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How the MLB Postseason Will Go

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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Reply Ark_Razor
2:42 AM on October 2, 2017 
Dajas are also the only club in MLB with a 10 game losing streak this year. I don't think they advance, but I don't think the Nationals do either. AZ or CHI? I'll take the D-Backs just b/c.

AL: If you were going to pick the Bosox after all of the ragging you've done on them this year, I would call you out. But you avoided that.

CLE or HOU? The Indians owned the Stros early in the season head up when HOU was beating everyone, except CLE. I will actually play homer once and pick the Stros b/c I'm a homer for once. However if the Tribe win the whole thing, I'd be OK with it.

What I really want is Stros-Dajas, in part b/c I live in LA; but also I loathed the Dajas when they were in NL West with the Stros, so I could do my own time warp and unabashedly hope the Dajas go down to avenge 1981, which of course avenged 1980.
Reply vapor5
10:32 AM on October 2, 2017 
Rooting against the Yanks and Bosox cuz it's in my Orioes bloodstream. Molitor did an impressive job with the Twinkies.
Reply Ferociousjane
11:36 AM on October 2, 2017 
I am not ready to write the Cubs off. They played better in the second half, they're still loaded, and they have the cred.

Tribe needs Carrasco and Bauer to pitch the way they have pitched during the regular season. It's still amazing to me what the Indians were able to accomplish last year with their starting pitching decimated. No guarantees for this year though.
There is a good chance Brantley is back. He pitch hit the other day and took a ten pitch at bat that culminated in a single. He will be huge for Cleveland's lineup if the ankle holds up.

Cleveland has great numbers against Verlander, I believe they are as brutal on him as they are on Sale.
Reply the immortal scurds
5:59 PM on October 2, 2017 
i think cleve streaks to the title
Reply Radatz
10:58 PM on October 2, 2017 
the immortal scurds says...
i think cleve streaks to the title

Well, they have the best pitching, perhaps the best hitting, good fielding. So why do I have qualms? You see me rant about Farrell. Francoma was his tutor. Yeah, "he" won 2 World Series, but face it... he did so by falling behind NY 3-0 in 2004 and behind Cleveland 3-1 in 2007 before his veterans bailed him out. 2008? He insisted on starting Beckett with one good arm (the one with a glove) twice, plus playing Lowell at 3rd with a hip so bad he couldn't run or field his position. Yup... fell behind 3-1. This time it didn't work, as it probably shouldn't have the first two. Then last year he showed he couldn't handle a 3-0 lead either. So, that's my rationale.

FWIW, here's how I'd rank the postseason managers:

1. Maddon
2. Lovullo
3. Girardi
4. Molitor
5. Black
6. Hinch
7. Francona
8. Roberts
9. Baker
10. Farrell

Maddon's team has underachieved, but he's probably still the best. 2-5 all have shepherded overachieving teams. 6 is between tiers, a tweener. 7-9 are babysitters changing the diapers of juggernauts. Farrell is in a class by himself. He defies analysis.
Reply Ferociousjane
1:48 PM on October 3, 2017 
Regardless of your feelings on Francona,
Cleveland's fielding is better than good. They are in the top 3 in all fielding metrics in baseball.
Reply the immortal scurds
7:45 PM on October 3, 2017 
Ferociousjane says...
Regardless of your feelings on Francona,
Cleveland's fielding is better than good. They are in the top 3 in all fielding metrics in baseball.

as a team they dont seem to have a weakness. 22 in a row? good luck winning 4 of 7 against that
Reply Radatz
8:03 PM on October 3, 2017 
Hey, last year Boston won 11 in a row to clinch the division and take a couple-game lead for top seed. Then Fat Head led them to a 1-5 finish before a predictable 0-3 vs. Cleveland. This year it was 6 in a row before finishing 2-5 and headed for the same fate sooner or later.

Yeah, I know, it's mostly about Boston. But that streak comment got me.
Reply Southern Lion
5:18 PM on October 4, 2017 
The Astros have to get past Boston first. Thank you, home field advantage! Then (if they do) they go against the best pitching staff in baseball. I hope the Houston batters are up to the challenge. Go Stros!!
Reply Radatz
7:36 PM on October 4, 2017 
Not to worry, SL Boston doesn't have a chance.
Reply vapor5
9:22 AM on October 5, 2017 
fj- I'm not sure why Francona is under-respected.
Reply Ferociousjane
11:52 PM on October 5, 2017 
Nah, it? s just Radatz who doesnt like him :)

The Fox dudes were giving Francona business about Bauer in game 1 , but those complaining hadn?t been watching Bauer all season.
Reply Radatz
12:17 AM on October 6, 2017 
Fat Head pulled a Francoma (shades of Lowell/Beckett) today by insisting on playing a crippled Nunez (who collapsed trying to run to 1st on his 1st at-bat). He'll probably join once-ace knuckleballer Steven Wright on the DL/career-over list. Maybe Sale too? Thank you John. Thanks also for leaving Sale in to get pummeled for 7 runs in 5 innings and making me look good on that one too.

Somebody stop this blithering idiot before he has the whole team in permanent traction.... wait, what am I saying? He only has 2 games left to do damage, hopefully in his Boston career.

As for Francoma, he's at his best when he heads up a great team and stays invisible. He knows that. He said "Managers don't win games but they can lose them." Tonight he looked like Connie Mack by pitching Bauer and keeping Kluber on schedule.

Why do I say that? In 1929 Mack's A's finished 18 games (!!!) ahead of Murderers' Row in the AL. For game 1 of the World Series vs Chicago Mack passed up Lefty Grove and pitched a 35 year old junkballer named Howard Ehmke who had appeared in exactly 11 games. He won. So did the A's, in 5 games. Grove never even started a game, pitching out of the bull pen instead and picking up 2 saves!
Reply Galfur
6:00 PM on October 6, 2017 
I have two heros from last night. Justin Verlander and David Ortiz.

Justin because he's a class act and is getting his chance at a Series run. Happy for him

David Ortiz because he has more class and American in him than any sorry POS African playing in the NBA or NFL who hates this country. God bless the David Ortiz' of the world.God d*&^ the others.

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