MLB Wild Card

MLB playoffs are upon us and today the fun begins. Personally, I loved the introduction of the Wild Card game in the MLB. The atmosphere is electric and there’s nothing like a win or go home game.

I love baseball in October. The games are charged with such tension and thrill that you’d be hard pressed to find a sport with more emotion come playoffs time.

Therefore, without further ado, let’s see what I think about the two Wild Card games this week.

ALWC

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees:

Probably the greatest adversary the Astros will have to face tonight is history. It’s not easy to face the New York Yankees and their glorious history in an elimination game at Yankee Stadium, even if it’s the new Yankee Stadium. That being said, we’ll probably have a great pitching battle. Dallas Keuchel (Astros) will be pitching with a three day rest – which can be an issue – but he is a top 5 ace and one of the favorites for the AL CY Young Award. Masahiro Tanaka had 0.89 WHIP in September and is also brilliant. And he’ll be pitching at home. With such hard fought battle at the mound, the hitters will be decisive. Brian McCann, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran are all great hitters and let’s not forget Alex Rodriguez who’s been bad since the start of August but can lit up anytime. On the other hand, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer are also great, but maybe not so ready to face the Yankees on the road. And Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller in the pinstripes bullpen might be clutch in swinging this in favor of New York. I’m picking the Yankees without any conviction.

NLWC

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

First of all, I’m gonna be honest and say that with the poor Red Sox season this year, I really want the Cubs to win it all. For one simple reason: it would make the Back to the Future trilogy even more spectacular. Can you imagine? The Cubs actually win the World Series in 2015? It would be bizarre and wonderful at the same time. It wouldn’t be against Miami like in the movie, but that doesn’t matter. Anyway, I really like this Pirates team, especially because of Andrew McCutchen but they had a tough battle in front of them, even playing at home. Gerrit Cole is a first class pitcher, pitching with a six days rest, but he will face Jake Arrieta. The Cubs pitcher threw three shutouts (one of them a no-hitter) and had a 0.86 ERA in the regular season. It will be hard fought and great fun to watch and together with the pitching battle we gonna have a great duel at the plate: Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant (probably NL and MLB rookie of the year) against Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez. Melancon, Bastardo and Soria might be decisive in the Pirates bullpen in the duel against Cubs’ Grimm, Strop and Rondon. All in all, it will be down to how long Arrieta will be able to stay in the game. Just like with the AL game, I’m picking the Cubs absolutely not sure about it. It’s a choice more based on Robert Zemeckis than Joe Maddon.

Next week we will already have an idea of who will be closer to play on the Championship series.

Current playlist:

Listening:

Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls

Metallica – Master of Puppets

Reading:

Hemingway – Kenneth S. Lynn

Watching:

Pet Sematary

Back to the Future trilogy

Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal” winner of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

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