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MLB Playoffs division series


By: Frank Jordan
Date: Oct 6, 2016
   
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This MLB season has been a special one and the postseason is sure to delight. The wildcard games are over and the division series are about to kickoff. In the AL, Toronto walked off against Baltimore to set up a rematch of last year’s ALDS against Texas, but this time Texas has the home field. The other series pits Boston against Cleveland as the Red Sox face their former manager Terry Francona. NL was treated to a great game as the Mets hosted the Giants, but Bumgarner was a rude guest throwing a complete game shutout with the Giants winning on a 3 run home run in the top of the 9th setting up a series with Chicago. The other NLDS series is East vs. West with the Dodgers and Nationals duking it out.

Texas and Toronto went the full five games last year with Toronto winning at home largely due to Jose Bautista’s home run and bat flip. Texas took exception to that and when Bautista got thrown out in May he went in hard at second to break up a double play leading Odor to haul off on Bautista. The series last year was an odd five game set with the first four games being won by the road team. In game five Texas took the lead 3-2 in the top half of the 7th inning only to see Toronto put up a four spot in the bottom half to take the game 6-3 and winning the series. This time with Texas having the home field, being well rested plus the additions of Beltran and Lucroy Texas will be too much for Toronto this time around as Texas wins a tough fought series in five.

Boston has been strong all year and has been crushing it offensively all season long leading the majors in runs scored which got them to 93-69 on the year. Cleveland was a touch better with a 94-67 record, giving them home field advantage. Boston had a similar record at home and on the road, however Cleveland was far better at home with 53 wins which was tied for tops in the AL. Cleveland’s pitching has been a little banged up this season, but their bullpen is strong and the timely hits along with the home field crowd will lead to a Cleveland series win in 5 despite a big series from Big Papi.

Chicago is the odds on favorite to win it all and deservedly so with a 103-win season. The way the season was going it seemed like San Francisco would be challenging the Cubs for top spot in the NL all season after taking over the lead at the All-Star break. The second half was a different story as the Cubs continued to play well and the Giants went into a tailspin needing to win a few games on the last weekend just to get into the wildcard game on the road. Well they won it behind Madison Bumgarner and have some quality pitchers in Cueto and Samardzija for the first two games. This is going to be a battle of a series, but it will be Chicago winning it in five after splitting the first four games the wind will be blowing out in game five and Chicago has the better offense to take advantage.

Washington and LA Dodgers is an interesting match up with both teams being quiet all year as the got through some key injuries and wrapped up their divisions early into September and are all set for a big time series. Kershaw has had his issues in the postseason with a 2-6 record in 13 games including 10 starts with a 4.59 ERA. Scherzer has fared a little better with a 4-3 mark and 3.73 ERA. The key to this series isn’t pitching or power hitting it is speed and the Nationals were 7th in the league in stolen bases while LA Dodgers were 27th. The stole base and taking the extra base will be the game changing factor that leads Washington to a series win in four games.
 


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