Will the 104-win Los Angeles Dodgers finally get the job done in the MLB Postseason? Twenty-seventeen provides the best shot.

It’s amazing. The current temperature, a measly 20-degree change makes all the difference in the world.

The dog days of summer are long gone. Those 95-degree, throw all the water you’d like on me while I trot out to left-field in a haze have passed us by.

It’s October — specifically, Oct. 3, 2017, which means the entire city of the Big Apple is on notice. Many have a sickening feeling in the stomach while attempting to get through the workday while others can’t wait to turn on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET and root like hell for an epic failure.

It’s just different.

Baseball in October is a completely separate game from the version we witnessed 162 times before it. Everything is magnified. Every pitch, every swing, every sign … literally every moment is magnified to a degree that cannot be fully explained on paper.

And when New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino throws the first pitch to the visiting, unlikely October-bound Minnesota Twins, we’ll all understand that switch has flipped.

Here’s Elite Sports NY’s official 2017 MLB Postseason preview:

  • 5 Minnesota Twins (85-77)
  • 4 New York Yankees (91-71)
  • AL Wild Card Game, Oct. 3, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
  • Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York

Listen, it’s a Wild Card Game. The setup flies in the face everything natural to baseball. Never could one game appropriately decide things on such a great stage.

While knowing this, one doesn’t have to curse the day it was born.

What’s the difference between a one-game Wild Card scenario and a playoff tiebreaker from back in the day that decided a division? Nothing. It’s a great setup. No more terrible endings to the season and no more equal footing for division champs and non-division champs. Finally, baseball did a great thing when the No. 4-No. 5 one-game scenario was instituted.

But there’s just no way to clearly analyze the matchup. It’s anybody’s game. It’s anybody’s night.

Luis Severino will receive the ball from Joe Girardi and hopefully pitch until it’s time for Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. It would resemble the Yanks “A game” from years past with Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.

On Minny’s site, Ervin Santana will take the ball for the small-market team who overachieved with probable manager of the year Paul Molitor.

We’ll officially take the Yanks in this one. The last two years have been unkind to the big city when it comes to this contest. First, the Bombers in 2015 and then the New York Mets an October ago.

We’ll take the Yanks offense at the friendly confines to control this one. Jump out early and allow young Sevy to coast.

Watch for Brett Gardner. He’s been the engine of the Yanks this season, the guy who’s come up large in most spots. 

Yankees 9, Twins 3

It's on. #Yankees, Twins, AL Wild Card Game. #Yanks #NYY #NYYankees #NewYorkYankees #MLB #alwildcard #mlbpostseason

A post shared by EliteSportsNY (@elitesportsny) on

  • 3 Boston Red Sox (93-69)
  • 2 Houston Astros (101-61)
  • AL Division Series

There’s just something about this version of the Boston Red Sox that stink. And no, it has nothing to do with Apple Watches.

Manager John Farrell has captured a World Series, but since the switch from Terry Francona was made to the pitching guru, these Sox haven’t been able to add on to that 2013 October success.

We’ll take the Astros here in five games based on pure talent alone. The Sox are heavily dependent on Chris Sale. Can Drew Pomeranz follow him up properly? Can the Boston offense click in a small-ball type of way?

Watch for Carlos Correa. Primetime players need to put up prime time results at this time of year. The kid hit .292 with two homers and four runs produced in the 2015 playoffs. 

Houston Astros over Boston Red Sox in 5 Games

  • 4 New York Yankees (91-71)
  • 1 Cleveland Indians (102-60)
  • AL Division Series

There are just some teams that are built for the regular season. They sport power bats, power arms and very little ingenuity.

Some teams are just built for October. These guys can hit in all situations, pitch out of the bullpen and are led by great minds.

Terry Francona is the best manager in baseball.

The Tribe’s lineup is perfect for the big moment and the bullpen is the best in the land (with competitiveness coming from the Yanks). New York will care them (as Joe Girardi can match Francona at times), but in the end, the Indians will get there again, this time by not creeping up on unsuspecting folks.

Watch For Aaron Judge. Can he adjust at-bats and hit in different situations?

Cleveland Indians over New York Yankees in 4 Games

  • 2 Houston Astros (101-61)
  • 1 Cleveland Indians (102-60)
  • AL Division Series

The last time baseball witnessed three 100-win teams was back in 2003. In 2017, two of these clubs will square off in the American League Championship Series.

It’s strange. It really is. When comparing rosters, the Tribe just don’t seem to matchup on the surface with either the Stros or BoSox. But nobody matches up with Tito. Francona will be the difference in this long, exhilarating series.

ALCS MVP: Francisco Lindor. The kid isn’t flashy. He doesn’t possess blazing speed or incredible power. He’s just that “it” guy who brings it when it matters most. 

Cleveland Indians over Houston Astros in 6 Games

  • 5 Colorado Rockies (87-75)
  • 4 Arizona Diamondbacks (93-69)
  • NL Wild Card Game, Oct. 4, 8 p.m. ET, TBS
  • Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona

Two of the more unlikely postseason teams in 2017 will be squaring off at the stadium that has swimming pools on Wednesday night.

Many are loving the Arizona Diamondbacks chances of getting through this game and making noise in the bracket. That scares me. And based on this structure, the one-game wild-card setup, we won’t go too deep in analyzing this thing. It’s anybody’s ball game.

Zack Greinke will be on the bump, as he should be. For the Colorado Rockies, it’ll be Jon Gray.

Greinke’s been much more stellar during the 162-game slate than he has in October. With a 3.55, three wins and just 54 strikeouts in 58.1 innings, he hasn’t been terrible. But we’ll hedge our bets on the Rock’s lineup to get to him in this one and stun Arizona.

Watch for Nolan Arenado. It’s been a long time since Rocktober has come, and the best third baseman in baseball will be primed and ready to go. 

Colorado Rockies 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 3

  • 3 Chicago Cubs (92-70)
  • 2 Washington Nationals (97-65)
  • NL Division Series

Flashback to the 2016 Fall Classic. Literally, everything John Maddon was doing was working agaisnt the Chicago Cubs. The club literally won the title in spite of their manager, not with help.

On the other side, has there ever been a more snakebitten manager than Dusty Baker? With the San Francisco Giants in 2002 and then again with the Cubbies while Steve Bartman was in the stands, this guy simply cannot get over that October hump.

Last year, I took the Washington Nationals to win it all and it backfired. With the addition of Trea Turner at the top of the lineup and a steady rotation, I thought they had it all.

This year, I won’t even go with them in this series. I’ll rely on the snakebitten Baker and franchise that is the team who calls D.C. home.

These Cubbies just don’t have that starting five it did a year ago. Jon Lester will pitch big in Game 1. I know that. It’ll have to be that bullpen and offensive firepower that gets it done.

The Nats do have a loaded rotation, but has Stephen Strasburg proven himself to be solid on any given night?

Watch for Kyle Schwarber. The guy may just go off this month. 

Chicago Cubs over Washington Nationals in 5 Games

  • 5 Colorado Rockies (87-75)
  • 1 Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58)
  • NL Division Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers were so good this season that they were on track to possibly win the most games in baseball history. Then September happened. The 11-game losing streak happened. LA went 13-17 to finish out the season.

Most pundits think this is a bad thing. Nope.

This losing streak may be the greatest thing to ever happen to the franchise since Kirk Gibson‘s miraculous at bat in 1988.

Suddenly, the pressure’s off. There’s nothing to worry about. The clubhouse gets reset to square one and the building needs to start again in a miniature way. The focus is reestablished.

Watch for Clayton Kershaw. He will be dominant this postseason.

Los Angeles Dodgers over Colorado Rockies in 3 Games

  • 3 Chicago Cubs (92-70)
  • 1 Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58)
  • NL Championship Series

Los Angeles and Chicago. Does it get any better than this?

Chicago will get through those snakebitten Nats, but won’t do so in the League Championship Series. Maddon’s managing and lack of starting rotation power will get to them.

That’s right, the Dodgers are heading to the World Series.

Watch for Kyle Seager. This month will be his ultimate coming out party in terms of mainstream sports. 

Los Angeles Dodgers over Chicago Cubs in 5 Games

  • 1 Cleveland Indians (102-60)
  • 1 Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58)
  • The 2017 World Series

Let’s admit facts. We were spoiled last year.

After a tough five-game Fall Classis in 2015 (that saw our hometown New York Mets fall at the hands of the Kansas City Royals), the Cubbies and the Tribe put on a show.

This season, we have the Tribe and the Dodgers.

Look at recent history. It seems as though the back-to-back pennants are coming on. First, the Royals did it. They were steamrolled by Madison Bumgarner and lost a tough seven-game slate. They then returned and won it. The Texas Rangers won the pennant in back-to-back seasons early in the decade. The Cubbies rebounded in a big way a season ago after being swept under the carpet by the young Mets arms.

Cleveland will continue the back-to-back tradition.

They will also capture the franchise’s first championship since 1948. It’ll be Terry Francona’s crowning achievement in baseball and will also force the media to tip the cap to the man as the best manager in baseball.

In the end, the consistency of a versatile lineup and a ben that can be relied on during any inning will narrowly knockout the traditional setup of an ace pitcher and power lineup.

Rarely would I chose two No. 1 seeds to square off in the World Series. First of all, it never happens. Second of all, it’s boring. This season seems a tad different, however. It just feels as though these two clubs are on a collision course for the series. And besides, choosing two No. 1 seeds is usually a reach these days, so why not?

World Series MVP will be Francisco Lindor

Cleveland Indians over the Los Angeles Dodgers in 6 Games

Staff Picks

Christian Kouroupakis, Editorial Director

AL Wild Card Winner: Yankees
WC vs. CLE: Indians
BOS vs. HOU Winner: Astros
ALCS: Indians in 5
ALCS MVP: Corey Kluber
NL Wild Card Winner: D-Backs
WC vs. LAD: D-Backs
CHC vs WAS Winner: Cubs
NLCS: D-Backs in 6
NLCS MVP: JD Martinez
World Series: Indians in 4
World Series MVP: Francisco Lindor

Rick Weiner, Editor in Chief

AL Wild Card Winner: Minnesota
WC vs. CLE: Cleveland
BOS vs. HOU Winner: Houston
ALCS: Cleveland over Houston in 6
ALCS MVP: George Springer
NL Wild Card Winner: Arizona
WC vs. LAD: Arizona
CHC vs WAS Winner: Washington
NLCS: Washington over Arizona in 5
NLCS MVP: Anthony Rendon
World Series: Cleveland over Washington in 7
World Series MVP: Corey Kluber

Pitching wins championships—and the two teams with the strongest rotations will make it to the Fall Classic. Corey Kluber will start three games (1, 4, 7), outpitching Max Scherzer in each and every head-to-head matchup to bring Cleveland the World Series crown that eluded them last year.

Allison Case, Senior Editor

AL WC: Yankees
ALDS: Indians over Yankees in 4
ALDS: Astros over Sox in 5
ALCS: Indians over Astros in 6
ALCS MVP: Corey Kluber
NL Wild Card Winner: Rockies
NLDS: Rockies over LAD in 5
NLDS: WAS over CHC in 4
NLCS: WAS over Rockies in 5
NLCS MVP: Stephen Drew (just kidding), Daniel Murphy
World Series: Indians over WAS in 6
World Series MVP: Francisco Lindor

This year’s playoffs will be full of surprises. What won’t be a surprise is that the Indians will return to the World Series but will come out on top. They are this year’s most complete team and I don’t see them having too much trouble on their way to the top. While we’re hoping the Yankees can go far in the playoffs, right now I can only see the Indians wreaking havoc.

MLB

Nick Durst, Director of Video/Audio

AL Wild Card Winner: New York Yankees
WC vs. CLE: CLE over NYY
BOS vs. HOU Winner: HOU over BOS
ALCS: CLE over HOU in 7 games
ALCS MVP: Corey Kluber
NL Wild Card Winner: Colorado Rockies
WC vs. LAD: COL over LAD
CHC vs WAS Winner: CHC over WAS
NLCS: COL over CHC in 6 games
NLCS MVP: Charlie Blackmon
World Series: CLE over COL in 4 games
World Series MVP: Jay Bruce

Once again, the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers will choke in October and will not make the World Series. It will once again be Rocktober as the Colorado Rockies will win the wild card game and stay hot until they reach the World Series. The Houston Astros will remind everyone just how good they are before coming up just short in game seven against the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. In the 2017 World Series, the team with the best lineup, best starting rotation and best bullpen will be victorious and that team is the Cleveland Indians.

Geoff Magliocchetti, Staff Writer

AL Wild Card Winner: Yankees
WC vs. CLE: CLE over NYY
BOS vs. HOU Winner: HOU over BOS
ALCS: CLE over HOU in 7
ALCS MVP: Jose Ramirez
NL Wild Card Winner: Diamondbacks
WC vs. LAD: ARI over LAD
CHC vs WAS Winner: CHI over WAS
NLCS: ARI over CHI in 6
NLCS MVP: Paul Goldschmidt
World Series: Indians over Diamondbacks in 6
World Series MVP: Francisco Lindor

It’s always fun to rip on the Washington Nationals’ well-documented problems with getting out of the divisional round … problems I believe will continue against the Cubs … but the Los Angeles Dodgers have quietly escaped the choker label somehow. The Dodgers’ last title came in 1988, but you’d figure with the massively talented rosters they’ve had in the past nearly three decades they’d return. That hasn’t been the case and it’ll continue this year. Sure the Dodgers were able to snap out of September funk by bullying the worst the NL had to offer in the late stages of the year, but there’s a newcomer in the West in the form of the Diamondbacks, who pummeled LA in a trio of late-season sets. The Diamondbacks’ luck will run out against Cleveland, who will handle a young Yankees team before sweating one out against Houston, but their quick rise should be well documented and they will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

Gregg Cambareri, Staff Editor

AL WC: Yankees
ALDS: CLE over NYY
ALDS: HOU over BOS
ALCS: CLE over HOU: MVP: Corey Kluber
NL WC: D’backs
NLDS: WAS over CHI
NLDS: LA over ARI
NLCS: LA over WAS MVP: Turner
WS: CLE over LA MVP: Lindor

This year’s playoffs features a loaded field with the majority of teams having legitimate cases at winning the grand prize. There is immense pressure on the payroll-heavy Dodgers to reach their first World series since 1988, and maybe even more pressure to bring the trophy home given their record-setting start. The curse of Dusty Baker will be tested again for a Nationals team that cake-walked through the regular season but faces the reigning champs who finished the second half stronger than any other club. The white-hot Indians continue their path of vaporization of any and all opponents though they should be tested by a Houston team looking to give their hurricane devastated city something to smile about. In the end, no team has had more of a championship feel to it than Cleveland, and with the best manager in the game, avenges last season’s World Series collapse.

Mark Kelly, Staff Writer

AL WC winner – Yankees
NL WC winner – Diamondbacks
ALDS – Indians over Yankees
ALDS – Astros over Red Sox
ALCS – Indians over Astros
NLDS – Diamondbacks over Dodgers
NLDS – Cubs over Nationals
NLCS – Cubs over Diamondbacks
World Series – Indians over Cubs

Robbie Stratakos, Staff Writer

AL WC: Yankees
ALDS: Indians over Yankees in 3
ALDS: Astros over Red Sox in 4
ALCS: Indians over Astros in 5
ALCS MVP: Francisco Lindor
NL WC: Diamondbacks
NLDS: Diamondbacks over Dodgers in 5
NLDS: Nationals over Cubs in 4
NLCS: Diamondbacks over Nationals in 6
NLCS MVP: J.D. Martinez
WS: Indians over Diamondbacks in 6
WS MVP: Corey Kluber

The 2017 MLB playoffs have history and upset written all over, in the National League especially. With the Arizona Diamondbacks surging at the right time, expect them to be the team that gets hot in October and upsets the Dodgers in the ALDS — who they swept twice in the second half of the season. But at the end of the day, the Cleveland are the most stacked team in the bigs and have played at a high level as of late. With an electric lineup, killer rotation and lights-out bullpen, there’s nothing stopping the Tribe from winning the 2017 MLB World Series.

New York Yankees

Alex Jordan, Staff Writer

AL WC: Yankees
ALDS: Indians over Yankees
ALDS: Astros over Boston
ALCS: Indians over Astros MVP: Lindor
NL WC: D’Backs
NLDS: Cubs over Nationals
NLDS: D’Backs over Dodges
NLCS: Cubs over D’Backs MVP: Javier Baez
WS: Indians over Cubs / MVP: Jose Ramirez

The Yankees will easily win the AL Wild Card. However, they won’t be able to beat the Indians who had a 22 game win streak at one point and are the hottest team in the American League right now. The Astros will beat the Rex Sox because the Red Sox won’t be able to beat the Astros pitching. On the NL side the Diamondbacks will easly win the wild card. The Cubs will show that their World Series win wasn’t a fluke by going to the World Series. However the Cubs won’t be able to win the World Series against the Indians who are one of the hottest teams in baseball and the Indians will win thier first championship since 1948, ending another curse.

Patrick Hennessy, Contributor

AL Wild Card Winner: Yankees
WC vs. CLE: Indians over Yankees in 4
BOS vs. HOU Winner: Houston over Boston in 5
ALCS: Indians over Houston in 6
ALCS MVP: Francisco Lindor
NL Wild Card Winner: Diamondbacks
WC vs. LAD: Diamondbacks over Dodgers in 5
CHC vs WAS Winner:
NLCS: Nationals over Cubs in 5
NLCS MVP: Daniel Murphy
World Series: Nationals over Indians in 6
World Series MVP: Bryce Harper

This postseason will be one of the most intriguing in quite a few years, it is full of heavyweight matchups and great storylines. Will the Indians redeem themselves from game 7? Will the Nationals finally move past the first round? The AL Wild Card game will be a good one and the Yankees will just ease past Minnesota to move on to Cleveland but will face the end of their road there. My major prediction though is that the Nationals finally jump over the hurdle and win their long-awaited World Series trophy.

James O’Connell, Contributor

AL Wild Card Winner: New York Yankees
WC vs. CLE: Cleveland Indians
BOS vs. HOU Winner: Houston Astros
ALCS: Cleveland Indians 7 Games
ALCS MVP: Jose Ramirez
NL Wild Card Winner: Arizona Diamondbacks
WC vs. LAD: Arizona Diamondbacks
CHC vs WAS Winner: Washington Nationals
NLCS: Washington Nationals 6 Games
NLCS MVP: Max Scherzer
World Series: Cleveland Indians 6 Games
World Series MVP: Carlos Santana
A paragraph about what you think:

The 2017 Postseason is projected to be quite the entertainment for us folks at home. There are about nine teams (sorry Minnesota) that has a legitimate chance to win the World Series. Some teams are more equipped than others, but in October it’s all about who wants it more. The Cleveland Indians want it more than anyone in this postseason. 1-9 their lineup has no holes, and there is no real weak spot on their roster. This team is built with clutch players and seem to have the all-around perfect formula to raise the World Series trophy this October. From lineup to bullpen to starting rotation, the Cleveland Indians will be your World Champions.

Donny Savitsky, Contributor

AL Wild Card Winner: NYY over MIN
WC vs. CLE Winner: CLE over NYY
BOS vs. HOU Winner: HOU over BOS
ALCS: HOU over CLE in 7
ALCS MVP: Jose Altuve
NL Wild Card Winner: ARI over COL
WC vs. LAD Winner: LAD over ARI
CHC vs WAS Winner: CHC over WSH
NLCS Winner: LAD over CHC in 7
NLCS MVP: Clayton Kershaw
World Series: HOU over LAD in 6 games
World Series MVP: Jose Altuve

Please SUBSCRIBE to ESNY's Daily Newsletter, ESNY City Stream. Every piece of content included yet customized to your New York Sports-team allegiance:

ESNY City Stream

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU