Sarcastic Joe’s preview of MLB Playoffs


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Baseball fans around the world would love to see the Yankees battle the Red Sox in 2021.

Joe Flynn, Sports Editor

The MLB Playoffs is upon us. Soak it in. Enjoy it for a brief moment. Have you soaked it in? Enjoyed it? Good, now it’s time to panic.

The odds are against the team you’re rooting for. Rooting for the Yankees? Good luck, they have been inconsistent all year.

Think this is the Red Sox’s year? Yeah, right.

Think the White Sox have what it takes to win in October? Uh, do you even have a brain?

Think the Astros can redeem themselves? Listen here you little punk.

Anyways, here’s my official list of each team’s chances in the 2021 playoffs. 


A team that had a less than 2% chance to make the playoffs in early September somehow snuck into the playoffs, mostly because they picked a perfect time to go on a 17 game win streak. The Cardinals were a mediocre team before the win streak, but since they won 17 games in a row they have looked pretty good. Their pitching is okay and will have to rely on 39-year-old Adam Wainwright to get them past the NL Wild Card game. 

The Cardinals have 3 reliable relievers in Alex Reyes, Giovanny Gallegos, and Genesis Cabrera. Other than Wainwright, their starting pitching is, again, just okay. All their starters, aside from Wainwright, boast a FIP above 4.30, which is not good, but if you only look at their team ERA, it ranks 7th in the National League.

Again, they will have to rely on their 39-year-old ace who has had a season that’s made him look like the Adam Wainwright of old, before all the injuries. 

The Cardinals offense is led by Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, who, before the win streak, had mediocre seasons. On paper, Goldschmidt’s season will look great, with 31 home runs, 99 RBI’s, a .294 batting average, and a .366 OBP. In August Goldy slashed a mediocre line: .268/.333/.442, which is good for an average first baseman, but Goldy isn’t an average first baseman. He’s one of the greatest hitters of the 21st century, and over the last month and a half, he’s proved that he is a truly underrated player. 

Also on paper, Nolan Arenado’s season will look okay; he boasts a .255/.313/.495 line. His defense has been great, and he will most likely win a Gold Glove for his efforts at third base. The two redeeming numbers on Arenado’s stat-sheet this year are his 34 home runs and 105 RBI’s. Arenado usually has a higher batting average and a better OBP, but as long as he hits 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI’s, nobody will be complaining. 

The veteran presence in the Cardinals’ clubhouse is a huge plus for them, but they are facing off against the 106 win Dodgers. Unless Wainwright has one last gem in him, the Cardinals will not advance and won’t play the Giants in the NLDS. 


If the Cardinals were a mediocre team before they cleaned up their act, the Braves were a terrible team before every team in their division decided to choke. The Braves have the worst record out of any team in the playoffs, with a 88-73 record.

I admire the Braves for not giving up halfway through the season, when it was evident their star player Ronald Acuna Jr. wasn’t coming back, but there’s no way they can get past the Brewers in the NLDS. They don’t have enough depth offensively, and they have a shaky bullpen.

Down the stretch, the Braves took advantage of an easy schedule and went on some hot streaks. The Phillies finished second in the NL East with an 82-80 record, just to give perspective on how bad the division was. The Braves might have a good starting rotation, but their offense hasn’t found an identity since Acuna Jr. injured himself 80 games ago. The Brewers have a good enough rotation to finish Atlanta off in 4 games. 


I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t he just say that the Brewers would finish off the Braves in 4 games? Why is he saying the Brewers are the 3rd worst team in the playoffs and that they can beat the 2nd worst team in the Braves in just 4 games? Is he delusional? My answer to those questions are yes, let me explain, and probably. 

The Brewers somehow won 95 games, and their coach, Craig Counsell, makes a compelling case for Manager of the Year, but I don’t believe in the Brew-Crew. They have a lethal pitching staff, I’ll give them that, but their offense is unreliable. 

Former superstar Christian Yelich has either been hurt, or playing hurt, all year, and his unimpressive line has reflected that. He hit .248/.362/.373. His .373 slugging is an all-time low for the former MVP and has been having a hard time at the plate since he got injured late in 2019. 

Their leader in home runs and RBIs is Avisail Garcia: that’s not very good. Nothing against the 30-year-old veteran, but he’s been a role player most of his career, so the fact that he’s their best power hitter makes me doubt their offense. 

Their offense also relies on inexperienced players like Willy Adames, Luis Urias, and Omar Narvaez. The best thing going for the Brewers is their dominant pitching staff. Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta are kind of like a poor man’s “Big Three.” The Big Three being Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine. 

Woodruff, Burnes and Peralta are good pitchers, and theoretically, they will carry the Brewers to the NLCS along with closer Josh Hader, but I have a feeling one of them will choke. The question is who will be the one to choke, and when.

White Sox

I am not a believer in the White Sox, and their potential dynasty, which is supposed to start on Thursday.

They have an inexperienced lineup, an inexperienced pitching staff and a pitcher-friendly team, in general.

What I mean by that is their offense likes to swing at pitches 15 feet outside the strike zone. Tim Anderson hit .309 this season, but he only walked 22 times. 22 times in 123 games is pretty bad.

Before last season, most of the players on the roster had never tasted the postseason, and this year, they are sure to have a short-lived run.

They have an okay pitching staff, but a pitching staff that has failed them in big moments. Giolito hasn’t settled down until recently and hasn’t been able to shake “sticky stuff” rumors.

Cease is definitely not a pitcher White Sox fans would want out there in a do-or-die game; I don’t care how many strikeouts he has.

Lance Lynn is a workhorse, but a workhorse that’s been breaking down over the past month.

Honestly, Carlos Rodon is the only pitcher I would trust in a must-win game if I were a White Sox fan. But what do you think Tony La Russa would do if the ALDS went all 5 games?

Start Rodon in Game 5, or allow Giolito or Lynn a second start on short rest? I think we all know he would start Giolito or Lynn, and the Astros are a team that capitalizes on mistakes like that. 

Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox shocked the baseball world by making it all the way to the AL Wild Card game.

I truly never expected them to win 92 games and secure the first spot in the AL Wild Card standings. Boston proved me wrong and proved all the haters wrong, for now….

They have a great offense, but no virtually no pitching. Their team ERA is 4.26, and four of their six starters have an ERA above 4.50.

Their bullpen is absolutely terrible, like historically bad terrible. I wouldn’t trust any one of their relievers if I was a Red Sox fan. 

The Red Sox face off against the Yankees on Tuesday night, and the Red Sox don’t have one reliever that has fared well against the Yankees.

Matt Barnes has blown more games against the Yankees than I can count, Ottavino blew a game against the Yankees less than 14 days ago, and that’s pretty much it for the Boston bullpen. Unless Alex Cora trusts Garrett Whitlock in a one-game playoff against hitters like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Joey Gallo. I hope he does trust Garrett Whitlock because the Yankees would smack him around. 

Even if the Red Sox beat the Yankees, they would have to rely on their pitching staff for too many games, and their offense might be good for 5 runs a game, but I don’t think their pitchers can win the team 12 games. 


The “Asterisks” had a decent year. They took advantage of a mediocre division, and won 95 games.

They also employ known cheaters Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel, Alex Bregman, and Lance McCullers Jr. That’s a lot of cheaters, but how many games did they get suspended for defrauding the game, 0. 0 games for stealing a World Series in 2017 and not earning their appearance in 2019.

The Astros, sorry, “The Asterisks” have a good enough offense and good pitching, but they don’t have one thing: Integrity.

They also don’t have is a buzzer to tell them what pitch is coming, dang-it!, or a good bullpen. If I were Dusty Baker I would leave in whatever pitcher started the game for as long as they can go and hand the game off to their closer, Ryan Pressly. But they can’t do that every game, and it will come back to bite them. The Astros will most likely beat the White Sox in the ALDS, but I doubt this is their year. 


I might be biased towards the Yankees, but I just think that if the Yankees beat the Red Sox in the Wild Card game, they will beat the Rays in a best of five series.

The Rays have good pitching that always shuts down the Yankees in the regular season, and they have a good offense, but they aren’t the Yankees. Sure, the Rays beat the Yankees last year in a season that didn’t count, but that was then, and this is now. 

The Rays were just out-dueled in the last game of the regular season by the Yankees, losing 1-0. That game showed the Rays that when it comes down to it, the Yankees’ pitching staff beats their pitching staff.

And in the postseason, pitching wins games. The Yankees have darn good pitching. The Rays offense, much like the Yankees’, can be streaky. The Rays just cover it up better. 

Don’t get me wrong, the Rays are a good team managed by the guy who committed the biggest error in Game 6 history in the World Series last year. (Merkle’s Boner). But half of the Rays lineup is made up of rookies, and streaky hitters.

The Yankees won’t let the Rays beat them again, so don’t expect to see the Rays make it far in the 2021 playoffs. 


I would have bet the farm that the Giants wouldn’t have made the playoffs and especially not to win the NL West with 107 wins.

I would have then had my knees broken by the mob because I don’t have a farm or money, so if I made such a bet, this would be my last article. But I wouldn’t do something that foolish.

Side-note: do any of you have a farm you’re looking to sell for less than 1,000 dollars or best offer?

Anyway, let’s focus on the present.

The Giants have had a great season from start to finish, and I can’t believe I’m writing about them potentially competing for a World Series.

The Giants were supposed to be in a rebuilding phase after multiple bad seasons, but behind great pitching and a good offense, the Giants are the number 1 seed in the National League.

The Giants pitching staff has been something out of a movie; it’s been that good.

Behind Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, Logan Webb, Alex Wood, and even Johnny Cueto, the Giants have become a serious contender.

I never thought the Giants’ offense would be good, but it is. They’ve scored the 6th most runs in all of baseball, and the 2nd most in the National League with 804 runs.

They’ve also hit the most home runs in the National League with a whopping 241. Their offense is anchored by future Hall-of-Famers Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Kris Bryant, and role players like Darin Ruf, Alex Dickerson, and Donovan Solano

The Giants will have a tough task if they do end up facing the Dodgers in the NLDS, and they will need their starting rotation to hold up in the playoffs if they want to go all the way. 


Yes, I am biased towards the Yankees. And, yes, you might be right by calling me crazy for thinking the Yankees actually have a shot at winning the World Series this year, even though they’ve been inconsistent all year long.

The only consistency the Yankees have had this year is them being inconsistent. Ouch, self-burn.

The Yankees have great pitching and the best pitcher in the American League in Gerrit Cole, and they have a shutdown bullpen.

The only question is “how will the Yankees offense do?”

The Yankees offense will score 10 runs one game, and then 2 over the next 3 games, but in the postseason, anything can happen. When the Yankees are hot, they are unbeatable. 

Hopefully, their manager, Aaron Boone (who should be fired after this roller-coaster season), gets a grip, and actually puts together a good lineup. That means no more Odor as the cleanup hitter, and no Gallo hitting second. 

The Yankees are going to make a run if the offense is as good as its pitching: it’s as simple as that. 


The Dodgers have a super-team, made up of star pitchers and star hitters.

If they get past the Wild Card Game, which is very likely, they will have a tough opponent in the Giants.

The Dodgers disappointed time and time again in the playoffs, over the last 10 years except for last year which didn’t count, even though they almost lost to the Braves in the NLCS.

Clayton Kershaw is doubtful to return for the playoffs, which puts their season in jeopardy. Will the Dodgers overcome the challenge of a Kershaw-less playoffs, or will they crumble like they have in the past? 

The Playoffs bring out the best in baseball. In the postseason, the unexpected is almost expected at this point. Memorable moments will happen, every team but one will go home disappointed, but that one team will experience baseball euphoria.