Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

ALCS/NLCS predictions…

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I’m a day late on this, having been on travel, so I’ve already missed Texas’ game 1 victory in the ALCS.  So be it; it does slightly change my prediction in that series though, my having assumed that Verlander was winning that game for Detroit.

Here’s some quick looks at the possible pitching matchups for the two league championship series, with an attempt to try to guess which team has the upper hand of starting pitching.  As we saw in the divisional series, where I got two series perfectly correct (Det in 5, Mil in 5) but got two very much wrong (Tampa in 4, Philly in 3), clearly I overvalued the power of the starters for both Tampa and especially Philadelphia to overcome St. Louis.  And as we saw in game 5 of the Philly series, even having the best pitcher in the league giving up 1 run through 8 innings can sometimes not be enough.

Here’s the probable pitching matchups for each LCS.  St. Louis’s rotation is a complete crap shoot, so this may be for naught.  But Milwaukee’s is pretty set in stone and should give us a good idea of what to expect.

AL First:

GM# Date Home-Visitor Visiting Starter Home Starter Advantage
1 10/8/2011 Det-Tex Verlander Wilson Det
2 10/9/2011 Det-Tex Scherzer Holland Tex?
3 10/11/2011 Tex-Det Lewis Fister Det?
4 10/12/2011 Tex-Det Harrison Porcello Tex
5 10/13/2011 Tex-Det Wilson Verlander Det
6 10/15/2011 Det-Tex Scherzer Holland Tex?
7 10/16/2011 Det-Tex Fister Lewis Tex?
1 10/8/2011 Det-Tex Verlander Wilson Det
2 10/9/2011 Det-Tex Scherzer Holland Tex?
3 10/11/2011 Tex-Det Lewis Fister Det?
4 10/12/2011 Tex-Det Harrison Porcello Tex
5 10/13/2011 Tex-Det Wilson Verlander Det
6 10/15/2011 Det-Tex Scherzer Holland Tex?
7 10/16/2011 Det-Tex Fister Lewis Tex?

Thoughts:

  • Texas ace CJ Wilson really underperformed in the Division Series, getting pounded for Tampa’s only win.  I’ll bet that if the Rangers can get a win in a Verlander-started game, this becomes a quick series.
  • Likewise, two of the Detroit starters really didn’t perform well either in the DS (Fister and Porcello).  Texas’ offense may put a hurting on them.
  • Prediction: Texas in 7.

Here’s the NL, with some guesswork for the St. Louis rotation

GM# Date Home-Visitor Visiting Starter Home Starter Advantage
1 10/9/2011 Stl-Mil Garcia Greinke Mil
2 10/10/2011 Stl-Mil Jackson Marcum Stl?
3 10/12/2011 Mil-Stl Wolf Carpenter Stl
4 10/13/2011 Mil-Stl Gallardo Lohse Mil
5 10/14/2011 Mil-Stl Greinke Garcia Mil
6 10/16/2011 Stl-Mil Jackson Marcum Stl?
7 10/17/2011 Stl-Mil Carpenter Gallardo Stl?

Thoughts

  • I see three games where clearly the pitching match-up favors Milwaukee.  Greinke‘s two starts and Gallardo‘s start against St. Louis’ weakest starter.
  • That being said, the other four seem to marginally favor St. Louis.  I don’t see how you can assume Carpenter is losing a post season start after how he shut down the Phillies.
  • I think Milwaukee is going go get to Jackson at some point, especially playing at home and with their big hitters.
  • Prediction: Milwaukee in 6

Texas-Milwaukee isn’t exactly a marquee WS matchup, but it sure would appease one long-suffering fan base.

Written by Todd Boss

October 9th, 2011 at 11:32 am

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  1. [...] far, I’m basically 50/50 on predictions, having gone 2-for-4 in the DS and 1-for-2 in the LCS.  So i’m no better than a coin flip.  It has been really surprising, the offense [...]

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