Nationals Arm Race

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

World Series Pitching Matchups & Predictions (that you should laugh at)


In my Divisional series prediction post, I predicted the following:

  • Washington-San Francisco: predict a Washington 3-1 series win.  Actual: SF wins 3-1.
  • St. Louis-Los Angeles Dodgers: predicted a LA sweep or 3-1 series win.  Actual: StL wins 3-1.
  • Detroit-Baltimore: predicted a Detroit sweep or a 3-1 win.  Actual: Baltimore sweeps 3-0.
  • Kansas City-Los Angeles Angels: predicted a LA victory in 5.  Actual: Kansas City sweeps 3-0.

In my League Championship Series prediction post, I predicted the following:

  • San Francisco- St. Louis: predicted St. Louis in 7.  Actual: San Francisco walks off 4-1.
  • Baltimore-Kansas City: predicted Baltimore in 6: Actual, Kansas City sweeps 4-0.

So.  Six post season series down, and i’m 0-6 in predicting things.  Mostly off badly too.  What now?  Of course!  Predict the World Series!  Here’s the post-season schedule and the likely matchups:

  • Game 1: SF@KC Tue Oct 21: Madison Bumgarner v James Shields
  • Game 2: SF@KC Wed Oct 22: Jake Peavy v Yordano Ventura
  • Game 3: KC@SF Fri Oct 24: Jason Vargas v Tim Hudson
  • Game 4: KC@SF Sat Oct 25: Jeremy Guthrie v Ryan Vogelsong
  • Game 5: KC@SF Sun Oct 26: Shields-Bumgarner (if necessary)
  • Game 6: SF@KC Tue Oct 28: Peavy-Ventura (if necessary)
  • Game 7: SF@KC Wed Oct 29: Hudson-Vargas (if necessary)

How do things look?

Bumgarner has now thrown 31 post season innings so far in 2014.  He’s given up 19 hits, 5 walks, and just 5 earned runs in that time (3 last night, 2 more against the Nats).  Shields, despite his moniker of “big game,”  has not been solid this post season, giving up 10 runs in 16 innings.  Ventura has one good outing and one mediocre outing.  Peavy has been on a very short leash (thanks to the presence of two reliable long-men in the Giant’s pen in Yusmeiro Petit and Tim Lincecum) but has given decent performances.  Advantage Giants in pitching in the first two games; I’ll go with a 1-1 split in KC.

Back in SF, Hudson and Vogelsong both were dominant against the Nats, but not so much against the Cards.  I have a feeling the Royals are going to hit them.  I’ll predict that the Giants take 2 of 3 in SF, sending the Royals back to KC down 3-2.  From there, Its hard to argue against the run the Royals are on, and they’ll have home field plus be done with Bumgarner.  Royals ride their wave of good fortune in beating “better” teams and take the series.  Prediction: Royals in 7.

Just a note: are you troubled  by the fact that both wild cards are in the world series?  Or that the teams with the best records (Nats and Angels) were both (rather easily) defeated in the divisional series?

5 Responses to 'World Series Pitching Matchups & Predictions (that you should laugh at)'

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  1. If we thought Bochy turned Matt Williams’s brain to mush, just look at what he did to Mike Matheny (10 times worse, Nats fans). After those two, Ned Yost should be a piece of cake to melt into a puddle.

    I don’t understand the Giants’ voodoo. Their team just isn’t that good, and they have one quality starting pitcher. But it’s an even-numbered year, so there’s no sense in picking against them!

    At least in the 162-game era, have there ever been two WS teams with fewer than 90 wins?


    17 Oct 14 at 12:40 pm

  2. As long as the Royals keep getting clutch hits (no comment on whether or not that’s a “skill” in baseball), then Yost’s dependence on small ball and bunting will continue to pay off. You do have to hand it to his utilization of his 3 big relievers; they’re clearly game changers this post-season. A better question might be the Royals running game: 7 SBs in the WC game, 5 in three games against the Angels, just 1 against the Orioles. Posey should keep that in check.

    I did read that this will first WC only World Series since 2002. I know there have been others (1997 i believe: fla vs cle)

    A quick glance at shows that this is the first time two sub-90 game winners have met in the post-season (not counting shortened 81 and 1918 seasons). Wow.

    Todd Boss

    17 Oct 14 at 2:22 pm

  3. Wouldn’t have thought it possible with only ten teams, but my MLB playoff picks look even worse than my typical NCAA tournament bracket. Although the one-game wildcard playoff, in which each team has to use their ace, should ostensibly give an advantage to division winners, there’s a potential flipside to that argument: the time off between the end of the season and the LDS is long enough to cool off a hot hitting division winner, while the wildcard team gets to keep rolling. I’m not saying that neutralizes the pitching advantage, but it might factor. It’s a small sample size, admittedly, but in the six LDS between a wildcard team and a division winner since 2012, the division champs are only 3-3. Of course, two of those losses are the Nats, so… maybe it’s just them.


    17 Oct 14 at 2:37 pm

  4. Yeah, so far the WC “penalty” hasn’t really affected either team. KC looks unstoppable, and the Giants put down two better teams (on paper) after winning on the road to even get in. I thought the burning of the Ace would be a huge factor in the divisional series; nope. By the time the LCS and WS roll around, so many down days lets the teams completely setup their rotations anyway.

    Todd Boss

    17 Oct 14 at 3:08 pm

  5. I’m predicting KC in 5 games. Why? Why not?


    17 Oct 14 at 3:53 pm

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