Also, Miguel Cabrera did officially win the triple crown last night. Listening to folks last night made it sound like he was the favorite to win MVP over Mike Trout, the main argument being that the Tigers made the playoffs and the Angels didn’t, so clearly Cabrera helped his team win more. This, of course, totally ignores the fact that the Angels won one more game than the Tigers. I don’t know how all that really figures together with unbalanced schedules and all that. But, while I wouldn’t be shocked if Trout still won MVP, my money is on Cabrera.
So now we’re all set for the playoffs. For those that haven’t seen the schedule, the Braves will host the Cardinals at five tomorrow, with the Orioles going down to Texas, starting at 8:30. I hesitate to pick the Braves after the Cardinals magical run last year, but I’m going to do it. It’s in Atlanta, it’s Chipper’s last ride, and they were clearly the better team through the year.* Both teams got their rotation set, though. The Braves will start Kris Medlen. He started twelve games this year, winning ten of them and losing only one.** The Cardinals will go with Kyle Lohse, who has really ended up being St. Louis’ ace. He sports a 16-3 record in 33 games started. That would worry me a little bit, and probably exposes St. Louis’ Achilles heel. That’s a lot of no decisions, and I’m sure that’s because the Cardinals have had an utterly undependable bullpen. It’s been better as of late, but it’s not something I would be feeling all warm and fuzzy about if I were a Cards fan.
*Of course, that “better team through the year” argument really falls apart in a one game “series.” If you haven’t been paying attention, that’s my main gripe with this new format.
**Obviously that leaves a no decision in there. Not sure if the Braves pulled that game out or not, but I suppose it doesn’t too much matter in this case. Also, I know pitcher record is a dicey stat at best, but you don’t win ten out of twelve games you pitch if you’re not at least an above average hurler.
In the late game, I think I’m going to have to go with Baltimore, and I might even say they’re going to win fairly easily. The Rangers have looked shell-shocked the past two weeks as their lead just absolutely crumbled, and last night was just another example. Look at Josh Hamilton making a Little League mistake out there in center field. Meanwhile, the Orioles have been giving it their all against a very spry Rays team. I don’t know if I believe it in general this season, but right at this moment,* I just think the Orioles are a better team. We don’t know who will take the mound for Baltimore yet, but Yu Darvish will pitch for the Rangers. If you need somebody to stop the bleeding for Texas, he would be your guy. He’s the guy you essentially let CJ Wilson walk for, so this is exactly the kind of role you want him in. He’s gone 5-2 over his last ten starts, which is downright respectable. Even moreso when you see he hasn’t given up more than three runs since the beginning of August. Still, I just like the Orioles in this one. You won’t find a more clutch team this year, and this is certainly a clutch situation. And a clutch situation they have direct control over. No Red Sox to screw them over. Did Boston make anybody happy this year?
*Again, thank you, one game playoff!
I’ll wait to elaborate on the rest of the playoffs once we get the winners of those games and get the final pairings. I know, I could extrapolate out, but frankly, I just don’t feel that would be doing anybody any service. But, I will say, I think this go around for the Reds will be better than the last go around. But I’d still be a bit nervous. The Giants got good late, which is usually exactly the sort of team that will make a deep run.
Friday Football Forecast tomorrow. All my teams are playing this week! And it’s Witt week. Good times, right?