MLB Playoff Picks Sunday 10/7: Yankees Orioles, Nationals Cardinals
MLB Playoff Picks and Predictions, Sunday 10/7: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles ALDS Game One, Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals NLDS Game One
The Yankees squandered a tremendous lead down the stretch to let the Baltimore Orioles hang around the AL East. They ultimately prevailed, but not by much. In the National League, the Washington Nationals may have had the best rotation all year. However, after shutting down their best pitcher, the young Nationals face an interesting first round match against the defending World Series champions.
New York Yankees (no line) at Baltimore Orioles
The New York Yankees represent all that is evil about modern baseball – and that’s coming from a lifetime Yankees fan. Big contracts and aging superstars have made the New York Yankees extremely mediocre over the last decade, despite their World Series win in 2009. Alex Rodriguez might be the most overpaid player in sports, and the days of Scott Brosius and Aaron Boone heroism may be gone. There is no chemistry. The Yankees are old, poorly coached, and lacking in pitching.
The Baltimore Orioles employ a different formula for the success of their franchise. While the Yankees were built through a dedicated owner, the Orioles have endured one of the worst owners in sports history. Still, the O’s made the right moves this season. They’re young and dynamic, with excellent pitching and a great coach. They shocked the world this year, but are the mighty Yankees too much for the lowly O’s?
The Orioles don’t have the pitching to go through the Yankees lineup unscathed. Even with A-rod and Tex clogging the heart of the order, the Yankees lineup is the best in the playoffs. Robinson Cano is a force, Derek Jeter is rejuvenated, and Ichiro Suzuki was the best waiver-wire pickup of the year. The Yankees have depth and leadership; I don’t see the Orioles’ mediocre pitching surviving this series. In Game One, CC will do enough for the Yankees to prevail.
Yankees 6 – Orioles 3
Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals
The Nats had a phenomenal year and nobody saw it coming. Looking at this team now, it’s hard to understand the mediocre expectations we all placed on the Washington Nationals. A young, exciting lineup is capable of beating anyone. They’re balanced with power and speed, and they’re clutch. They still have enough pitching, despite shutting down their ace. In the end, their only weakness may be their youth.
The Cardinals are in the opposite situation. They lack depth in the lineup and their greatest strength is experience. They’re the defending champs, but they’re by no means the same team. The heart of their lineup has departed, and their manager retired. Still, the starting pitching that won them the World Series is still around.
In the end, the Cards have too many questions for me to feel comfortable. I’m on the Nats and Gio here, hoping for their consistency to prevail.
Nationals 5 – Cardinals 4
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