Now that the National League playoff bracket is set after 163 games. We know the Cubs and Rockies are going to be battling it out in a win or go home Wild Card game.
While on the AL side we’ve known for a month that the Yankees and As would be playing in New York to win a date with the Red Sox.
We’ve polled our panel of non-experts to let you know who is going to move onto the Division Series.
Colorado Rockes at Chicago Cubs
The Cubs led the NL Central for most of the season until losing to the Milwaukee Brewers in game 163. They go form the number 1 seed in the NL to the number 4 seed. Meanwhile the Colorado Rockies couldn’t quite complete their own surge to take the NL West from the Dodgers. Mostly thanks to Walker Buehler spinning up 0s.
David: Rockies – Because screw the Cubs. Also because I like the Rockies’ lineup over the Cubbies even at home. Rockies beat up on Lester, he doesn’t last 3 innings.
Jason: Kyle Freeland has been on a tear since April. After starting 1-4 in the season’s first month he’s gone 16-3 really turning it on in September. He’s striking out 19.5% per 9 for the month. On the other side Lester was bad in July and August but pitched well down the stretch. His K/9 for the month was 24.8%.
As much as I want the Rockies to pull this one out. Lester and the Cubs have the definite edge in postseason experience and they’re at home. I’ll pick the Cubs to win, but secretly hope for a few bounces to go the Rockies way to pull off the upset.
Steve: I’m taking the road teams. Not because I think they will win, but because I want them to. ROCKIES – I like the pitching match up for the Rockies in this one and they are relatively rested in their bullpen compared to the Cubs, who have had to pitch everyone multiple days leading up to this game. Lester looked a little rough in his last start, so I’m taking the Rockies and Arenado (2-3 with a bombskie).
Tim: This couldn’t have worked out worse for the Rockies. They played in Colorado on Sunday, then traveled to Los Angeles to play Monday, and now go to Chicago to play Tuesday. Not sure why MLB couldn’t switch the AL Wild-Card game to Tuesday and the NL game to Wednesday to give the Rockies a break. The Cubs will be pitching Jon Lester, who has made 22 postseason starts with a postseason ERA of 2.55. Meanwhile the Rockies will pitch Kyle Freeland, who had a good year but is making is postseason debut.
Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees
Both of these teams won more games than any team in the National League. Yet the Yankees finished 8 games back and the A’s finished 6 back. The AL was a very top heavy league this year with the playoffs being set weeks ago. The Yankees took the Astros to 7 games in the ALCS last year while the A’s finished dead last in the AL West.
David: Yankees – Unfortunately the Yankees have home field advantage in this game and can hit homers on routine popups all day. Yankees win but its close. Like final at-bat close.
Jason: Everyone is talking about how the Yankees hit a historic number of homeruns. Putting 267 dingers our of the ballpark. But the A’s quietly finished 3rd with an impressive 227 dingers of their own. The A’s also have league leader Khris Davis who hit 48 homers to go along with his 4th consecutive year batting .247. That’s consistency.
I think Davis opens the scoring early with a bombskie. Judge follows suit. And Piscotty hits one late. Maybe throw another Davis one in there along the way. I think we’re in for an exciting game.
Steve: A’s – Going with the underdog here. The Yankees haven’t had a ton to play for down the stretch and the A’s have been hot for the last couple months. Also, have to go with Stephen “Meatballs” Piscotty to put up a good game. However, Luke Voit has been redhot since the Birds traded him to the Yanks. I’ll expect a slugfest in this one.
Tim: Going with my heart on this one. While MLB would love to see the Yankees and Red Sox play in the ALDS, I want to see our old pal Piscotty and the A’s continue their magic. The Yankees are starting Luis Severino, who gave up 3 runs in the first inning of the 2017 Wild Card game. I predict a first inning Khris Davis home run.
Original image of Nolan Arenado by Keith Allison via flickr. Edited for banner image.
Original image of Khris Davis by Keith Allison via flickr. Edited for banner image.
Original image of Aaron Judge by Keith Allison via flickr. Edited for banner image.
Original image of Nolan Arenado by Arturo Pardavila III via flickr. Edited for banner image.