Daily 49er

World Series will be for the birds

This MLB postseason will feature avian protagonists and an L.A. Dodger team haunted by familiar ghosts.

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Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

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Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Josh Barajas, Sports Editor

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The first pitch for the 2015 Major League Baseball postseason is on Tuesday and if your team’s mascot is some sort of bird, you’re in for a great fall.

This year’s playoffs feature some of the usual suspects in the National League. The St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates are playing October baseball yet again, while perennial losers, the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, are some of the new faces.

The American League is a bit different. Somehow, only the Kansas City Royals are in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers all crashed the postseason this year leaving out some recent powerhouses like the Detroit Tigers and Oakland A’s.

With that being said, here are some predictions for how the postseason will play out.

 NL Wild Card

The Pirates have everything to beat the Cubs. Pittsburgh has the home field advantage, the better team and, more importantly, the experience. This year marks the third time in a row that the Pirates are involved in the N.L. Wild Card game, as opposed to the Cubs who have made the postseason for the first time since 2008.

The Cubs will have to rely heavily on their ace Jake Arrieta, but it turns out that’s a good thing. The right-hander is 2-0 in three games at PNC Park with an earned run average of 0.82. Still, the Pirates will win in a very low scoring game.

AL Wild Card

The Houston Astros are coming in hotter than the skidding New York Yankees and overall have the better team. They have the better starter in left-hander Dallas Keuchel and the better hitters in Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Carlos Gomez.

The Astros are also a home-run happy team going into one of the most home-run friendly ballparks in the nation. The Yanks, by the way, have a record of 15-19 at Yankee Stadium in August, September and October. The Astros will make that 15-20 on Tuesday.

NLDS

The Dodgers will beat the Mets for two reasons. First, this is a five-game series and Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are starting the first two games and could start in as many as four for Los Angeles. Second, the Mets don’t play in St. Louis, wear red or call themselves the Cardinals.

The Mets also have a sturdy rotation in Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard, so the series will come down to the bats. The Dodgers are better prepared in that department with seasoned veterans like Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Andre Ethier and even Yasiel Puig in the line up.

The Cardinals will be in the NLCS for the fifth straight year after they beat the Pirates. St. Louis owns the best pitching staff in the league, even with the loss of Carlos Martinez. However, the biggest advantage the Cards have is experience. Players like Matt Holiday, Yadier Molina, John Lackey, Matt Carpenter and Jhonny Peralta know what it takes to win in October.

ALDS

The Blue Jays are the best team in baseball right now. Josh Donaldson is an A.L. MVP candidate, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are still crushing the ball in Toronto, Troy Tulowitzki is back in the line up and David Price is a Cy Young favorite anchoring a solid rotation. The Rangers don’t stand a chance, even when Yovani Gallardo is on the mound.

The Kansas City Royals have quietly dominated the American League and will continue to do so in the ALDS against the Astros. The Royals are the most balanced team in the MLB; they ranked third in the AL in both batting average (.269) and team ERA (3.73). The Astros are new to the postseason, while Kansas City has the maturity to take out a young team.

NLCS

The championship series in the N.L. will be a fierce rematch between the Dodgers and the Cardinals. The big question will be Kershaw and his insistence on falling apart against the Cardinals in the postseason.

In his one start against the Cards this season, Kershaw went eight innings and only allowed one hit. Unfortunately for L.A., even if Kershaw overcame his fear of red birds in that game, neither he nor Greinke can pitch every game. Cardinal hitters have a better chance of making an impact and they will, taking the series from the Dodgers to advance to the World Series.

 ALCS

The Royals are in fact the most balanced team in the A.L., but the Blue Jays aren’t too far behind.

Toronto has the same team batting average as Kansas City, but the difference is the Blue Jays do a much, much better job of bringing their base runners home. They led the A.L. with 232 home runs and 852 runs batted in.

The Jays offense is too powerful, even for the defending A.L. champions. The Blue Jays will advance to the World Series for the first time since they won it in 1993.

World Series

The Fall Classic will come down to a matchup between the birds from Toronto and the birds from St. Louis. It’ll be the league’s best offense against the league’s best pitchers.

The Blue Jays scored a monstrous 891 runs this season while the Cardinals had a team ERA of 2.94. They say defense wins championships and there is no better defense in baseball than a pitching staff full of studs. The Cardinals will win their 12th World Series title.

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