The MLB playoffs have been everything fans could have hoped for, from shocking game finishes to surprising series wins.

As Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports noted, one team is going to get its first World Series win in a long time:

Obviously, the Chicago Cubs have been waiting the longest, but all these teams are in new territory for this generation, creating plenty of unknowns moving forward. While uncertainty makes the game fun, here is an attempt to predict what will happen over the next couple of weeks.


American League Championship Series

These two teams have been flawless to this point in the postseason.

The Cleveland Indians won all three games in their series against the Boston Red Sox and are +375 (bet $100 to win $375) to win the World Series, but the Toronto Blue Jays (+225) have won all four of their contests, including the AL Wild Card Game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman sums up what makes Toronto so dangerous:

The pitching came with Aaron Sanchez struggling, which means it could be even better in the next round. The real strength of the team, though, is the lineup, which has produced 10 home runs in four games so far in the playoffs.

Josh Donaldson hasn’t gone yard yet in the playoffs, but he does have five doubles to go with his .500 batting average.

This offense is a terror for opposing pitchers when it is clicking, especially for an Indians rotation that is already short-handed.

Cleveland does have a few tricks up its sleeve, however, including an elite bullpen. Cody Allen has been steady as the closer, although Andrew Miller is the real star as a versatile weapon who can be used in any inning.

“I know sometimes people don’t think a reliever can impact your team as much as a player position [can]. I would argue that point,” Indians manager Terry Francona said, per Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post. “He has been everything we hoped for. We gave up a lot of good players for him. That’s how much we think of Andrew.”

Francona has done everything he can to get the most out of the lefty, and he will be extremely valuable out of the pen to quiet Toronto’s bats for a couple of innings at a time. Unfortunately, there are only so many innings Miller will be able to pitch in a seven-game series.

The bullpen will make an impact, and Corey Kluber is still one of the most talented starters in the game, but the rest of the staff is full of question marks.

Cleveland has an elite offense as well, with Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez hitting well so far in the playoffs, but the Blue Jays will be able to match on the scoreboard for most of the series. Each game should be a back-and-forth battle, but Toronto should be able to advance to the World Series.

Prediction: Blue Jays 4, Indians 3


National League Championship Series

Like the Indians, the Los Angeles Dodgers showed a lot of creativity with their ability to win in the division series.

Game 5 against the Washington Nationals featured a save by Clayton Kershaw just two days after he threw 110 pitches as a starter. Kenley Jansen also came up big with 2.1 innings of relief work, all after Rich Hill pitched 2.2 innings on three days’ rest.

Los Angeles began Thursday at +900 to win the World Series, although that will likely drop to closer to 4-1 or 5-1 odds after moving on to the NLCS.

The Dodgers have trustworthy starters and a lineup that mixes youngsters and veterans, any of whom are able able to come through with a big hit when needed.

On the other hand, the squad is coming into the next round in rough shape after leaving everything on the line against Washington. There are a lot of question marks about who will pitch the first couple of games, not to mention whether anyone in the bullpen will be available.

The Chicago Cubs have no such problems after having a few days of rest leading up to Game 1.

Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks are all elite starters who can shut down an opposing lineup, while the Cubs offense is almost unstoppable from top to bottom.

There is a reason the squad is only +160 to win the World Series despite the organization not winning it all since 1908.

Chicago was by far the best team in the league during the regular season and is built to win over a seven-game series. This one should go according to plan.

Prediction: Cubs 4, Dodgers 1


Note: All World Series odds courtesy of Odds Shark.

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