National League Playoff Preview
|San Francisco Giants||Pittsburgh Pirates|
Stephan: Pittsburgh is on a hot streak coming into the playoffs. They are one of just a few 50 win teams at home. San Francisco comes in not playing so great. But I cannot deny that the Giants have won their last six playoff series, and are tough to beat in the playoffs. I like the Giants pulling the road win over the Bucs 62 final score.
Archie: Pittsburgh Over San Francisco
Joe: The Pirates are no strangers to the onegame playoff, beating the Cincinnati Reds to win the NL Wild Card last year.
Pitching matchup is said to be Pirates Edinson Volquez (13-7, 3.04) versus Giants’ Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98) Edge goes to Bumgarner but not by as much as it might appear.
Offense: Pittsburgh: .260/.330/.406 w/ 155 HRs and San Francisco: .254/.310/.387 w/130 HRs
Pittsburgh is 51-30 at PNC Park. Pittsburgh will be 52-30.
|NL DIVISION SERIES|
|Washington Nationals||VS||San Francisco Giants
Stephan: Washington Nationals vs San Francisco Giants
The Nationals come in to the post season after Zimmerman’s no-hitter. Pitching wins in a short series most of the time. I like the Nationals to win this series 3 games to 1.
Archie Washington over Pittsburgh
Joe: With Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano, the Pirates have two arms at the top of the rotation who can change a series. Offensively, Pittsburgh has any one of Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison or Starling Marte to hit one off the wall or out of the park and provide the Pirates with a win.
One game doesn’t a series make but Jordan Zimmermann threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season. If, it’s an omen then it’s an ominous one for the Pirates. Zimmerman is one of a batch of decent pitchers for the Nationals. Translation nobody likes going up against the Nats’ pitching staff… they lead the NL in ERA (3.05) and are second in Quality Starts (105) and WHIP (1.16). No one pitcher has more than 16 wins, Doug Fister but they have another with 15, Tanner Roark, and, two with 14, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasberg and add Gio Gonzalez who went 10-10. Their bullpen, led by Rafael Soriano had 45 saves.
Their offense was decent with a slash line of .253/.321/.392 with 151 HRs… no one player had more 26 homers, Adam LaRoche, but, they had three with 37 doubles or more… Denard Span and Anthony Rendon with 39 each and Jayson Werth with 37.
Most times good pitching can stop good hitting… Nationals over the Pirates 4-3.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||vs||St Louis Cardinals|
Stephan: My gut tells me not to pick against the Dodgers as they are loaded from hitting to pitching. They are probably the favorites to win the National League this season. However, they are playing the St. Louis Cardinals. A team that has overcome playoff adversity on more than one occasion. The Cardinals are the kind of team that can and will beat anyone, and I take them in this series in a close 3 games to 2 series.
Archie: LA Dodgers over St Louis
Joe: In a rematch of last year’s NLCS, the St. Louis Cardinals (series winners 4-2) face off with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two met seven times this year, with the Dodgers earning a slight 4-3 advantage. Everyone knows what St. Louis’ strategy is by now… strong pitching and scratch out just enough runs to win. The Cardinals scored 618 runs during the regular season, which was near the bottom of the NL. They had a slash line of .253/.321/.370 with 105 homers.
They will either thrive or die on what the pitching does in all likelihood. Simply put, Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn are key for the Cardinals. If either one of the two struggle it could be tough for the Cardinals to advance beyond the first round. The next man, Shelby Miller, in their rotation barely made it into the double figure win column with just 10. Then, Seth Maness has 6 and Michael Wacha has 5. Enough said.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are third in NL team batting average (.265) and tied for first in onbase percentage (.332) and their slugging average is 7th (.404). While LA’s homers only total 131, the team as a whole is a doubles machine… sort of like their manager was during his career. Led by Adrian Gonzalez with 41, three other players have 35 or more and three more have 21 or more with a team total of 299.
And, then there’s that pitching staff… Clayton Kershaw is the odds on favorite to win another NL Cy Young award and he is followed by Zach Greinke. Maybe not Koufax and Drysdale but damn close and maybe just enough to account for four wins. If Dan Haren or HyunJin Ryu can provide just one win between the two of them it could be LA in five games.
And, that’s what I’m going with… Dodgers win 4-1.
|NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES|
|Washington Nationals||St Louis Cardinals/
Stephan: Washington Nationals vs St Louis Cardinals
A rematch of sorts from two years ago in the NL Division series. where the Cardinals won in five games over the favored Nationals. Washington’s pitching is much better this time around, and will be able to silence the Cardinals bats. This will be a close series, with a lot of one run games. Washington comes out on top 4 games to 2.
Archie LA Dodgers over Washington
Joe: Again… no sense in rehashing the stats… so, in the NL finals… Dodgers over the Nationals in a well- pitched series that goes seven.
Stephan: Washington Nationals vs Baltimore Orioles
In a series that will be the closest in distance since the subway series. Two teams with great lineups and great pitching will meet in the Fall Classic. I said before that pitching wins championships, which will give the edge to Washington. Baltimore has the home field which won’t matter too much because of the close distance between the two teams. Throw it out the window, Washington takes this series and their first Worldn Series title 4 games to 2.
Archie: LA DODGERS OVER DETROIT
Joe: The World Series will be an all Los Angeles affair with the Dodgers winning in six over the Angels.
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