Tag Archives: baseball

Whispers: Randall Grichuk And The Voices In The Shadows That Will Haunt Him

After the tragic loss of Oscar Taveras, I noticed that some bloggers turned their gaze upon Randal Grichuk, someone who was considered an elite prospect not that long ago, and immediately said (and yes, I’m paraphrasing a little) “He’s not Oscar, we’re in trouble!”

This made me wonder if the ghost of Oscar will haunt Grichuk throughout the season: If he doesn’t make a timely hit to drive in a run, someone might say emphatically “Oscar would’ve gotten that hit!” or if he misses a catch, we might hear “Oscar would’ve caught that!”

The pressure to perform at the big league level is intense, something Oscar himself felt alot of, being a home grown uber-talent.

Grichuk didn’t quite have that, as he was acquired in a trade as a throw-in, a secondary addition designed to sweeten the pot and make the trade work. The primary pressure burden of that trade lay on Peter Bourjos.

Grichuk did have a little presure, as does every high end prospect. Now, however, I fear that the ghost of Oscar will increase that pressure at least ten-fold, especially in the online community.

As I said, Grichuk was an elite prospect not that long ago, and was on the roster, battling Oscar for playing time as recently as the playoffs. Randal had earned that playing time. He did struggle some, but so had Oscar during much of the season, to the point that his manager had called him out in public, a rare tactic for Mike Matheny to use. Grichuk obviously wasn’t alone in his struggles.

Grichuk has his strengths, he’s a thumper. With development and patience, he could turn into a 25 to 30 home run hitter. He’s at least an average fielder, and can get better over time. The plate discipline and successful contact will some things to keep an eye on, but I think given time, and mentorship from the likes of Matt Carpenter and others, he’ll get better in those areas as well.

All in all, Grichuk is an above average prospect, a seperate entity from Oscar who just might succeed if we give him a chance.

As such, I have a simple request: When Randall makes an error, or strikes out or does any other negative thing, instead of saying “Oscar would’ve done that” simply say Grichuk should’ve done that.” Also, when Randal does something well, celebrate, instead of saying: “Big deal, Oscar would’ve done that too.” Small things, but I think we need to encourage the right fielder of our future, not dwell on what might have been.

As always, thanks for reading.

World Series Thoughts…

Just a few random thoughts as I watch this years World Series…

1) Which is better, quality or quantity?

Five of the six WS games played so far have been won by five or more runs, killing quite a bit of the drama. In some cases, I kept watching, like last night, but that was because I enjoy watching Ventura pitch. I stopped watching after he left. Plus, I didn’t really watch the Royals bat after Posey hit into his bases loaded double play. I knew the Giants were going to lose after that. If Ventura wasn’t pitching, I’d have switched over to Netflix or something else. I would’ve much rather had a four game sweep where the score in each game was 1 to 0 as that would’ve kept me glued to my seat each game.

2) If he stays on his career path, the Royals should keep Yordano Ventura.

The Royals once had a young ace (Zack Greinke)  who they traded rather than eventually pay his eventual ginormous salary. They netted two key peices of this years team in that trade in Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar, so when Ventura gets near free agency, I’m afraid Dayton Moore will develop an itchy trigger finger. If Ventura stays on his current path, doesn’t need five million Tommy John Surgeries (the dude is 5 ft 10 and skinny as a pole, yet his reaches 100 MPH every start. that’s gotta create quite a bit of stress on that arm) and one of my revolutions listed below doesn’t come to pass and teams still use standard starting pitchers, Ventura will be an ace. KC fans already love this kid, and if Dayton is smart, he’ll talk the owner into signing him for life when the time comes. Ventura could be a franchise icon if things break right. He’s certainly off to a good start.

3) Let the Two Renaissances Begin!

This years’ WS may inspire two movements, both directly inspired by the Royals.

Renaissance Number One: Walks are overrated.

I personally disagree with this one, but KC’s contact heavy approach got them to the WS, and many executives. may point to the Royals when they’re asked why they signed a contact heavy hitter who swings at pitches within a foot of the strike zone (Hello Salvador Perez!). Walks *are* valuable, in my opinion, because good pitchers can often take advantage of hitters’ aggresiveness. The Royals just got lucky and only really faced two true aces this entire post-season. One was cruising until he got tired in the seventh (Jon Lester, who had also lost his catcher who was good against the run in Geovany Soto) and the other, Madison Bumgarner, has absolutely owned the Royals in the World Series.

Rennaisance Number Two: The Second Inning Closer.

The Royals basically have three closers, one for each of the last three innings. Well, all it takes is one GM to take that innovation one step further, sign a bunch of power arms or pitchers with one clear wipeout pitch, and assign each one to an inning. Basically your pitching staff would consist of 12 relievers. Not only could it work, it would save your team some money. No more Kershaw/Zito type contracts. Plus, if one of your relievers gets greedy, it’s easier to find a guy who can pitch one inning than a guy who can pitch five to nine. You may laugh, but I think this could actually work. There’s plenty of failed starters like Wade Davis out there who can crank things up kowing they only have to pitch an inning.

Just some food for thought. Al always, thanks for reading.

Pilfering World Series Players Part Two

Today’s Question: If I could steal one offensive player from each team, who would it be and why? Yesterday I did The Giants, today I’m doing the Royals.

Yesterday I tried to look at this realistically, well today, I’m going to have fun with it, and say, “well, that’d be cool!”

And yes, this idea might be very stupid, but so what, I’m just playing around and having fun. Still, you’ve been warned.

One rule, I can’t steal the same position from each team, Matt Adams can only have one platoon partner, after all, and I already stole Brandon Belt, so who are we going to steal from the Kansas City Royals?

Another rule, I have to be able to do something with the player or players replaced, so if I have an untradable player, then I can’t just outright replace that position.

To make my idea work, I’m going to need to steal not one, but two players.

You know how KC has the ulitmate defensive outfield, well I got to wondering, do we have two good defenders to add one of KC’s outfielders to? The answer is no. We do, however, have one, in Peter Bourjos.

So for my pipe dream outfield that won’t make sense in real life, I’m going to steal both Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson. We’ll trade off two of the Jay/Grichuk/Taveras contingent for an elite pitcher starter to make our rotation even deeper, or perhaps a flamethrowing reliever or two to make our pen a bit scarier.

The problem here is Matt Holliday. In theory, I’d start Cain, then sub Dyson in late, and taking out Holliday, giving the Cards three center fielders. But Holliday has a slightly better bat than Nori Aoki, as well as a bigger contract. Even if he was in decline, he probably wouldn’t agree to sit his butt down late in the game. Plus his contract isn’t tradable, otherwise I’d have traded him and put one of our youngsters in his place. (And yes, I know in KC, Cain slides over to left, but he’s good enough to slide over to right too)

Like I said, stupid, but man it’d be fun to watch an outfield of Cain, Bourjos and Dyson, which is the point.

As always, thanks for reading.

Ten Things To Watch For In The World Series

I thought I’d take a brief look at some things to watch for in the World Series.

1) The MadBum/Shields Death Matches

Madison Bumgarner and James Shields are the aces of their respective teams, so they’ll be squaring off multiple times in this series. Bumgarner is the NL’s overlooked ace, with other starters like Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto, among others, dominating the NL spotlight. Bumgarner has been quietly steady though, and has shined in the postseason, leading SF to it’s third WS trip in five years.

Meanwhile, James Shields, who was acquired specifically to lead KC to the playoffs, has done that. His numbers aren’t as good as Bumgarner’s though, and seem to represent the stats of an above average starter than a true ace, but he has the ability to rise to the occasion, so it’s possible he’ll match Bumgarner blow for blow.

2) Yordano Ventura

Many would say that this 22 year old from the Dominican Republic is KC’s true ace, and there’s some merit to that argument. His regular season stats were only a tiny bit worse than Shields, and given that he’s only 22 and this was his first full season, there’s a chance he’s just getting started and in the ensuing years will emerge as a real ace for KC. If that does happen, it’ll be interesting to see if KC will be able to hang on to him once free agency rolls around. That’s a long time down the road though. For now, let’s enjoy his coming out on the national spotlight that is the World Series.

3) The Entire Kansas City Bullpen

There’s been plenty been written already about the trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, so I won’t go into much detail about them here. They’ll be worth watching though, partly to see if Yost sticks to his regimented routine and only uses them in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings respectively, or if he adapts and is more flexible with them. In addition to those guys, Yost has other effective releivers to use, notably Brandon Finnegan, Jason Frasor and Tim Collins. Finnegan is a rookie lefthander who was promoted at the end of the season who has shined in the post-season. He’s a Sinker/Slider/Changeup pitcher with solid velocity.Frasor is a veteran releiver acquired by KC from the Rangers in July who has done a good job for the Royals since his acquisition. He’s a Four Seam/Slider/Splitter pitcher who generates quite a few groundball outs. Collins hasn’t seen much action in the playoffs, but he’s a solid option. He uses a solid Four Seam/Curve/Changeup combo. These are just three options, there are others, including whichever starters get assigned to the bullpen for the series. Yost has plenty of options beyond the Cerberus.

4) That’s What Speed Do vs. Buster Posey

Buster Posey’s caught stealing percentage is one of the lowest of his career, at 30 percent. Given that KC is loaded with speedsters, it’ll be interesting to see if they test his arm. The Royals have three guys with 28 or more stolen bases in Jarrod Dyson, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. In addition, Alex Gordon has 12 stolen bases and Nori Aoki has 17. Then of course there’s designated pinch runner rookie Terrance Gore, who’s on the team strictly for his speed. KC’s speed will make this series much more interesting if Yost takes advantage of it often.

Another thing that’ll factor into this is how quick SF’s pitchers are in delivering the ball. A quick delivery will slow the KC running game a bit, and I know MadBum has a reputation for having a quick delivery, so watch that as well, for him, and the other SF starting pitchers too.

5) Joe Panik

Until Panik arrived, second base was pretty much a black hole for the Giants, to the point where they even tried out Dan Uggla. Afer that predictable failure, the rookie Panik arrived and stabilized the position by hitting .305 and providing at least average defense at the position. This is consistent with his minor league stats, which also suggest a guy who’ll get on at a good clip. Panik’s minor league OBP was typically 60 points higher than his batting average, which is pretty solid.

6) Bruce Bochy‘s Flexibility vs. Ned Yost‘s Routine

This has been covered a bit, so all I’ll say is it’ll be interesting to see if Yost realizes he’s going to have to adapt if he wants a shiny ring on his finger. He did in the ALCS, we’ll see if that continues in the WS.

7) Little Ball

Neither team is known as an offensive powerhouse, so it’ll be their ability to manufacture runs that will likely win the series. Bunting, taking the extra base, stolen bases and other small ball tactics. KC has the advantage here in regard to speed, but Bochy is the better tactician.

8) KC’s Other Defenders

Much has been made of KC’s outfield, but the rest of the team is pretty good with the glove too.Catcher Salvador Perez and Third Baseman Mike Moustakas are also Gold Glove winners and the rest of the infield (1B Eric Hosmer, 2B Omar Infante and SS Alcides Escobar) are also good fielders as well.

9 Yusmeiro Petit

The Giants also have their share of good relievers, one of which has been Petit. A swingman who’s alternated between the rotation and the bullpen, he’s been a key figure in SF’s playoff run, earning two wins in nine innings without allowing a run. His ability to pitch long stretches of effective relief while SF tries to make a comeback or take a lead in a tie game might be a big factor in SF winning the series.

10) Salvador Perez

Perez is perhaps the best catcher in the American League, combining solid offensive skills with a good arm. He led the AL with a 42 percent caught stealing rate. Posey may be the better offensive catcher, but Perez is perhaps the better all around catcher.

So there’s a few things to keep an eye on in what will be a very interesting World Series.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday Morning Musings…

First off, congratulations to the Kansas City Royals for their first World Series appearance since 1985. The Royals have steamrolled their way in, starting with a come from behind victory in the wild card game over the A’s and following that up by sweeping the Angels and Orioles, respectively. KC definitely deserves to be there, and will be a formidable opponent for whoever emerges from the national league.

Now, as to last night’s game between the Giants and the Cardinals, the less said, the better.

Still, some thoughts:

Why is it, when the Cards score four or more runs, our opponent always seems to score more, but when we score three or less, we get a pitching gem? Maybe that’s just the games I managed to catch, but it sure seems like the Cardinals tend to lose when the runs pile up.

Release the LOOGY as soon as the season is over! I don’t think Randy Choate is a bad guy, per se, but if we have him, Mike’ll use him, and probably beyond Choate’s defined role, which often leads to trouble.

Was it me, or were we giving all of San Fran’s players free passes to first base?

Here’s a question for the bloggers with a taste for baseball history:

Has there been any manager who has been fired after making the playoffs? Offhand, I think it happened to Dusty Baker after he guided the Reds there, but I could be wrong. Anybody else?

I ask because, as the evidence mounts, it seems like the Card’s talent will get them to the playoffs, but Mike Matheny won’t be able to get them the World Series trophy unless everything breaks just right (like it has been for the Royals.) Short of a major comeback (and it has been done before, by the Giants two years ago, against the Cards, no less.) Matheny won’r do it this year.

Mike has made the playoffs three years in a row, including three straight NLCS appearances and (so far) one World Series appearance. How much of that is the team’s talent and willpower, and how much of that is Mike? The more I watch, the more I think we’re winning in spite of our manager, not because of him.

That doesn’t mean to say the Cards don’t have flaws. They could use a deeper bullpen, another solid starting pitcher, and more offensive punch. Overall though, the town of St. Louis has a verey talented baseball team, when managed well, is a legit World Series contender. Is it currently managed well though? Something to think about, and comment on if you feel like it,

As always, thanks for reading.

Hey Matheny! Look Up The Word Flexibility!

Last night’s loss, ultimately can be laid at Randy Choate’s feet, or so one would think. In all actuality, the blame lies at the feet of Mike Matheny, due to his bullpen management.

The Cards tied the game in the top of the seventh inning thanks to a Grichuk homer, before any relievers had been used. You’d think, with the score tied, Matheny would manage to the tie, not to the win, because the Cards (and baseball teams in general) never know when or if they’re going to score another run, so it pays to used relievers they can stretch out for more than one inning. Hey, here comes Marco Gonzales! He’s been a swing man this year, so Mike can easily get more than one inning out of him. Marco even set the side down in order, so he’s on form, and you didn’t need to pinch hit for him, so onto the eighth with him right, especially since we’re still tied?

Nope.

The eighth inning is Neshek time, and he admittedly did a good job. In fact, Pat set down the side in order as well. The Cards didn’t score again, and since Neshek’s spot in the order didn’t come up, Mike could have kept Pat in to pitch the ninth right?

Nope.

In comes Maness, and he, too, sets the side down in order. Now in the bottom of the inning, Matheny *does* pinch hit for Maness, sending in Bourjos. (Bourjos? Really? What happened to that Taveras guy, you know, the one who has already hit a pinch hit home run in this series?) And Bourjos goes meekly. Jon Jay does single, but nothing comes of it.

So who do we bring in? The LOOGY! Randy Choate comes in, promptly walks the first guy he faces (Brandon Crawford) and stays in. Then he allows a single to Juan Perez….and stays in! Never mind that I wouldn’t have started the inning with him, either extending Maness or bringing in Carlos Martinez, surely you pull Choate now right? Nope. He gets left in, and disaster ensues.

Now it should be noted that Matheny’s counterpart, Bruce Bochy, managed pretty conservatively himself, using a reliever an inning until the final inning, when Jon Jay singled. Then he pulled Javier Lopez and put in Sergio Romo, a risky move as Romo had struggled previously in the series. In this case though, I agree with the move, as action is better than inaction. Plus the move worked, as Romo retired Matt Holliday.

Heck even Ned Yost managed his bullpen better than Matheny did yesterday. In the sixth inning of KC’s game against Baltimore, the inning Yost usually struggles with, he played it smartly, bringing in Jason Frasor, who set down the side in order. Then he turned things over to his Bullpen Cerberus, each of whom also set down the side in order, finishing up the victory.

So when even Ned Yost outmanages you, you know you screwed up.

As always, thanks for reading.

Admiring Yadi and Waino…

This isn’t my typical post, backed with stats and whatnot…

Rather, I simply wanted to admire the toughness of our two leaders, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina.

Did you know, that other than in his Tommy John year, Waino has averaged 225.8 Innings pitched in the last five years he’s been active?

Did you know, that until this year, Yadi had not appeared in fewer than 136 games in the past five years? That’s pretty good for a catcher, which is the most demanding position on the field.

Neither of these stats include the playoffs, and given that the Cards have been to at least the NLCS the past four years, they’ve accumulated quite a few innings/appearances. there.

So when Yadi acts like he’s going to play again in this series, regardless of a strained oblique, or when Waino acts like he’s not going to miss a start, despite struggling in his last two outings, not making out of the fifth inning in either one, I just smile and nod, not surprised at all. I fully expect both of them to return in this series. Not only that, I expect them to contribute.

Is that realistic? Probably not. But that’s what we’ve come to expect of those two. They’ve always found a way to contribute, always found a way to be involved.

We have other options, to be sure, but those two are so used to carrying the load, they’re not going to sit idly by. I half expect Mike Matheny to be forced to chain them to the bench to keep them out of the game.

And when they do force their way in, as I expect them to, I’m going to be watching, holding my breath, expecting something special, as they’ve given me no reason to expect anything less.

Thanks for reading.

Four Ourfielders Outfielders For Two Spots

Oscar Taveras, Randall Grichuk and Peter Bourjos all have cases for playing in the outfield right now. The problem is there’s only one spot open, as Jon Jay has been hitting well lately. Assuming Jay continues to hit, who gets the spot? We’re also going to say that consistency equals production, so rotating on a daily basis is out of the question (though defensive replacement in later innings is allowed)

For today, let’s forget the long term situation and decide who starts against Jake Peavy…

Taveras bats left while Grichuk and Bourjos bat right. Peavy allows a higher average to righties .265 vs .249 to lefties) but allowed over twice as many home runs (16 to 7) to lefties.

Given our power struggles during the regular season, I say we take the slight hit in average and slot Taveras in the lineup and have him play right with Jay playing center. Yes we’ve hit some home runs during the off season but who knows if it’s going to last, so my feeling is you take advantage of any power boost you can get.

As for long term…

Since Jon Jay is a lefty, you could technically keep all four and play the platoon split game, with Jay n Taveras pairing up one day and Grichuk and Bourjos the next, with any of the four giving Matt Holliday a rare day off. However, since I doubt management wants to pay five outfielders, the odd man out, to me, seems to be Bourjos. Both Grichuk and Taveras have high upsides management can dream on and Jay has become something of a fan favorite. That leaves Bourjos. While I like Bourjos, if Jay can keep his high OBP (.372 this year) I’m ok with moving Bourjos. Jay has had a .370+ OBP in the past, with a .373 OBP in 2012, so it’s possible. Plus, his career OBP is .359, so it’s not that far off the mark.

As always, thanks for reading.

Five Things To Watch For The NLCS

I did the ALCS yesterday, so it’s time for the NLCS and find out what to watch for in the NLCS.

1) Pitching Duels

We were promised these in the NLDS, but we didn’t get as many as we thought we would, especially in the STL/LA series. Well, depending on whether Madison Bumgarner starts game one or not, and whether Jake Peavy’s resurgence is for real, we might get them here. Adam Wainwright’s health is an issue, but we have three other steady options in Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller and John Lackey.

2) Battle Of The Franchise Catchers

Neither team would be where they are right now without their catcher. Yadier Molina is known more for his defense while Buster Posey is known more for his offense, but the truth is both have all-around games. Posey is an excellent pitch framer, while Yadi’s BA was .282, solid, but also his lowest since 2011, indicating it has a good chance to rebound next year, particularly due to the fact he was injured part of the year.

3) Cluster Bombing

Our top three hitters in our projected lineup (Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay, and Matt Holliday) all have OBP’s of .370 or higher, giving them a good chance to get on base together and create some havoc, especially if the hitters behind them like Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta are having good days. In contrast, the Giants only have one projected starter with an OBP over 360 and that’s Posey.

4) The Defenses

Both teams have solid defenses, but it’ll be how they use them that matters. For example, the Giants starting the recently returned Michael Morse in LF and absorbing his atrocious glove, or keeping him on the bench as a valuable bench bat. Chances are he’ll be a late inning sub for his bat. The same is true for the Jon Jay / Peter Bourjos, only in reverse as Bourjos would come in for his glove.

5) Bullpen Management

Both teams have versatile bullpens, but while Matheny is pretty rigid in his usage, Bochy is flexible, and as I’ve written before, that could be the key to the series.

So who wins? I like our lineup better, especially our top three, and I think we’ll get on base and score more, and be backed up by our solid pitching staff.

As always, thanks for reading.

Five Things To Watch In The ALCS

Kansas City versus Baltimore. Let those four words float in your mind for a moment. Two teams who weren’t on anybody’s top five list to *make* the playoffs at the beginning of the season not only made it, they swept each of their respective division series.

1) The battle of the bullpens:

I know, I know, I use this one quite a bit, but given that these are two of the best bullpens in the game, this is something to keep an eye on. There’s a possible injury to one of KC’s bullpen beasts, Kelvin Herrera, but that’s ok, they’ll just slot a kid who was in the last College World Series into his spot.Finnegan’s ascendance means the Royals Cerberus is intact, meaning that they only need six innings from their starters, just like they have all year.

As for Baltimore’s ‘pen, it may not be as well known as KC’s, but it may be just as good, with their own trio to cover the back end. The emergence of Zach Britton as the closer when Tommy Hunter faltered, combined with the excellence of Darren O’Day and mid-season acquisition Andrew Miller, gives the Orioles a ‘pen to watch.

2) Battle of the no name rotations:

Quick, name a starter from either team other than James Shields! Times up! You probably got Chris Tillman, and maybe Yordano Ventura, but chances are, unless you’re a Royals or Orioles fan, or a baseball nut in general (raises hand. I mean, I asked someone about a GM on another team the other day, and he gave me a the equivalent of a blank look) you don’t know these rotations. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good, just not well known. Danny Duffy for example, may have had a losing record for the Royals, but he had an excellent ERA and WHIP at 2.53 and 1.112, respectively. He admittedly did this in 149 innings, the fewest of the rotation, about 30 less than Ventura. It was the most innings of his career though, and he’s still relatively young at 25, so this year could be the launching point of a solid career as a starter. The Orioles’ with Tillman and Kevin Gausman, have two young guns 26 or under to anchor their staff for years to come. Duffy and Gausman may not start during this series, but expect to see them in either long relief or other bullpen roles.

3) Power vs. Speed:

While the Royals showed off surprising power during the LDS, contact and speed was their calling card during the season and given Baltimore’s effective pitching staff, they need to continue to rely on it. It’ll be interesting to see how much they run on catcher Caleb Joseph, who’s got a good arm who caught 40 percent of runners that tried to steal on him. Plus, the Orioles pitchers as a whole are quick to the plate, making them harder to steal on.The Orioles, rely on the boomstick. Nelson Cruz is having a good post-season, and they have additional power in the form of Steve Pearce and Adam Jones. Jones’ patience will be key here as he only drew 19 walks all year, resulting in a low .311 OBP despite a solid .281 BA. He needs to be more patient and wait for his pitch, or his bat will be neutralized.

4) History:

Neither of these teams have been to the World Series in a long time. While the Orioles did make the playoffs 2 years ago, they lost in the LDS. Their last appearance in the LCS was in 1997, where they lost to Cleveland. Their last World Series appearance was in 1983, when they beat the Phillies.

The Orioles have nothing on the Royals though, as they haven’t even sniffed the playoffs since they won it all in 1985. They did have a 92 win season in 1989, but even then they finished seven games behind the A’s back in an era when there was no wild card.

The bottom line is both of these teams are playing for the chance to do something they haven’t done in a very long time: Appear in a World Series.That’ll heighten the tension, because neither team knows when they’ll be in this position again, especially with key players like James Shields and Nelson Cruz heading off into free agency after the season in search of megabucks.

5) The Rigidity of Ned Yost versus the Flexibility of Buck Showalter:

Remember KC’s bullpen cerberus I mentioned earlier. It’s that way because Yost is very rigid. Once you’re assigned a role, you stay there forever unless you’re injured. Admittedly many managers are pretty rigid these days, but nobody’s as inflexible as he is. Whenever his starters run into trouble in the sixth inning, I think Yost develops brain cramps, because it doesn’t seem like he knows what to do. Showalter, on the other hand, adapts. He asked for five outs from Miller in one of the LDS games and got them. He’s not afraid to adapt on the fly, especially with his bullpen.

One thing I forgot to mention: Defense. Both teams have good defenses and rely on them (with the Royals outfield being the best in the business) so don’t expect many errors or defensive lapses.

The pick:

I think it’ll come down to the managers, and Showalter has the clear advantage there. Orioles in 6.

As always, thanks for reading.