If you are a fan of the Texas Rangers, how do you view the past few years? Is it a good thing that the team has been very good and has continued to make the post season? Or is it ultimately a bad thing with two losses in the World Series--one a brutal loss--two play-in losses and September fades? Judging from the reaction of my Twitter buds who are Rangers fans, it was another brutal loss that left them feeling empty and frustrated.
Unfortunately for them, I was correct yesterday on the pick of the Rays. I believed that you could not look at David Price's history against the Rangers because this is a different Rangers' offense than in the past. I was unsure of Martin Perez at such a young age being able to pitch such a big game. And I saw nothing good coming from starting Nelson Cruz as he was sure to be rusty. All those concerns came to pass and the pick was correct.
What about today? Tuesday's play-in game pick:
- The Cincinnati Reds over the Pittsburgh Pirates: Yes, the Reds could not beat the Pirates down the stretch and allowed the Pirates to gain home field advantage for this game. You can be sure the Pittsburgh fans will be going absolutely nuts. But for me, the one game changer is Johnny Cueto. Unlike the Cruz situation mentioned above, Cueto has the unique ability to come off of a long period of inactivity and throw zeroes. He is an extreme ground ball pitcher these days and the Pirates will hit a lot of balls into the dirt of the infield. Francisco Liriano has had a great season. That season included two outstanding appearances against the Reds and one so-so one. So the bottom line comes down to which team has a better chance to score two or three runs off the really good starting pitcher they are going to face. I think that chance is stronger on the Reds' side.