Search This Blog

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Must See Sports - First Weekend of October 2014

Last week's advantage/disadvantage record, excluding series: 10-4
Last week's advantage/disadvantage record, in series: 4-0
2014 Advantage/Disadvantage Record, excluding series: 49-36
2014 Advantage/Disadvantage Record (series only): 8-1

Thursday, October 2

Major League Baseball

American League Division Series - Game 1
Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels
Jason Vargas - Royals (11-10, 3.71 ERA) vs Jered Weaver - Angels (18-9, 3.59 ERA)

The Angels have the better pitcher on the mound, the better batting order, and are at home

Advantages: Game - Angels, Series - Angels


American League Division Series - Game 1
Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles
Max Scherzer (18-5, 3.15 ERA, 252 Ks) - Tigers vs Chris Tillman (13-6, 3.34 ERA)

Baltimore is solid from top-to-bottom in the field, has a strong bullpen, and one of the best managers in the game in Buck Showalter. Detroit is ridiculously potent in its batting lineup, with a monstrous starting rotation for the playoffs. Its bullpen is a black hole. The Tigers will need eight or more solid innings from their starters to have a good chance to win games in this series. However, I expect reigning American League Cy Young winner Max Scherzer to deliver just that in Game 1.

Advantages: Game - Tigers, Series - Orioles

Buck Showalter wants more where this came from after leading the O's to their first division title in 17 years. 1
Friday, October 3

Major League Baseball

American League Division Series - Game 2
Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles
Justin Verlander (15-12, 4.54 ERA) - Tigers vs Wei-Yin Chen (16-6, 3.54 ERA) - Orioles

Justin Verlander has been unpredictably feast-or-famine. In addition, I don't think the O's will be swept in its home stand of this series. Back to Motown, all knotted up!

Advantage: Orioles


American League Division Series - Game 2
Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels
Yordano Ventura (14-10, 3.20 ERA) - Royals vs Matt Shoemaker (16-4, 3.04 ERA) - Angels

The pitching matchup gives the Royals their best chance to win a gae in this series. That doesn't mean I think it will happen.

Advantage: Angels


National League Division Series - Game 1
St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
Adam Wainwright (20-9, 2.38 ERA) - Cardinals vs Clayton Kershaw (21-3, 1.77 ERA, 239 Ks) - Dodgers

This game has the potential to be an instant classic. Both pitchers are All-Stars. Both batting lineups are loaded with studs. I'm not suggesting this game is a slam-dunk for the Dodgers against the defending National League champions, but there is no way I can pick against the soon-to-be back-to-back National League Cy Young award winner and probable 2014 N.L. MVP taking the hill for L.A..

Advantages: Game - Dodgers, Series - Dodgers 


National League Division Series - Game 1
San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals
Tim Hudson (9-13, 3.57 ERA) - Giants vs Stephen Strasburg (14-11, 3.14 ERA, 242 Ks) - Nationals

The Nationals finished with the best record in the league for a reason. The pitching matchup is one-sided, the Nats have better position players, and they are at home.

Advantages: Game - Nationals, Series - Nationals

Winning the N.L. West has not been a problem for Adrian Gonzalez and the Dodgers. Winning the pennant hasn't happened for them since 1988.
Saturday, October 4

Major League Baseball

National League Division Series - Game 2
San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals
Ryan Vogelsong (8-14, 4.00 ERA) - Giants vs Jordan Zimmerman (14-5, 2.66 ERA) - Nationals

Once again, the pitching matchup is one sided. Vogelsong has got to give the Giants at least six innings in this game just to not risk jeopardizing the bullpen for the game(s) back in San Francsico. That may or may not happen. Fresh off of throwing a no-hitter last Sunday, I doubt Jordan Zimmerman will have any shortage of confidence.

Advantage: Nationals


National League Division Series - Game 2
St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
Lance Lynn (15-10, 2.74 ERA) - Cardinals vs Zack Greinke (17-8, 2.71 ERA, 207 Ks) - Dodgers

This could be another great game. However, while I understand that Lance Lynn had a breakthrough season in 2014, I simply do not have confidence in him as a postseason starter. Add in the fact that he is pitching on the road in a matchup against the former Cy Young winner in Zack Grenke and I can't wrap my mind around a victory in this game for the Redbirds.

Advantage: Dodgers


NCAA Football

#6 Texas A&M Aggies at #12 Mississippi State Bulldogs

Which Texas A&M will show up? On paper, they are better than Mississippi State and the Bulldogs are due for a letdown following the stunning upset at LSU. Still, the Aggies' defense has had some head-scratching moments. I am not convinced that this team has sealed up all of the painfully obvious leaks from last season, though they appear improved.

The Kenny Hill (A&M, 1,745 yds., 17 TD, 2 INT) vs Dak Prescott (MSU, 964 yds., 11 TD, 2 INT, 378 rush yds.) QB matchup should be compelling.

Advantage: Texas A&M


#3 Alabama Crimson Tide at #11 Ole Miss Rebels

Ole Miss is flying high, hosting its most meaningful SEC West contest in years. Expect them to come back down to Earth after Saturday. The Rebels are not strong enough on the ground to control the tempo of the game enough to beat Alabama.

Advantage: Alabama


#14 Stanford Cardinal at #9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Cardinal has a defense that is to be reckoned with. However, I don't think they have enough to contain a rejuvenated Notre Dame offense with quarterback Everett Golson (1,142 yds., 11 TD, 2 INT) back for 2014, especially at Notre Dame, Indiana.

Advantage: Notre Dame


#15 LSU Tigers at #5 Auburn Tigers

I have almost no confidence in my LSU Tigers' ability to go on the road to Jordan-Hare Stadium and rub out the defending SEC champions. Freshman LSU QB Brandon Harris (394 yds., 6 TD, 1 INT, 73% comp.) has offered glimmers of hope for the Tigers, but I am not hanging my hat on that hope.

Advantage: Auburn

Alabama coach Nick Saban is on a mission to turn Ole Miss cheers into tears. 3
Sunday, October 5

NFL

Arizona Cardinals (3-0) at Denver Broncos (2-1)

The Cardinals are the last of the unbeaten teams in the NFC. I expect that to end. Their defense has been stout and Drew Stanton has filled in very well for the injured Carson Palmer. However, Peyton Manning is playing at home and coming off of a loss.

Advantage: Broncos


Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) at New England Patriots (2-2)

The Bengals are the last of the unbeaten teams in the AFC. I expect that to continue. The Patriots are in a lot of trouble and the Bengals, frankly, look like the 2014 version of last year's Seattle Seahawks so far. The game is at Foxboro, though.

Advantage: Bengals

Major League Baseball

American League Division Series - Game 3
Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals
C.J. Wilson (13-10, 4.51 ERA) - Angels vs James Shields (14-8, 3.21 ERA) - Royals

"Big Game" James gives the Royals their best chance to take a game in this series. The Royals fans will get one more chance to show their appreciation for a great season. Break out the brooms.

Advantage: Angels


American League Division Series - Game 3
Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers
Bud Norris (15-8, 3.65 ERA) - Orioles vs David Price (15-12, 3.26 ERA, 271 Ks) - Tigers

This is a complete mismatch on the mound. As long as the former Cy Young winner, David Price, doesn't get into a lot of long innings or any wide early deficits, I don't think the Orioles have a shot in the Tigers' home playoff opener.

Advantage: Tigers


Expect the Bengals to sock it to the Pats on Sunday night. 4
Monday, October 6

Major League Baseball

American League Division Series - Game 4 (if necessary)
Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers

While the starters are not yet known for Game 4, as we don't even know if there will be a Game 4, this is the point in the series in which I think the Grand Canyon sized hole in the Tigers' pitching staff - their bullpen - begins to catch up to them regardless of who starts on the mound. Even if the great Max Scherzer starts (and Brad Ausmus is likely to save him for a Game 5), I have doubts as to whether or not he can deliver enough innings in Game 1 and in Game 4 and help deliver Tigers wins in both games.

Advantage: Orioles


American League Division Series - Game 4 (if necessary)
Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals

I don't expect a Game 4 to be necessary, but if it is, I like the Angels.

Advantage: Angels


National League Division Series - Game 3
Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals
Unknown - Dodgers vs John Lackey (14-10, 3.82 ERA) - Cardinals

The Dodgers are either going to give the ball to Dan Haren (13-11, 4.02 ERA) or Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-7, 3.38 ERA) if Ryu's shoulder is healthy enough for him to start. Regardless of who in Dodger Blue takes the mound, I expect Lackey and the Cardinals to demonstrate the value of playoff experience and home field advantage.

Advantage: Cardinals


National League Division Series - Game 3
Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants
Gio Gonzales (10-10, 3.57 ERA) - Nationals vs Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98 ERA, 219 Ks) - Giants

The pitching advantage and home field advantage swings to the Giants for Game 3.

Advantage: Giants


Tuesday, October 7

Major League Baseball

National League Division Series - Game 4 (if necessary)
Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants

The idea that Nationals Manager Matt Williams would start Stephen Strasburg on the road on three days of rest is far fetched. I expect Doug Fister (16-6, 2.41 ERA) to get the ball for the Nats, most likely against the hot handed Jake Peavy (7-13, 3.73 ERA). Fister has been consistently tough all season, but I think the home field advantage and the possible availability of starter Tim Lincecum as a reliever (and a backup plan) tips the odds in a Game 4 ever so slightly to the Giants.

Advantage: Giants 


National League Division Series - Game 4 (if necessary)
Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals may be tempted to pitch Adam Wainwright on three days of rest if the Cards are facing elimination. However, I would not expect the Dodgers to respond in kind with their ace. The more likely matchup would be Dan Haren for the Dodgers and Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.74 ERA). Playing at Busch Stadium with the bullpen that the Cardinals have, I think Miler has a better than 50/50 chance to help get his team to a Game 5.

Advantage: Cardinals


Wednesday, October 8

Major League Baseball

American League Division Series - Game 5 (if necessary)
Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles

This will most likely be a rematch of Scherzer and Tillman. Playing in Baltimore in a deciding Game 5, I think that the Tigers would need eight or more innings to win this match, much like I think they would need in Game 1. I don't know if Scherzer will deliver that twice on the road in one series. My gut tells me that if this game goes to the Tigers' pen, the O's put it away. I think a narrow, but decisive edge goes to Baltimore in a Game 5.

Advantage: Orioles

American League Division Series - Game 5 (if necessary)
Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels

Royals manager Ned Yost deserves a solid gold medal if he gets his team to a fifth game in the ALDS.

Advantage: Angels


Don't forget to vote in the fan polls!

To advertise with The Daily Hat Trick, or to submit a guest column, please contact the editor at eric@thedailyhattrick.info


1) Image from www.yorkdispatch.com
2) Image from www.dodgersnation.com
3) Image from www.hottytoddy.com
4) Image from www.designyoutrust.com

1 comment:

  1. Easily Boost Your ClickBank Commissions And Traffic

    Bannerizer makes it easy for you to promote ClickBank products with banners, simply visit Bannerizer, and grab the banner codes for your picked ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator to promote all of the ClickBank products.

    ReplyDelete