The baseball season proved to be an exciting one. In the American League, most team’s playoff hopes were alive for most of the season. In the National League, there was a dog fight between the Mets, Cardinals and Giants for the Wild Card spot. The Mets and Giants have eliminated the Cardinals, as they now turn to each other in a win or go home game tomorrow night.
Tonight, we will witness the two teams that were left standing after the dust was settled in the American League Wild Card race. Both the Blue Jays and Orioles suffered their positives and negative through out the season. One will experience another big huge piece of adversity, while the other will experience their greatest prosperity for the 2016 season.
As we wait for the Wild Card games to play out, why not compare all the teams to come up with a prediction as to who will be the ultimate winner of the Wild Card.
American League Wild Card Game Prediction:
So, tonight, we will watch the stand off between both the Orioles and the Blue Jays. The American League East proved to be the most competitive division throughout the season. Only the Rays playoff hopes died early. The Yankees weren’t told to buzz off until the beginning of the last series for their 2016 season.
This one is overall, a very tough prediction to make. Both teams’ don’t have the best pitching depth in the league, however have very good offenses. Let’s try and break down the best team in each of the following categories. Offense, pitching and overall momentum heading into the game.
Offense: It’s really hard to judge the two teams’ on their offense. As both carry two of the best in baseball. However, the Blue Jays have 221 home runs which doesnt’ measure up to the Orioles’ 253 homeruns which is the best in baseball. A lot of the Thank You notes from O’s fans should go to Mark Trumbo, who smacked 47 homeruns on the season. The Orioles also lead the Blue Jays in the batting average category by a mere 8 points at .256. The Blue Jays however, lead on RBI with 728 to the O’s 710. I also believe that the Blue Jays have a deeper line up than the Orioles’ do. But based of the numbers, the Orioles have proven to be better offensively.
Better Offense: Orioles
Pitching: While both teams can flex their muscle on the offensive side of the game, both teams have limited pitching on their teams. However, for tonight’s game we’ll see Marcus Stroman vs Chris Tillman. Tillman certainly topped Stroman overall on the season. Tillman finished the season with a 16-6 record to go with a 3.77 ERA, while Stroman went 10-9 with a 4.37 ERA. Tillman has also had more success versus the Blue Jays than Stroman has had against the Orioles. The bullpens are also nothing to write about for both teams. So, thanks to Tillman, I give the Orioles’ the pitching advantage tonight.
Better Pitching: Orioles
Momentum: I originally wanted to see which team had an significant advantage over the other during the regular season. However, the Blue Jays were up on the Orioles 10-9 on the season. So, there is no significant advantage in terms of momentum there.
The Orioles are 7-3 over the last 10 games to the Blue Jays 6-4. Again, not a significant advantage there. However, I will give the Blue Jays the momentum advantage by a small margin based off the fact they will be at home tonight and are on a 2 game winning streak going into the game.
Better Momentum: Blue Jays By A Small Margin
So, the Orioles beat the Blue Jays in two out of those three categories. While, they are close in most categories, I believe the adversity that Marcus Stroman has experienced will not match up to the success that Chris Tillman has had over the season.
Prediction: Orioles win by a score of 6-3
National League Wild Card Game:
The dog fight that both the Mets and Giants have experienced over the later part of the season will officially end tonight. This is another tough match up to predict, so I am going to follow the same formula as I did for the Blue Jays/Orioles’ game.
Offense: The Mets lead the Giants in the homerun category by a large margin with 218 homeruns which is the fifth most in the league to the Giants 130 homeruns, which is the third WORST in the league.
Surprisingly enough though, despite the home run total, the Giants still lead the Mets in batting average and RBI. The Giants also have more players who exercised the teams strength than the Mets have. The Giants have 7 hitters with at least 50 RBI, while the Mets only have 4. The Giants also have good amount of players around the .280 batting average. The Mets only have 4 players with over 20 homeruns and just 2 with thirty homeruns. So, overall, I have to give the Giants the advantage on offense.
Better Offense: The Giants
Pitching: Unlike, the American League starter, the Mets and Giants are putting out TWO dominant starters. A match up that could potentially be the best pitchers duel that we’ve seen all season. Noah Syndergard who is 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA versus Madison Bumgarner who was 15-9 with a 2.74 ERA.
It’s really hard to count one pitcher better than the other, as they are both are young, have World Series experience and both had great seasons. So, I don’t suspect either team to need much of the bullpen, but I do suspect they will need their closer to shut the door.
The Mets’ closer Jeurys Familia was able to snag 51 saves while blowing only 5 for the entire season. The Giants’ closer Santiago Casilla at 36 years old, certainly has the upper hand on experience. As he owns a career 0.95 ERA in the post season over the course of 24 games and 19 innings pitched.
However, on the season, Casilla has 31 saves, while blowing 9 saves on the season. Casilla also is sporting a 6.57 ERA over the last 15 games he’s pitched. So, while the Giants could pull the Sergio Romo card, the Mets have the significant advantage at closer.
Pitching Advantage: While Noah Syndergard and Madison Bumgarner are both dominant, the Mets’ have a better candidate to save a close game, than the Giants do. And I do suspect the game to be close, so I give the ‘Mets the pitching advantage.
Momentum: Both the Mets and Giants have a 7-3 record over their last 10 games. The Mets are up on the Giants on the season with a 4-3 win loss record on the season and the Mets will be at home tonight, which bodes well for their chances.
With that being said, the Giants are winning 4 in a row, including a sweep over the Dodgers, while the Mets suffered a loss against the Phillies to end the season.
Momentum Advantage: Giants
So, the Giants topped the Mets in two of the three categories that I am comparing and seem overall like the better team of the two overall. However, this isn’t an ALDS series, this is just one game.
Tonight, I say the Mets win in a close game, thanks to Noah Syndergard and a saved game by Familia.
Official Prediction: Mets win, 3-2.
The Wild Card games promise to be exciting for both the American and National League. Do you agree with my predictions? Who do you think will win their respective games?