Spitter Postseason Picks: Pitching, Pitching, Pitching
Mashing home runs –without having a pitching staff that can deal with the pressure of the playoffs– will not get it done in the 2019 postseason.
Washington already proved the point perhaps as Josh Hader came into the National League Wildcard game with a career 0.00 postseason ERA for the Milwaukee Brewers.
He coughed up a walk, two hits and three runs to the Washington Nationals in the ninth inning to spoil what had been a fantastic effort against Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in a 4-3 loss .
Then in Oakland, Sean Manaea figured to be lights out after a hot September, but it was Tampa Bay who knocked Manaea’s lights out. The Rays went deep three times and their pitching, led by former Houston Astro Charlie Morton, did the rest in winning 5-1.
So, how does the N.L. look with the Los Angeles Dodgers vs Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals vs Atlanta Braves series?
The advantage in both series comes down to an 8/10 of- a-run advantage for Los Angeles and St. Louis over their opponents since the All-Star break. They are 1-2 in the NL in total bases and ERA, and 1-3 in on-base percentage.
The one place where the Dodgers are vulnerable is save percentage. They trail the Nationals by 6 percentage points, while Atlanta is better that St. Louis by three.
Offensively, L.A. has a really deep team, but they didn’t hit for average (.250) after the break while Washington did (.278). Still, I think the Dodgers have the arms to win.
Over in the A.L. the Minnesota Twins vs New York Yankees and Rays vs Astros are right next to each other in on-base percentage and on-base-plus-slugging since the All-Star break. But, Houston has a .66 advantage in ERA and the Yankees gave up 29 more home runs than the Twins.
The Twins offense is great, as is New York’s, which is a little bit better and includes a stolen base threat. Houston’s is better as well compared to Tampa Bay.
For the first round, Twins pitching wins the day, as does the ‘Stros.