Hey all – Steve here. Let’s talk about the beginning of the 2015 MLB Playoffs – in particular, the Wild Card games in each league. Really quick and just to get this out of the way – I am already tired of fans of the Cubs and Pirates complaining about having 97 and 98 wins respectively and still having to play a one game playoff. It is what it is and the rules are the rules. Yes the Dodgers and the Mets both won their divisions with 92 and 90 wins, but stop complaining about it and go root for your team to win tomorrow night in Pittsburgh. Flashback people – the 2010-2011 Seattle Seahawks were 7-9 and won their division! That year the Giants were 10-6 and was I crying (maybe a little) and complaining (maybe a little more)? Those Giants didn’t even get a one game playoff to get into the playoffs. In 2006 the St. Louis Cardinals won their Division AND the World Series with 83 wins. It doesn’t matter what is done in the regular season folks – this is a whole new season and if those teams didn’t want to play in a Wild Card game then they should have done a better job against the Cardinals and won the Division. That’s all there is to it. Now, let’s talk about what is going to be happening over the next 2 nights.
The Astros were in first place for most of the year in the AL West until the Rangers came storming back and got Cole Hamels. The Yankees were in first place for a while in the AL East until the Blue Jays got Tulo and Price. The Astros got hot again during the final 2 weeks of the season and the Yankees come in stumbling into the Wild Card game. The Yankees had the better regular season record by 1 game over the Astros, so tonight’s game is at Yankee Stadium. The match-up is a good one – Dallas Keuchel against Masahiro Tanaka. Keuchel won 20 games during the regular season and Tanaka won 12 games. Here is the deal on this game – if everything plays out the way it is supposed to then the Astros are going to move on to play the Royals. The Astros have the better lineup and the better starting pitching, while the Yankees own the edge in the bullpen. Even on 3 days rest, I have to go with Keuchel. The thing about a one game winner take all is that you can lose it on one mistake – whether you are playing the Yankees or the Phillies – if Keuchel doesn’t have his sinker working then it could turn out pretty ugly for the Astros.
Astros 4 Yankees 2
The second and third best teams and the NL Central will battle it out for the right to head to St. Louis tomorrow night. Top to bottom, the Pirates might just be the best team in all of baseball. From pitching to hitting and fielding to bullpen they are an outstanding team. They won 98 games and still were unable to win their division. The Cubs won 97 games and can’t even get home field in a Wild Card game! This game is a real pick ‘em game. You have two teams that are so evenly matched that I had a really tough time predicting a winner. There are 2 things that helped me make up my mind. Jake Arrieta is number 1. He has been the best pitcher on the planet this year (all due respect to Mr. Greinke). He is just absurd and there is no reason to bet against him – even if he is going against Garret Cole and a spectacular lineup. The other reason? It’s really simple – Back to the Future predicted that the Cubs will win the World Series in 2015. While I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that, I can live with the Cubs winning this one.
Cubs 3 Pirates 2
There you have it everyone – let me know what you think and if I am way off (even though I’m not).