Two easy wins got the playoffs started last night.
- The Cardinals lead the Pirates 1-0
- The Dodgers lead the Braves 1-0
Now its time for the American League to open up play, as well as game 2 for each NLDS in today’s full slate of games.
In the first ALDS, familiar AL East foes face-off.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox
- Matt Moore (17-9, 3.29 ERA) vs Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA)
There are no secrets between these two division rivals, having played 19 games against each other in the regular season. It’s a battle of southpaws who had very good seasons. The Rays have two guys in Evan Longoria and Delmon Young who like hitting home runs in the postseason, while Boston had the best record in the league and know how to win in October. Both teams have been to the World Series in the past 6 years, so this should be a fun series. The Sox just hit .208 as a team against Tampa this year.
I like both starting rotations here, so I think it comes down to a battle of the bullpens. In terms of closers, Koji Uehara was lights out to end the season for the Sox, and hasn’t allowed a run to Tampa in his last 16 innings. While Rays closer Fernando Rodney is known to make you sweat. Give me the AL East champs in a long, hard-fought series.
RED SOX IN 5
In tonight’s second ALDS, it’s a battle of division winners.
Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics
- Max Scherzer (21-3, 2.90 ERA) vs Bartolo Colon (18-6, 2.65 ERA)
This is an intriguing game 1 match-up in today’s playoff night-cap. You’ve got Scherzer, who’ll probably win the AL Cy Young, going against Colon, a 40-year-old former Cy Young winner. Scherzer was huge for Detroit this year, especially early when their former Cy Young and MVP Justin Verlander got off to a rare slow start. Colon has revitalized his career in Oakland, and was great all year.
The Tigers were the AL representatives in the World Series last year, while the A’s are making their second straight postseason appearance after sneaking in last year. Detroit has more pop in its lineup, with a combo of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. But don’t be surprised when Oakland’s bullpen carries them to the next round. I have much more faith late in games in the A’s than I do Detroit.
ATHLETICS IN 5
Today’s postseason action gets started in the NL at 1PM.
Pittsburgh Pirates @ St. Louis Cardinals
- Gerrit Cole (10-7, 3.22 ERA) vs Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97 ERA)
The Pirates look to bounce back from a 9-1 pummeling last night, while the Cards look to take a 2-0 lead before heading on the road to Pittsburgh.
As a I posted yesterday, I have CARDINALS IN 4
And finally, game 2 in Atlanta tonight.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves
- Zach Greinke (15-4, 2.63 ERA) vs Mike Minor (13-9, 3.21 ERA)
The Dodgers made easy work of the NL East champs last night, and now send their other Ace to the hill looking to take a 2-0 lead back home.
Again, as posted yesterday, I have the DODGERS IN 4
Enjoy the full slate of Postseason action today.