Wednesday, 25 September 2013 Sports
We now know the 5 teams left in National League post season play off. Home field advantage and Wild Card remain to be decided.
It’s great to see the Pirates back in the big time after many years in the doldrums. The Reds meet the Pirates to see which one will emerge as the Wild Card entry in the Division Series. The Reds will have home field advantage in the Wild Card game by virtue of their 7-3 win in the head to head. The recent series win in Pittsburgh will also be in the Reds favour. Reds should advance. The one game showdown winner takes all, will set up a Division series with either the Braves or Cardinals. The problem facing the Wild Card is the very tight schedule which may impact starting pitching options. The Dodgers have been on everybody's short list since they went on the incredible tear since June. Pitching is the Dodger strength so they will be hoping Kershaw and Greinke will carry them all the way. I have my doubts about the Dodger batting. Puig s a phenomenon but can be a bit eccentric and he could be overawed by the playoff scenario. Defense is also suspect for the Dodgers with Hanley Ramirez prone to the odd gaff.
That leaves us with Braves and Cardinals. Atlanta has been a revelation all season long and have been front runners since the off. Freddie Freeman has had a career yr after eye problems. The Uptons have slowed down after a blistering start. Justin Upton will need to recover his form if they are to advance. The Cardinals are the value bet for me to go all the way. They have won World Series twice in recent years 2006 and 2011 so they know what it takes. They have a balanced line up. Pitching is anchored by Adam Wainright a worthy Cy Young candidate and if they can get a couple of decent start from the other SP pitchers then they could win it all. Yadier Molina is key for St. Louis in handling the staff, controlling the running game and with the bat and I fancy him to be WS MVP.
Win American League Oakland
Win National League St. Louis
Win the World Series St. Louis