 5
WS: WSH-HOU -- Astros in 6

The Astros are the best overall team in baseball. The Nationals are arguably the hottest. Anything can happen in the postseason, but the team with the most talent and experience usually wins. That team this year is the Houston Astros, who will be crowned the World Series champions at the end of October. A valiant effort by the Nats in the Fall Classic will put the finishing touches on a season to remember.

ANDREW SIMON

NLWC: MIL-WSH -- Nationals
ALWC: TB-OAK -- Rays
NLDS: STL-ATL -- Braves in 4
NLDS: WSH-LAD -- Dodgers in 5
ALDS: MIN-NYY -- Yankees in 5
ALDS: TB-HOU -- Astros in 4
NLCS: ATL-LAD -- Dodgers in 6
ALCS: NYY-HOU -- Astros in 7
WS: LAD-HOU -- Astros in 6

There is no shortage of legitimate championship contenders in this group, which includes four 100-game winners. The Astros look like the most complete team, featuring a historically productive offense, the co-frontrunners in the AL Cy Young Award race, and a solid bullpen. That hardly guarantees a second championship in three years, but Houston has the most firepower to get the job done.