*Disclaimer: The predictions in this article are based on the assumption that all standings as of Friday, September 30th will remain the same throughout the remainder of the regular season.
The MLB playoffs can be a confusing and unpredictable time for even the most hard-core baseball fans. They also take about a month before giving way to a new World Series Champion, so the wait can be long and excruciating (especially for certain fanbases). If you can't wait until the end of October to see who wins it all, then you're in luck. This guide is guaranteed to show you exactly how the playoffs play out, before they actually happen. I've set a high standard for myself with a 100% (0-0) prediction rate until now. So, without further ado, the results of the 2016 MLB playoffs!
AL Wild-Card: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles
Assuming the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox (who are resting all of their starters after clinching the division) more times than the Orioles beat the Yankees, the Jays will have home-field advantage in Canada, but it won't matter. With two high-powered offenses lead respectively by superstar third basemen Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson, there won't be a struggle for offense in this shootout. In a starting pitching matchup (most likely Chris Tillman vs. an overused Aaron Sanchez) that leaves much to be desired, it will come down to the bullpen in this game. With the best closer in baseball in Zach Britton and other great arms like Mychal Givens and Brad Brach, the Oroles will win a tightly contested affair thanks to early homers by Mark Trumbo and Machado.
Prediction: Orioles win 7-5
NL Wild-Card: Giants vs. Mets
In a pitching matchup for the ages between Madison "Postseason Demi-God" Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard, it's home field advantage and a timely Yoenis Cespedes 2-run home run that propel the Mets to victory. After eight fabulous innings from "Thor", Jeurys Familia shuts the door on the Giants in 9th, ending their even-year magic.
Prediction: Mets win 3-1
AL Division Series #1: Orioles vs. Rangers
After being shutout by postseason veteran Cole Hamels in Game 1, the Orioles steal Game 2 thanks to a Yu Darvish implosion and another mastery performance by their bullpen. After that, things go sour for manager Buck Showalter's squad. A pissed-off Rangers team goes into Camden Yards looking to show why they won home field advantage in the regular season. On the backs of their two big trade deadline acquisitions, Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran, the Rangers close out the series over the next two games.
Prediction: Rangers win in 4
AL Division Series #2: Indians vs. Red Sox
In a duel between Cy Young candidates Corey Kluber and Rick Porcello in Game 1, the Indians eek out a win on the road thanks to some timely hitting by sophomore stud Francisco Lindor. But that will be all she wrote for Terry Francona and co. The slugging Red Sox demolish a banged-up Indians rotation, scoring at least five runs in each of the next three games, and closer Craig Kimbrel ends each game with a scoreless ninth.
Prediction: Red Sox win in 4
NL Division Series #1: Mets vs. Cubs
After using Syndergaard in the Wild-Card showdown with the Giants, the Cubs out-pitch the Mets in Games 1 and 2 behind back-to-back shutouts from co-aces Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. After going home to Citi Field and riding the shoulders of "Thor" and Cespedes again, John Lackey proves his worth in a masterful Game 4 performance. Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez both homer against Seth Lugo, and trade deadline acquisition Aroldis Chapman strikes out the side in the ninth in his first career appearance in the postseason.
Prediction: Cubs win in 4
NL Division Series #2: Dodgers vs. Nationals
With two of the most well-balanced teams in the league squaring off, experience will be the deciding factor in this series. In Game 1, Clayton Kershaw destroys any remaining skepticism about his postseason abilities by out-dueling Max Sherzer in a 2-1 game considered one of the best of the postseason. Over the next two games, Justin Turner rips three home runs and Adrian Gonzales bats above .500, and the Dodgers use veteran Rich Hill and rookie Kenta Maeda to seal the series sweep.
Prediction: Dodgers win in 3
AL Championship Series: Rangers vs. Red Sox
With both teams having well-rested rotations, the two AL juggernauts will rely heavily on their high-octane offenses to push them to the World Series. After losing Game 1 on an error by Mookie Betts in the 11th inning, the Red Sox turn to their young players and turn on turbo mode. Over games 2, 3 and 4, all Red Sox victories, Xander Bogaerts hits two homers and 9 rbis, while making exceptional plays at shortstop. After Hamels out-classes Porcello in Game 5, the Red Sox punch their ticket to the World Series with a David Ortiz walk-off home run, his first extra base hit in a rough postseason.
Prediction: Red Sox win in 6, Xander Bogaerts wins MVP
NL Championship Series Series: Dodgers vs. Cubs
The Cubs assert their dominance early, winning the first three games, all pitcher's duels, thanks to brilliant starting pitching and a lights-out bullpen. Kershaw comes back on short rest to deliver a three-hit shutout (all three hits are by Kris Bryant), and pushes the series to Game 5. There, a tired Rich Hill lasts only four innings, and Bryant hits two more home runs, ending the series as the only player to hit over .350. The Cubs celebrate wildly on the flight home to Chicago, after clinching their first World Series berth since 1945.
Prediction: Cubs win in 5, Kris Bryant wins MVP
World Series: Cubs vs. Red Sox
Game 1: Jon Lester vs. Rick Porcello
Lester delivers seven innings of one-run ball, but gets hurt after taking a line drive off his shin, rendering him unavailable for Game 5, again striking fear and dismay into the hearts of Cubs fans everywhere. Ben Zobrist and Jorge Soler both homer in a Cubs 4-2 victory.
Game 2: Kyle Hendricks vs. David Price
Price pitches his best start of the postseason, eight innings of shutout baseball, and Dustin Pedroia has three hits in a close 3-2 Red Sox victory.
Game 3: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Jake Arrieta
Arrieta turns back the clock to 2015, and pitches a complete game, giving up just two runs. The Cubs offense goes berserk in a blowout win, with the entire infield of Bryant, Rizzo, Baez and Addison Russel hitting home runs in an 11-2 win.
Game 4: Clay Buchholz vs. John Lackey
Pedroia continues his hot World Series start with four more hits, and Craig Kimbrel delivers his first scoreless performance of the World Series in a 6-4 Red Sox triumph.
Game 5: Porcello vs. Hendricks
Despite giving up two home runs to the ageless wonder David Ortiz, Hendricks guides the Cubs to a 5-4 win, thanks to Dexter Fowler's three hits and two stolen bases, putting the Cubs one game from glory.
Game 6: Arrieta vs. Price
On the brink of elimination, Price pitches seven innings of two-run ball. However, he is matched by Arrieta, and the game remains tied going into the 12th. After Anthony Rizzo drives in Zobrist with a double in the top of the inning, closer Aroldis Chapman blows the game in the bottom of the inning, giving up a three-run home run to Mookie Betts, causing Cubs fans to question every decision they've ever made.
Game 7: Lester vs. Rodriguez
Lester makes his return and gives it everything he has. After eight innings of one-run baseball, Lester convinces manager Joe Maddon to let him return in the ninth inning against his former team with a 2-1 lead, thanks to Anthony Rizzo's two-run blast. After striking out Hanley Ramirez and Bogaerts to begin the inning, Lester gives up a double and two walks to load the bases before Ortiz steps to the plate. Maddon, much to the dismay of Lester, calls in Chapman. On a 1-2 count, Chapman induces a pop fly to Jason Heyward in right field... who promptly drops the ball and loses the game! Just kidding Cubs fans. Heyward makes the grab, and everyone goes insane. The Cubs break the curse of the billy goat and win the World Series for the first time in 108 years.
Prediction: Cubs win in 7, Jon Lester wins MVP