All four of Major League Baseball’s Divisional Series are on tap for today and in the National League, Pittsburgh and ________ have a chance to close out their respective series. To this point the action has been very good with pitching being dominant in some cases and offense rising to the forefront in others.
Regardless of the outcomes, the championship series’ in both leagues should bring some really good baseball among some of the game’s best franchises and fan bases.
Oakland at Detroit (series tied 1-1) – What a series this is turning out to be. After a sparkling performance by Max Scherzer in a 3-2 game one win, Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray matched zero for zero in game two before Oakland broke through in the bottom of the ninth for the 1-0 win.
Now the scene shifts to Detroit where Anabel Sanchez takes the hill for the Tigers. Since mid-July, he is 10-3 and has been arguably the team’s best pitcher. For the A’s, Jarrod Parker gets the call. He has lost three of his last five starts and in his most recent outing he gave up three home runs.
Everything points to Detroit in this one.
Boston at Tampa Bay (Sox lead 2-0) – The Red Sox have been nothing short of dominant as the scene shifts to Tampa where the crowd will be filled with as many Boston fans as Rays’ fans. Tampa Bay turns to Alex Cobb who was so good in knocking the Cleveland Indians out of the playoffs. He had a rough patch in late August and early September bu has things going in recent weeks.
The Red Sox will hand the ball to Clay Buchholz who enters with a 12-1 record and has been really good in his last few starts. Knowing he has a comfortable lead behind him as well as an offense that’s raking the ball I expect Buchholz to pitch well.
Cobb will pitch well too. He was in a similar spot less than a week ago but can the Rays score enough to keep in the game and series? I say no. Look for Buchholz to finsh the sweep.
St. Louis at Pittsburgh (Pirates lead 2-1) – Charlie Morton hasn’t factored in a decision since September eighth but has pitched fairly well and now gets the ball with a chacne to send to the Pirates to the National Championship Series. The problem for the Buccos who are somewhat offensively challenged is that they draw St. Louis starter Michael Wacha.
The 22-year old was last seen on the hill just one out away from a no-hitter in his final regualr season appearance. At 4-1 the youngster has shown he can pitch. The question of course now is can he do it with his team’s season in the balance and in front of a raucaos crowd in Pittsburgh?
I think Wacha will pitch well but this Pirates team just seems destined for something greater. Take the Bucs.
Atlanta at Los Angeles (LA leads 2-1) – The Dodgers scored 10 runs last night over the second, third and fourth innings to breeze to a 13-6 win. They now move to a game from advancing to the NLCS.
37-year old Freddy Garcia takes the mound for the Braves in Los Angeles while Ricky Nolasco takes the bump for the Dodgers. Both guys were brought in from other teams during the season for this exact purpose. Nolasco has been sharper during his time with his current team than has Garcia but the elder Garcia has more playoff seasoning. I like the Dodgers to close things out tonight.