Long-winded MLB recaps and predictions
As I’ve been alluding to in the last couple of posts, the plan is to ramp up coverage of the ongoing postseason in Major League Baseball.
Considering this is my first post completely dedicated to the Sport Formerly Known as America’s Past-time, let’s recap where things currently fall.
As most of you will probably know, the MLB has adopted a slightly difference format for its second season this year. There’s still a best of five Division Series followed by the League Championship Series and World Series, each of which are in a best of seven format. However, the difference lies in that there is now an additional wildcard spot doled out to both the American and National Leagues.
In turn, the two almost division winners (almost is theoretical) clash in a one-game playoff to determine who advances to the real playoffs. Moving forward.
Last Friday, the Cardinals defeated the Braves in what will likely be remembered for the most controversial call by an umpire in our lifetime. No kidding, when you include that with the fact that the Braves finished a whopping seven games ahead of St. Louis for the top tier wildcard spot, opponents of the new playoff format already have a credible argument and we aren’t even through year one yet.
Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers completed a collapse of proportions officially saddling them with the reputation of ‘underachievers.’
Not only did they manage to lose seven of their last nine games, conceding the American League West to the Oakland Athletics, they then lost to an upstart Baltimore Orioles team looking to fill the new kids on the block shoes the Rangers hopped into just two years ago.
A sidenote on the Rangers: Sports Guy has long maintained that, unless they won the World Series last year or this year, the Rangers were on the path to become the Atlanta Braves of this generation. The Braves took baseball by storm in 1991, lost the Fall Classic, only to return the next year and lose again. In 1993, they won the division but regressed into a pre-World Series postseason loss (which were still confined to LCS followed by World Series). Sound a little familiar, Texas fans? Granted, the Braves won a World Series not too long afterwards, but their reputation as playoff underachievers permeated across a decade and, it seems, into the present day.
So that leaves us (almost) where we are today in the baseball world. As it stands, the Division series clashes are:
Giants vs. Reds (Reds lead 2-1)
Cardinals vs. Nationals (series tied 1-1)
A’s vs. Tigers (Tigers lead 2-1)
Orioles vs. Yankees (series tied 1-1)
Last night, Sports Guy hit .500 in his projections. While the Giants managed to ward off elimination against the Reds, largely due to Cincinnati deciding to field a team, my prediction of the A’s forcing a fourth game proved accurate.
Which, at long last, leads us to today. Each of the eight teams squaring off for the right to call themselves the best in the game will take the field today. So, with no scientific measures involved, I’ll now offer some projections. Enjoy, but don’t hold me to them:
The Cardinals will defeat the Nationals to go up 2-1. Before any outrage, know that I’m still undecided on who wins the series. I just think the Nationals’ inexperience, along with the Cards being defending champions, will prolong the series.
Stubborn as any anonymous sports writer can be: Reds get it right and eliminate the Giants today.
In the battle of Cuomo vs. O’Malley, the Yankees down the Orioles to go up 2-1.
A’s defeat the Tigers to tie the series at 2-2.