Friday, October 16, 2015

Into the LCSes

All told, a pretty solid postseason so far. Three of the four divisional series went the five-game distance; we had a first-class controversy in the Chase Utley takeout/suspension; and we had an iconic moment from Jose Batista that will be part of MLB promos for the rest of my life.

And, let us not forget, we've seen some power arms in starting rotations. Serious stuff, man. Kudos to the New York Mets, who managed to win their series from the Dodgers despite facing Clayton Kershaw or Zach Greinke in four of the five games. But maybe it's not that surprising, the Mets surviving and advancing, considering the quality of all four of their starters. DeGrom, Snydergaard, Harvey, Matz -- like I said, serious stuff, man. Add in Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester of the Cubs and Garrit Cole of Pittsburgh, and it's clear the NL field in particular was bringing the heat.

Those teams, those rotations, are in the National League, so the Twins are not in direct competition with them. But it jumps out at me that the Twins rotation is stocked with middle-to-back filler. Ask yourself who, if anybody, the Mets would bump from their rotation for Ervin Santana.

Kansas City, of course thrives with a mediocre rotation/ It's not essential to have multiple starters of that quality-- as long as the rest of the team is good enough in the field and in the bullpen to support a collection of inning eaters. The Royals are, The Twins aren't.

The Toronto-K.C. series is intriguing. The Blue Jays thrive on their thunder; the Royals have more power than they have in the past, but their game remains based on contact hitting and speed. Of note in this series is that the Royals don't have a left-handed starter (as was the case last October, Danny Duffy is working as a reliever.) Usually that lack of balance is a negative; in this series, it's a plus, because Toronto is so right-handed. I'm rooting for the Blue Jays; I fear the Royals will win.

In the National League, the Cubs seem pretty clearly the superior team to the Mets. Superiority doesn't mean a lot in a short series, however, and my gut is picking the Mets.

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