Tuesday, October 6, 2015

MLB Predictions: Follow the Money

Amen, Dr. Nick
There is almost no point in predicting MLB playoffs. The chance of a good team beating a better team is nearly as coin flippy as it gets, and while you used to be able to do things like go with the dominant starting pitcher, even that has kind of gone out the window in the Age of Bullpens. As last year's Royals run proved, and any number of Giants wins also, Mo Mentum is All, and last night's game can matter way too much on this one. Analyzing the teams and the matchups can only take you so far, but not picking is less fun... so let's have at it. (And, shh, picking the teams that are likely to make MLB more money.)

Houston at NEW YORK

The Astros come in with a better starting lineup and might be too callow to be scared of an everything on the line game in the Bronx. New York staggered into the post-season, and might have finally burned up the bullpen that dragged them into the tournament. But I can't go against the home field advantage, the ludicrous experience edge, and a starting pitcher (Masahiro Tanaka) that just seems like he's going to pull off a better game than his opponent (Dallas Keuchel). Finally, the Yanks have the better bullpen.

CHICAGO at Pittsburgh

It's a shame one of these teams isn't going to get more than one playoff game, because both of them are just more fun to watch than a bunch of other clubs that are going to get more games. But such is life in the NL Central, which really might be the only division in baseball that deserves to have playoff games.

I'm taking the road team here, because Jake Arrieta has just been lights out to a greater degree than Gerrit Cole, and there's something Cursed about the Pirates and their annual feel-good run to one and done. Besides, they've got enough swing for the world young guys who aren't going to know they shouldn't do that in the playoffs, and one or two of them will connect. But if this game gets close and tight late, and the Pirates get Arrieta out of there, the home team can definitely pull off the comeback. Should be a hell of a game.

Texas at TORONTO

There's always a temptation to take the underdog in a series like this, because while the Jays have been the best team in the AL for a while now, all it takes is a tough inning or two for self-doubt to creep in, and the Rangers are going to feel like they are playing with house money. But there's just too much power all over this Jays roster to not think they'll eventually get the floodgates open, and David Price and Co. are just on a different level than what the Rangers run out there.

New York at LOS ANGELES

The marquee matchup in the NL between the two big market teams, and the dream matchup for TBS. Both teams throw out absurdly good starting pitching, a reasonable amount of power, and some power bullpen arms to close it all down, but I'm going to go with the Dodgers under the theory that experience matters, and the Mes have punched above their weight for the past couple of months behind the about to slump Yoenis Cespedes. Besides, I'm not rooting against Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley in their attempt to win another title that they don't have any right to.

More when the matchups are made.

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