Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MLB Game Picks - Wednesday: October 15, 2014

I obviously have no clue this post season. The Royals have me dumbstruck. And it just goes to show you how much of a crap shoot the playoffs are. It just takes a team getting hot at the right time and riding a wave of invincible feelings all the way through. My friend, JD Mathewson has written a series of posts giving day to day odds based on results. And it's great stuff and highly entertaining and useful. The problem is that with a short series, you can throw computer models in the hamper. A hot team is going to do what they are going to do.
So, yeah, the Royals have me dumbstruck. I just finished watching the Orioles bludgeon their way through the American League all season. Nobody could beat them. They won 96 games and were 47-30 against the American League East. But they look like the Royals' chew toy.
At the same time, I am 1-2 picking the NLCS. Wasn't there some point in the season where the SF bullpen was a mess? How does that suddenly fix itself and become this tower of strength? The Giants cannot hit themselves out of a powder egg and have yet won two of three. It's weird. This post season is weird.
Two more games today. Two more attempts to look somewhat less than totally incompetent. The picks:
  • The Royals over the Orioles: Okay, I capitulate. I cannot fight the Royal tide. Finish them off, Royals. Confound me further. There is something fundamentally wrong for me when a wild card team gets to the World Series. It doesn't sit right. But all my silly ideas aside, the Royals are going to the World Series. Jason Vargas over Miguel Gonzalez.
  • The Giants over the Cardinals: I just don't like the Cardinals without Yadier Molina. And I hate saying that out loud because the catcher is one of my least favorite players in baseball. The Cardinals' decision to use A.J. Pierzynski was a joke and a poor one. The guy is well past his prime and still as much of a putz as always. Pitchers lose the most in these situations. Who would you rather have your young pitchers pitch to: Molina or AJP? Exactly. The bottom line here is that Shelby Miller has never won a post season game at 24 years of age and Ryan Vogelsong, aged 37, has never lost one. Saying all that, AJP will probably hit a grand slam or something.
Yesterday: 0-2, Post season: 8-14, Season: 1373-1104


forged said...

It is surprising that the Orioles haven't managed to win any games against the Royals. With that said, if the Royals complete the sweep, they won't play again until the 21st in Kansas City. That layoff can cool any team off. (Especially since a lot of baseball is mechanic and/or timing related.)

As far as the wildcard teams getting to the world series, once they are past the do or die game to get to the LDS, they really aren't at much of a disadvantage. Sure they weren't potentially great in the regular season and won't have home field advantage, but they have been playing potentially more meaningful games for longer.

The big problem that baseball has in particular is that the postseason doesn't emulate what the regular season is all about -- in particular with how you can use your starters and bullpen with as many off days as they have in a given week compared to a regular season week.

So a team like the 90s Braves can have great success in the regular season, but be unable to translate it because they play teams with great bullpens that can use their studs and still get them some rest by how many off-days there are -- so they can yank their less skilled starters quickly and rely on the bullpen to keep them in it.

The off-days thing for the postseason isn't quite as pronounced as it once was, but if you have the best of 5 series and best of 7 series with no days off, the regular season would likely be a much better indication of what the postseason is like.

(Plus it would bring back some day playoff games, which imho, isn't a bad thing.)

William J. Tasker said...

Your comment is so spot on. Awesome.