Full disclosure someone else should have probably wrote the NL version of this article. I have not followed baseball as closely this year as past years, especially the NL. Hell, even the AL knowledge isn’t the same as let’s say 2015. Also, I am starting this article on Sunday night with two games left to determine who wins the NL central and NL west to be played on Monday. I originally only wanted to write about the A’s and Yankees WC game but as Bob would say that would be rude. Bob reads everything so I’ll make the article longer!
Quick update: * All stats represent a 162-game season. Stats have not been updated for game 163 played on Monday. I consider game 163 as a borderline playoff game.
Indians vs Red Sox ALDS
This promises to be a great series full of MVP type players. The Astros are the better team and should win this series. However, Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are MVP type players that can take over a game on their own. On the year Lindor finished with a 7.6 WAR, .277 B.A, 37 HR’S AND 91 RBI’S. Ramirez had a huge season with 8.0 WAR, 274 B.A, 39 HR’S, 106 RBI’S, and a solid .950 OPS. Those two guys along with a pitching staff led by Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Carlos Carasco give the Indians more than a fighting chance. In July realizing that they had a fatal flaw in their bullpen, Cleveland made a big trade. Adding Brad Hand, and Adam Cimber in return for top prospect Francisco Mejia. Hand has pitched well. However, Cimber has a 4.05 ERA in Cleveland and a 6.06 FIP (don’t worry Bob I’ll explain later). Cody Allen finished the year with a 4.70 ERA. Cleveland’s bullpen may be their ultimate undoing. Stallion states that he does not trust the Cleveland bullpen.
Houston is really fuckin good. Well after they got rid of their gas can closer. Toodlum, can explain to you how much that improved their team. The Houston starting pitching staff is unbelievably good, and that was proven by their league low ERA of 3.11 and a .217 BAA (Batting Average Against). They have CY young candidate Justin Verlander, and Dallas Kuechel who previously won a CY Young may be their 4th best pitcher. Gerrit Cole rejuvenated his career with Houston’s speed rate methods. The lineup includes Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Tyler White. Tyler White gives me nightmares. One thing to watch is Carlos Correa lingering back injury. Correa’s defense may suffer during the series, and that may cost Astros a few runs. Oh, the Astros added a pitcher named Josh James in September. I don’t know what role he will have in October, but I want to know where the Astros keep getting these filthy pitchers. Toodlum adds that the Houston staff broke the all time strike out record.
Ultimate Prediction: Astros in 5 (My way of saying I have to predict a winner and it can go anyway). I hope I’m wrong though as my boy’s Yonder, Josh, and Rajai play for Cleveland.
A’s vs Yankees AL Wild Card Game
These are two similar teams with power bullpens, power bats and shaky rotations to an extent. Actually, the A’s rotation fuckin blows. Luckily rotations don’t fuckin matter in a one game scenario.
The Yankees broke the 1997 Mariners record for most homeruns in a season. Not surprising considering the ballpark and that they have Aaron Judge and Mr. Stanton, and Aaron Hicks suddenly became good. The A’s have the best power hitter in baseball in Khris Davis. Olson, Piscotty and Chapman have really good power as well. There’s going to be a lot of HR’s hit in this game probably. The X factor for the A’s is rookie Ramon Laureano who has jumped on to the scene with authority. The 24- year old has shown all five tools in his two months with the A’s. If you don’t believe me watch this video.https://youtu.be/BMOwB145Eq8. Ramon has the speed to steal a couple of key bases, and he has a cannon for an arm. Hopefully the nerves do not get to him. Another key factor will be the catching. Gary Sanchez and Jonathan Lucroy are two of the worse defensive catchers in baseball. The Yankees will look to run on Lucroy, and there is a good chance Sanchez allows at least one passed ball.
Ultimately this game will go down to bullpens. The A’s are going to a full bullpen game starting Liam Hendricks. The Yankees starter whether it be Happ or Tanaka will have a short leash. The A’s bullpen had an awful September but they have Blake Treinen who is amazing. In addition, before September the A’s bullpen carried them to many wins. Blake had the lowest ERA in the history of baseball for a pitcher that pitched at least 75 innings. He also had a 4.3 WAR AS A RP!!! Still though he’s an Oakland Athletic so he will allow a three run HR in the bottom of the 9th to lose the game, blowing the A’s two run lead. The other key A’s RP’s will be big game Petit, young Trivino, and heart attack Famalia. Trivino and Famalia are as unpredictable as Munkster. Sometimes they are good pitchers and other times they kill you slowly in a painful way. The Yankees bullpen includes Aroldis Chapman, Dillon Belatances, and Daniel Robertson. In July they added Zach Britton. A key RP may be Chad Green who would be a bridge from the starter to the big four.
Prediction: Yankees 7 A’s 6. Blake Treinen allows three run HR in the bottom of the 9th after A’s enter inning with a 6-4 lead. Nav lays on the floor motionless for 20 minutes, and then drags himself to bed.
They won 108 games. They have arguably the best player in baseball in Mookie Betts who is unfuckin believable. However, as K1 will tell you the Red Sox bullpen is full of gutless bums according to the Boston media. The Red Sox also have JD Martinez who has taken over David Ortiz role as the incredible pure hitter “DH”. Unlike, Mr. Ortiz, JD occasionally plays the field, playing RF. JD finished the year with a .329 B.A, 42 HR’S, .401 OBP, and a 1.025 OPS.
One issue with the Red Sox is that in his last start Chris Sale was throwing 90 MPH’s. Also, despite their 108 wins I don’t think the Red Sox are as good as their record. They didn’t have a winning record vs any of the other AL playoff teams. 2-4 vs A’s, 3-4 vs Clev, 9-9 vs Yankees, and 3-4 vs Houston. That probably mean’s absolutely nothing in October. Red Sox ace Chris Sale in his last start was throwing 90 MPH’s. That isn’t good. Still the Red Sox are a talented team and past Sale they have steady David Price, and Rick Porcello who has won a Cy Young. K1, will fill you in with the rest of the Red Sox details. Fuck the Red Sox.
Prediction: The Red Sox and Yankees play 9 inning games that take 7 hours to finish. Everyone falls asleep in the 3rd inning. I guess Yankees in 4. I don’t really care. I’ll be more interested in the other AL series.
Let’s get to the NL teams now. The field includes the Braves, Rockies, Dodgers, Brewers, and Cubs.
The young and talented Braves are led by Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, and Freddie Freeman. Albies seems to had a low OBP, but is an extremely talented player. When he is not being hit by pitches that break his wrist Mr. Freeman is destroying the National League. On the year he had a .310 B.A, 23 HR’S 98 RBI’S, and a .387 OBP. Acuna is a homerun pimping king. Absolute stud. Shout out to Nick Markasis who Vegas has been trying to trade for years. The 34-year-old had an all-star season, and may be a X Factor for the Braves. The weakness for the Braves is their pathetic bullpen. If you don’t believe me ask Vegas.
The Braves starting rotation includes a man named Mike Folltynewicz. The 26-year-old finished the season with a 2.85 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .195 BAA, and 202 K’s. If it was not for the absolute insane season by the Mets Jacon Degrom, Folty may have a legit claim for CY Young. In July the Braves acquired talented but inconsistent Kevin Gausman. Gausman helped shore up the Braves rotation, pitching 59.2 solid innings. Other names include long time Brave Julio Teheran, some guy I never heard of, and Anibal Sanchez. Vegas describes Anibal as a roller coaster, who is constantly up and down.
The Brewers have National League MVP Christian Yelich on their roster. He absolutely went full MVP’ing mode in September. Here’s his September numbers: 10 HR’S, 33 RBI’S, 22 Walks, .360 BA, and a .417 OBP. Since the all-star break Yelich had 25 HR’S 66 RBI’S and .364 BA. His teammate Lorenzo Cain has dropped a great season himself. The power numbers are not gaudy but his defense and speed are what make Lorenzo great. According to fangraphs Cain has saved 9.9 defensive runs. The Brewers have a strong bullpen, led by phenom Josh Hader. Hader will strike you out and then strike your dad out, and then your son. Basically, he strikes everyone out. He had 140 K’s in 79.1 IP’S. On Monday he pitched two dominant innings helping the Brewers win the division. Jeremy Jeffries is not as filthy as Hader but he good. Finishing the season with a 1.29 ERA, 3.4 BWAR, and 89 K’s in 76 innings. The Brewers bullpen finished the year with 3.52 ERA second in the National League behind the Cubs. Ask Brew about the starting staff.
Quick go to a twitter handle named Pitching Ninja and find all his videos of Josh Hader, and well Blake Treinen.
This is 4905’s team, and he told me to write good things about them. They are led by the sensational Nolin Arenado. Who dropped 37 HR’S 109 RBI’S, and a .374 OBP. Anyone that follows baseball knows Nolin is a human vacuum at the hot corner. As evidenced by his nine million gold glove awards. He has won the platinum glove given to baseball’s best defender regardless of the position. Trevor Story has huge power, and he showed that with 36 HR’s on the season. This season Trevor became a better overall hitter with a .291 B.A, and .348 OBP. Both being a career best. Charlie Blackmon is a solid player, and DJ LeMathieu has been good for many seasons.
I’m going to be honest I don’t know how to judge the Rockies pitching. Playing in Coors field does unspeakable damage to pitchers. That said Kyle Freeland is good. He finished the season with a 2.85 ERA, .240 BAA, and 17 HR’S allowed (not bad for a pitcher pitching at Coors field). Freeland will take the mound on Tuesday, on three day’s rest. Let’s hope he can tame the Cubs lineup. Germaine Marquez had 221 K’s and .241 BAA, with a 3.76 ERA. He had an erratic start in game 163 The bullpen has question marks but Wade Davis has pitched in huge games. The Rockies spent millions on the bullpen last off-season and hopefully it pays dividends in October. A key acquisition in July was Seunghwan Oh. Go Rockies.
Here’s a couple of Links before Tuesday’s game with the Cubs:
FUCK THE CUBS. John Lester can go fuck himself. Addison Russel sucks. That is all. In allJavier . Baez long known as a defensive wizard has taken his offensive game to a high level in 2018. Still he is not in Christian Yelich’s class and the MVP vote should not be close. Anthony Rizzo has been the Cubs star for many years, and had another solid campaign. The Cubs made plenty of skewed moves in July and August adding Cole Hamels and Daniel Murphy as the two head liners. Hamels has pitched 76.1 Innings for the Cubs with a 2.36 ERA. Yu Darvish will not be pitching in October. John Lester can’t throw to first base. Lester is a big game pitcher, pitching on three world series teams, and dominated the 2013 World Series. Jose Quintana pitched Monday’s game 163 and relatively well. His 2018 was probably not the one the Cubs expected with a 4.09 ERA and a 4.52 FIP. Still though he is a capable pitcher and can dominate any given game.
Clayton Kershaw sort of started shaking off his reputation as failing in October, in 2017. Matt Kemp is back on PEDS and can hit again. Max Muncy somehow became a 35 HR hitter. In July the Dodgers traded for Manny Machado, and he has been a steady replacement for Corey Seager who lost his season in March. Many will not be back on the Dodgers next season. The Dodgers best hitter is Justin Turner. The man that was designated for assignment by the Mets, can hit. In March A’s pitcher Kendall Graveman broke Justin Turner’s wrist. If you want to call it karma Graveman went down to TJS in June. Since making his season debut Turner has put up a .313 B.A and a .408 OBP.
Past Kershaw the Dodgers SP’s includes Rich Hill who has a fantastic curveball that I love. I’m going to ignore the rest of the rotation. In their bullpen, the Dodgers are similar to the Astros who utilize former SP’s in relief roles. For the Astros that’s Brad Peacock, and Colin McCugh, for the Dodgers that’s Kenta Maeda, and Alex Wood. Eventually, it is all going down to Kenley Jansen who did not pitch well Monday. He allowed a HR to Arenado and Trevor Story.
The Monday winners were the Brewers and Dodgers, leaving the Cubs and Rockies to face off in the one game heart attack.
Prediction: Rockies 5 Cubs 3. Fuck the Cubs that’s why.
NLDS: Dodgers Vs Braves: Dodgers in 4. Sorry Vegas but the Braves are not at their ultimate destination yet.
NLDS: Rockies vs Brewers: Brewers in 5, IDK just because of the bullpen advantage and homefield in game 5.
ALCS: Yankees vs Astros: Astros in 6, a rematch of last year’s pretty good ALCS. Astros pitching is better.
NLCS: Brewers in 7. Christian Yelich goes full beast mode and puts himself on the fuckin map.
World Series: Brewers in 6. SHOCK THE FUCKIN WORLD. I would be happy be happy to have the Rockies make the World Series instead. Fuck the Dodgers and Cubs.
* Who cares about my predictions. I’m a fuckin dumbass. I want the A’s in the World Series obviously but the pitching is not there. A’s vs Rockies or Brewers World Series would get me pumped.