American and National League Division Series Preview: Part 2

October 6, 2012


New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles

We begin in the AL with the New York Yankees a team that is all to familiar with MLB Postseason play. Being a Red Sox fan it is always tough to see the Yankees playing October ball while the Sox are sitting at home and can’t do anything about it. The Yankees, as they do whenever they win the AL East are very strong and boast many good players including 4 All-Stars who have been playing dominating ball for years now. It has been a few years since they have won the World Series so the Yankees are looking to make it back the #1 team in the MLB. Along with that comes the challenge of trying to keep up with the dominance of the NL who over the past couple of seasons have owned the World Series

Their opponent the Baltimore Orioles did a great job in the sudden death wildcard game. Beating the Texas Rangers the Orioles have gained some momentum coming into this match-up against the division rival Yankees. The Orioles looked strong in their opening game posting 6 runs to beat Texas by 5. Nate McClouth had 2 RBI’s with J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado also posting 1 each. The Orioles proved they can play against good pitching after meticulously picking at Yu Darvish who was very solid for Texas this season. The Orioles definitely play what we have seen as Orioles ball this season. A lot of hard work and fundamental baseball with their faithful closer Jim Johnson coming in at the end and shutting down the Rangers.

The Verdict

This is a very tough season to predict just because of the two teams playing. Normally when you think of two AL East teams playing you think the Yankees and the Red Sox and you know it’s going to be good. Well this is going to echo the same. This seems to be like it will be a tough played series with Yankees/Red Sox implications. The Yankees and Orioles split the season with 9 wins for each team against each other. This makes this series hard to predict for analysts, but fun for fans to watch. I unfortunately think that the Yankees are going to pull this series out in 5 games. However, I would not discount the Orioles. I only say the Yankees because they are strong, but if the wildcard game is any indication Baltimore has shown they can handle the big game pressure.

Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals

In the NL we will start with the team that has the best record in all of baseball and has been solid all season. The Washington Nationals have been a forced to be reckoned with all season with pitching talent from Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg they have been able to shut down opponents, and with their active bats they get post runs that teams can’t come back from. The Nationals are also sporting a very young roster with lots of spunk and the ability to recover quickly from long games. While we will not see Strasburg pitching in the postseason the Nationals have other pitcher like Jordan Zimmerman and Ezekiel Jackson who keep the Nats solid all throughout their pitching rotation. With hitters like Bryce Harper, Adam LaRoche, Adam Zimmerman, and Ian Desmond they can look forward to good run production as well this postseason.

Their opponent in this best of 5 games series are the St. Louis Cardinals who beat the Atlanta Braves in a controversial wildcard sudden death game. While the game seemed fairly close with the Cardinals leading by one they really beat a Braves team that was somewhat demoralized after a controversial infield fly call . However, the Cardinals did play good ball with Matt Holliday going 2-3 with a homer and Allen Craig going 2-4 with an RBI. Their usual big bats came out to play. Not to mention their starting pitcher Kyle Losche only allowing two earned runs and closer Jason Motte bringing it home by only surrendering two hits.

The Verdict

The Cardinals looked good in their sudden death wildcard game against the braves, but did they look good enough to beat the Nationals? The Nationals and the Cardinals looked pretty evenly matched through the season with the Natinals winning 4 of the 7 match-ups that happened this season (all of these match-ups, by the way, occurred after August 30). That being said I think the Cardinals might be able to hang in for a couple of close victories, but I think ultimately the Nationals win this series in 4 games based on their strength at pitching. While the Cardinals have plenty of threats I think that the Nationals pitching powers over and keeps the Cardinals from scoring runs. Meanwhile, the Nationals stars drive in run after run and expose the Cardinals weakness’.

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About Andrew Ware

Seminary student at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. and graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA. But most of all a follower of Jesus Christ.

View all posts by Andrew Ware


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3 Comments on “American and National League Division Series Preview: Part 2”

  1. Stefan Jagot Says:

    I have to agree with your Yankees assessment, I wouldn’t be surprised if Baltimore pulled away one in NY. But, the Yankees are built for a series, whereas Baltimore is just not there yet.

    I disagree with your Nats and Cards prediction though, I think the biggest thing that will come from this series (besides STL winning) is how badly removing Strausburg from the line-up earlier this season will affect his pitching. They are basically trying to place him back, which physically he will be more than capable of, but mentally… I don’t think he will be able to do it.


    • maconbacon12 Says:

      Strasburg is not coming back for the playoffs. The Nationals have shut him down completely to my knowledge and I have heard many news reports about him being upset with being a playoff bystander. But I do agree if he came back that would pose a problem for the Nationals with throwing him back into the lineup after a month on the bench. I think if he comes back at all the Nationals would be smart to bring him back as a reliever. I think he would be very affective there because he wouldnt have to wear his arm down as much as with starting. However, all reports I hear point to him riding the pine through the playoffs


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