Every MLB postseason has its thrilling, captivating and exciting moments, but most of them take place in the championship series or the World Series. This season’s divisional series has proved to be one of the finest and most fun to watch in quite some time, aided by heroic comebacks and amazing clutch performances. None of those could even top what we witnessed last night as the A’s and Yankees provided fantastic walk-off finishes that will certainly be remembered forever in baseball lore. Can we expect more of the same tonight? The games might not be as magnificent, but they will certainly be worth watching and betting, so make sure to tune in. You won’t want to miss any of the postseason glory or money-making opportunities.
San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds 2-2
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the series on the road, the Reds have dropped the last two at home. Cincinnati has been somehow cursed at home in the playoffs, not having won a postseason contest in their own ballpark since 1995. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the Reds are one of baseball’s most talented, young clubs and were the first team to clinch a postseason spot for a reason.
The Reds will hope to avoid making history be becoming the first NL team to lose a series after leading 2-0 with three chances to win at home. Cincy is now down to one chance and will send Mat Latos out to the mound, who relieved Johnny Cueto in game one when he left with a back injury. Latos had a great regular season, going 14-4 with a 3-48 ERA.
Matt Cain will be the ball for San Fran and although he was defeated in game one, he is still one of the best in the big leagues. Cain went 16-5 during the regular year with a 2.79 ERA.
This should be a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel and one that I think the Reds will win. Cincinnati go to Cain last time and even if they don’t, I don’t think San Fran will score much against the Reds’ starter or bullpen. Look for the Reds to take this one and advance to the NLCS.
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees 1-2
Coming off an incredible late-inning rally, (a.k.a. the bat of Raul Ibanez) New York will look to ride its newly-found wave of momentum and end the series with Baltimore at four games. However, Baltimore is a team that is used to having its backs against the wall and surely has other plans, looking to extend the series to five.
Phil Hughes, who was solid all season with a record of 16-13, will get the ball for the Yankees tonight against Joe Saunders, who won the wild card game against Texas for the O’s. Not only do I like Baltimore in the pitching matchup, but also its never-say-die attitude. If any team can bounce back off such a devastating loss as last night’s, it’s the Orioles. Although I don’t see Baltimore winning the best of five vs. New York, I do like the Orioles tonight to extend the series.
St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals 2-1
After dropping game one to the team with the MLB’s best regular season record, the Cardinals have stormed back to grab the upper hand in the series. Tonight, St. Louis will look to finish off the upset and advance.
The Cardinals will send out Kyle Lohse to do their dirty work, the pitcher who won the wild card game for them against Atlanta. Lohse went 16-3 on the regular season with a 2.86 ERA, so there’s no doubt that he’s a proven winner.
The Nats will counter with Ross Detwiler, who although was good during the regular season, was considerably less impressive, going 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA.
I have to like the Cardinals here with the momentum and an obvious advantage in the pitching matchup. For the Nationals, it appears to be a case where a great regular season did not equate to playoff performance. They are a young, inexperienced club, but with the talent they have, I’m sure we will see them again come October next year. However, today is the Cardinals’ day. Take St. Louis to advance.
Detroit Tigers at Oakland A’s 2-2
I’m not sure why we are always surprised when the A’s keep making incredible and valiant efforts with minimal talent, but we are. The A’s have done it once again, evening the series after trailing 0-2 and now with a chance at home to complete the series comeback.
Oakland will look to Jarrod Parker (13-8, 3.47 ERA) to seal the deal in a rematch with Justin Verlander of Detroit. Parker lost game one to the Tigers and to Verlander, but pitched well, only allowing two earned runs in six and one-third innings. However, he was outdueled by the veteran Verlander, who went seven strong and only allowed one earned run.
The A’s are a great story, but at the end of the day, Verlander is just too good and too overwhelming a pitcher for Oakland to handle with the season on the line. Take the Tigers to advance today in a close pitcher’s duel, similar to what we saw in game one.