I’m Back! And With Some MLB Wild Card Picks

Jorge Soler (left) was the World Series MVP for Atlanta two years ago. Can he and Jazz Chisholm Jr. help lead the Marlins to an upset of the Phillies?

No Astros. No Dodgers. For the next three days, the dynasties are hanging out along with the budding ones in Atlanta and possibly Baltimore. It’s Wild Card Week! (boy that doesn’t carry the same cache as in football, does it?) and I need to knock off some game-picking rust. So without further ado:


Toronto (6) at Minnesota (3)

I hate baseball’s playoff format. The Blue Jays won more games (they didn’t get hosed nearly as bad as the Rays, though) than Minnesota, and the Twins won another weak Central and come in riding an 18-game (!) postseason losing streak dating back to the 2004 ALDS. The Blue Jays are a foolish team though, one that does not look capable of being trusted in October given the underperformance of the offense and shaky bullpen. In a “why the heck not?” and “they’re just overdue” moment, give me the slight-underdog Twinkies to advance. Twins in 3.

Texas (5) at Tampa Bay (4)

Boy did the Rangers squander a golden opportunity. They laid an egg — literally, a goose egg — on the season’s final day, capping a week in which a 2.5-game lead in the AL West disappeared and sent Houston into a bye that was, frankly, not deserved. But Texas at times has looked great, and the Rays could be deflated by having to play in this spot despite winning 99 games. Tampa’s playoff history is filled with disappointment, and the Jekyll-and-Hyde Rangers just might have new life in October. Pick: Rangers in 3.

Arizona (6) at Milwaukee (3)

Poll question: which of these team’s is a bigger waste of a playoff spot? I’d actually say the home team since Milwaukee has never made good on its October appearances, while this is relatively new territory for the D-Backs (who at the very least have a championship this century). Brandon Woodruff being out kills any chance the Brew Crew might have had at an NLDS upset of the Dodgers, but there should be just enough in the tank (or perhaps I should say the keg) to get the Brewers across the finish line. Regardless, this is a matchup of who gets to get slaughtered by L.A. next. Brewers in 3.

Miami (5) at Philadelphia (4)

If any team is ripe for an upset it might just be the Phillies. Things feel different in 2023 after the Phils came in as a total underdog in 2022 and rode the wave all the way to the Fall Classic. But Miami is 4-2 at the Bank this year and has a good history in the postseason. In all three appearances (even the joke 2020 season), Miami has won at least one playoff round, and in its two full-season appearances won the whole darn thing despite never having won a division title in its history. Young and hungry is what the Phillies were last year. Now the hunter has become the hunted, and just for the sake of it I’m going with the Fish to slip by the Fightin’ Phils. (And yes, I’m saying all four series go the max three games. Hey, why not?). Marlins in 3.

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