|Posted by Radatz on October 2, 2017 at 12:45 AM|
The season is now over and the playoffs are set up. Who does what and why?
First the American League. The Yankees will probably mangle the Twins, I'd say odds at 2-1 or so. The lucky winner will probably be mangled by the Indians, who finished 2 games off the pace of the once-uncatchable Dodgers. Despite somehow not catching Boston NY finished strong, wilting a tad at the end. But nobody finished anywhere close to as hot as the Indians. And, of course, there's the old home field for a 5-game series.
Meanwhile, Houston remains something of an unknown quantity to me, but alas, Boston is a known quantity at the most important position, manager. Recall this was the team favored in the AL preseason by most. Houston cooled off at midseason but nevertheless finished one game behind Cleveland, and now they have... ulp... Verlander. The Red Sox are on-again-off-again and didn't finish strong. Bull pen is good, but its handling questionable. Oh yeah, home field. Five game series. Houston.
Houston vs. Cleveland is the ALCS that should take place. Will it? About the only thing more interesting would be a blast-from-the-past Twins march to the Series. Not likely. Assuming the two 100-game winners square off... actually it's a mystery to me. But how after what we saw in the last month or so do you go against Cleveland?
In the Senior Circuit, we begin with a wild card featuring an Arizona team that lost over 90 games last year and finished this year with the same record as the Red Sox, not slightly ironically while managed by the guy who should have been Boston's manager at the start of 2016. They'll face Colorado, another recent improvement story perhaps not so impressive as the Dbacks but good enough. Game's in AZ. The winnah.
They should be dog meat for the Dodgers, right? Not so fast. AZ holds an 11-8 record vs. LA this season. Verrry interesting. I'm calling it for Arizona since I know how good Lovullo is.
Meanwhile, we have the Cubs (aka the reigning champs) vs. the Nats, who'll have home field. The season series was a split (4-3 Nats) so you go with the home team. Which gives us the Dbacks vs. Washington. We know the Nats are powerful. So is Lovullo, but not that powerful I fear.
So we have a World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Washington Nationals. Who used to be the Montreal Expos. Whose manager used to be Dick Williams. Pull him out of the time warp and it's no contest. Ah, but in reality Cleveland should win. I have my doubts. Good as they've been, last year must still haunt them. Washington doesn't exactly have a great pressure history either. In addition, The Swamp has Scherzer, who's in some doubt due to a hamstring. That ain't good since he's part of the big 3. Cleveland's basically got a big 4. Plus Bryce Harper seems to be turning into a werewolf. These setbacks damp the Nats' chances greatly but I'm going to pick 'em anyway since they don't know how to gag a series yet and the Indians know all too well. Even the great team that won 9 more games (and lost 17 fewer) in 1954 got blown out. The great Latin Invasion teams of the 90s never did it despite being more than good enough. Nothing to do with this team of course. But last year's team has a great deal to do with them.
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