29 September 2014

2014 MLB Postseason: Wild Card Predictions

The road to the World Series begins on Wednesday and Thursday night with the Wild Card games. It's a one-game playoff within the playoffs as for the four teams involved, it may just all come down to this. It's the Athletics and the Royals in the AL, and it's the Giants and the Pirates in the NL. Who will advance to the Division Series? Here are my Wild Card picks.

Tuesday, September 30th
Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals - TBS, 8:07
Perhaps nobody comes into the playoffs playing worse baseball than the A's. In fact, it has been pretty long two months for the folks in the East Bay. And now as they will play in a wild environment at the K, not unlike what we saw in Pittsburgh a year ago, one must think that the Royals have got this?

No, and here's why. While Kansas City has a pretty darn good pitcher on the hill in James Shields, Oakland will be throwing out Jon Lester. And while Lester hasn't been great in Kansas City this year, he does own the Royals. Not to mention that the Royals aren't a great hitting team and Lester is a monster in the postseason. Therefore, I like Oaktown.
Athletics 3 Royals 1

Wednesday, October 1st
San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates - ESPN, 8:07
Speaking of the Pirates, we should expect another raucous environment at PNC Park once again, one would hope. Pittsburgh is the better hitting ballclub and while one would think the Giants would have a pitching advantage with Madison Bumgarner on the hill, it's actually not so. Edinson Volquez (stop laughing) has pitched very well this season and he has been brilliant on the mound in September as he has a 1.08 ERA this month (second-best in the Senior Circuit) and has not allowed a run in 18 consecutive innings. This feels odd considering we are talking about Edinson Volquez, but I do like the Pirates.
Pirates 3 Giants 2

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