Once again it’s the most exciting time of the year for baseball fans and the race leading up to
the playoffs was not disappointing. The Rangers have lost of 16 their last 31 games which isn’t exactly impressive. They blew their lead in the AL West division with a sweep by the A’s. Texas goes to war Friday night with the Baltimore Orioles. The Cardinals and the Braves are also in the one game playoff boat. Let’s what these two games have in store for us.
The new one game playoff system for the wild card games is one that will make fans go crazy. Texas finished one game back while holding 1st
place almost all season. Baltimore came into the post season two games behind after a long struggle with New York all season. Either of these teams could’ve avoided this sudden death approach to the playoffs. If they want to advance they have to play for their lives come Friday night. With Darvish on the mound and a power hitting lineup for the Rangers, it doesn’t look very good for Baltimore. With that in mind the Orioles were considered a surprise team this year and have a chance to shock the Rangers tonight. Texas has fallen short in the playoffs before so we will see Friday night if they do it again.
Rangers - Yu Darvish (3.90 ERA, 16-9 W-L, 221 SO, 1.28 WHIP)
Orioles - Joe Saunders (4.07 ERA, 9-13 W-L, 112 SO, 1.34 WHIP)
My pick: Texas Rangers. Even though they have looked sluggish recently, I think Texas has the advantage when it comes to pitching and batting tonight.
St. Louis, the reigning World Series winners, has found themselves in quite a predicament in this offseason. In a do or die meeting with Atlanta Friday night, the Cardinals are pitching Kyle Lohse while the Braves have Kris Medlen on the mound. The Cards’ lineup lacks some of the spark they had last year, losing Albert Pujols to free agency and Lance Berkman to injury during the season. They still got to the playoffs with players such as Freese, Beltran, and Molina stepping up to fill the gap. The Braves definitely have the advantage tonight with pitching and it will be interesting to watch these two teams go head to head.
Braves - Kris Medlen (1.57 ERA, 10-1 W-L, 120 SO, 0.91 WHIP)
Cardinals - Kyle Lohse (2.86 ERA, 16-3 W-L, 143 SO, 1.09 WHIP)
My pick: Atlanta Braves. Lohse has never won a postseason game and the leadership of Chipper Jones in his last season may be just enough to edge the 2011 champs.
The playoff frenzy is always exciting. Players, team management, and even the fans, either are triumphant or go home with heartbreak and the long wait until next season. With the new Wild Card system in tact it will be interesting to see if this year’s teams will live up to the hype.