Thursday, October 9, 2014
League Championship Series Matchups
Baltimore has flown under the radar most of the year. About the only thing their offense didn't excel at was anything involving speed. Their power numbers were near the top while also being 5th in the AL in average. The pitching was 3rd in the AL in ERA though their starters (Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris, Ubaldo Jimenez, Kevin Gausman) probably don't strike fear in most fans when they hear their names. Still they and their bullpen helped this team win 96 games while no one outside Baltimore paid attention. They have a good offense that can win with the long ball. I think this is the better team. Kansas City should give them a good series assuming they don't wake up and remember they are the Royals. I think Baltimore wins in 6 games and think it would be a great story considering the Orioles haven't been to the Series since defeating the Phillies in the '83 Fall Classic.
Living near St. Louis, and not being a Cardinals fan, I have Cardinals fatigue. It is fun needling my buddies when the Cards struggle but that hasn't been much this year. From about the mid point of the season St. Louis hit it's stride and look as good as anyone coming out of the National League. Not a star studded offense and a relatively young starting staff this team is easily overlooked. Still Wainwright and John Lackey help steady this staff along with stud catcher Yadier Molina. The offense struggled mightily at one point this year but caught their second wind and while not sexy are scrappy, if not productive. Mike Matheny is young and is questioned often here locally but this is his third straight championship series so he is doing something right. Again I like the Giants here but St. Louis has home field advantage and should push them to the limit. Should be a great series no matter how it comes out.