October Baseball (noun): A term used to describe the only time of year the whole country gives a shit about baseball. Often becomes a phenomenon in large cities that usually aren’t participating in the postseason, such as Chicago, IL.

Yep, the MLB Playoffs are officially under way. Similar to March Madness, the bracket isn’t really set until the play-in games are finished.

But after the upstart Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs won their Wild Card games on the road, it’s time to fill out that bracket for real. And this year’s bracket is full of teams we haven’t seen in the MLB Playoffs for quite some time.

The Blue Jays (1993), Astros (2005), Mets (2006) and Cubs (2008) all join frequent attendees St. Louis, Los Angeles and Texas in a field that essentially covers the entire U.S. map (and Canada!) outside of the Northwest and Southeast.

It’s also a field that reflects baseball’s overwhelming youth movement – with St. Louis the only remaining team to win a World Series in the last 22 seasons (Toronto).

Yeah, this isn’t exactly your father’s MLB Playoffs. Let’s get to the picks.

2015 MLB Playoffs Picks

Peter Hahn

ALDS

Royals over Astros

Blue Jays over Rangers

NLDS

Cardinals over Cubs

Dodgers over Mets

ALCS

Royals over Blue Jays

NLCS

Cardinals over Dodgers

World Series

Royals over Cardinals

Obviously the fan in me wants to ride Jake Arrieta and the red-hot Cubs all the way through the NL, but my gut says that 2015 will be what 2009 was for the Blackhawks. As in, fall to your archnemesis in your first year back on the scene, then take home the whole damn thing the next year.

I also went with my gut on the AL side, which is an absolute crapshoot. As a baseball fan, I’m all in on the Blue Jays partying like it’s 1993 – but the Royals were the AL’s best team all year long and enter the postseason healthy with Alex Gordon’s return last month. Kansas City’s starting pitching doesn’t jump off the page, but their stellar bullpen/defense is enough to supplement a lineup that can get hot at any time.

Brian Lendino

NLDS

Cubs over Cardinals

Mets over Dodgers

ALDS

Jays over Rangers

Astros over Royals

NLCS

Cubs over Mets

ALCS

Blue Jays over Astros

World Series

Cubs over Blue Jays

Of course I’m drinking the juice on the Cubs. What type of fan would I be if I didn’t?

They’re winners of nine straight, have Jake Arrieta, and baseball’s savviest manager is guiding the ship. Behind Maddon, the Cubbies are playing loose – which is why nothing seems to phase them.

Though I have to say, I’m most excited for the Blue Jays and Rangers ALDS matchup that promises to be an all-out slugfest. Toronto is the odds-on favorites to win the World Series, but I’m mortgaging my emotional well-being and reputation as a prognosticator on the hometown Cubbies.

Cameron Kmen

ALDS

Rangers over Blue Jays

Astros over Royals

NLDS

Mets over Dodgers

Cubs over Cardinals

ALCS

Rangers over Royals

NLCS

Cubs over Mets

World Series

Cubs over Rangers

Call me a homer, but I think that the Cubs have a legitimate shot at winning it all this year. Coming into the season, I thought they would be good, but not this good. This team is hot at the right time and their staff is anchored by one of the best in the game in Jake Arrieta. It will take seven games, but the Chicago Cubs will edge out the Texas Rangers, ending the Cubs 107 year World Series drought. 

Tim Brusveen

ALDS

Rangers over Blue Jays

Astros over Royals

NLDS

Cardinals over Cubs

Dodgers over Mets

ALCS

Rangers over Astros

NLCS

Cardinals over Dodgers

World Series

Rangers over Cardinals

Rangers have the best record against fellow playoff teams of anyone left. This pick isn’t because I really believe in the Rangers although they are the hottest team in the AL with a team built for their park, bats that can slug with the Jays and three able starters. It also have to do with that I don’t buy the Royals at all. They sent Yordana Ventura down two months ago and now are hoping that he can anchor a playoff staff along with the ghost of Johnny Cueto?

Pair that with their bullpen losing Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera looking much more human and the Royals have major bust potential (although they heard that before the season started).

The Cardinals might be as healthy as they’ve been all year as Yadier Molina looks like he’s going to at least give it a go. Matt Holliday is back and Adam Wainwright is the new bridge to Trevor Rosenthal gives them an elite bullpen. Losing Carlos Martinez hurts them but as the walls of the division started closing around them, it just feels like the evil empire will get one more pennant before they’re overtaken by the Jedi (Cubs).