Yes, I know I’m a bit late on that, but let’s face it: no one saw two swaps coming on both ALDS. Moreover, if somebody predicted that, it would be the Angels against the Royals, not the other way around; and how about the Orioles and the Tigers? A much more hard fought series was expected.
Just talking a bit about those two series, everybody knew that the Tigers had a great rotation but a terrible bullpen. And with Kinsler, Cabrera, Hunter and Martinez everybody thought the attack would compensate, but that wasn’t the case. With an attack as powerful despite the absence of Manny Machado, the Orioles bullpen dominated and made the difference.
As for Royals and Angels, well, talk about an upset. Not only the Angels had the best record in baseball, they also had Pujols, Hamilton and most of all, Mike Trout (huge favorite to win the MVP this year). However, the Royals showed much heart, confidence and a flawless execution of small ball. Add to that an almost impossible to beat defense (at least in this series) and those things that only sports can reserve you: the Royals had the worst number of home-runs in the entire league in the regular season and all of a sudden they started hitting out of the park like there was no tomorrow! All those factors made the improbable sweep absolutely understandable.
Royals and Orioles deciding the American League should be rather entertaining to watch, starting this Friday.
Off to the NLDS now.
After that marvelous game 2 in Washington (simply the longest game in postseason history, a real bullpen duel), I thought that the Giants would sweep the Nationals with ease. How wrong I was! Bryce Harper shone and the Nationals also benefitted from a wrong fielding of the ball from Bumgarner (who was having an astounding game) to third base and that decided the ballgame. They meet again tonight and I’m betting on the Giants, but it will be hard-fought.
Yesterday also saw Matt Carpenter again punishing the Dodgers. As usual with St. Louis and LA, it is a battle of traditional small ball baseball with focus on pitchers (Cardinals) and a great attack with powerful hitters (Dodgers). And it’s not to say that the Dodgers don’t have great pitchers, they have Clayton Kershaw (probably the greatest pitcher in baseball today) and Zack Greinke to name but two, but the Cardinals seem more adjusted and I think this series end today.
As a final thought I would like to go out on a limb here and predict the World Series: I think we shall see a repetition of the 1985 series with both Missouri teams: St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals. And I’m betting on the Royals. Let’s wait and see.
I’ll be back next Tuesday to comment on the beginning of the leagues’ championship series.
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.
You can contact me at: email@example.com
Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico
Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico