League Division Series Preview with Staff Predictions

With a stunning Wild Card round in the books, Major League Baseball can now focus its attention on the League Division Series. I’ve put together this preview for the four divisional series and, with the help of my fellow Cubs Insider writers, have put together a list of predictions.

Just for a little added fun, I’ve also asked my 3-year-old daughter Gracie for her prediction on each series, as well as flipping a coin on each of them. Worst case scenario is that we thoroughly embarrass ourselves relative to blind chance and a 3-year-old. Now that we have that out of the way, on to the preview.

tigersDetroit Tigers (90-72) vs. balBaltimore Orioles (96-66)

-The Tigers took the season series 5-1
-In those 6 games, Detroit averaged 5.5 rpg
-Detroit starter Rick Porcello was 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 12 2/3 innings against Baltimore this year
-The Orioles were 35-34 and 5 games back on 6/17, and have gone 61-32 since
-Baltimore had a team 3.96 FIP on the season, but a 3.44 ERA

Game 1 (@BAL)- Tillman vs. Scherzer
Game 2 (@BAL)- TBD vs. Verlander
Game 3 (@DET)- Price vs. TBD
Game 4 (@DET) if necessary- Porcello vs. TBD
Game 5 (@BAL) if necessary- TBD vs. TBD

Ryan- tigers
Tom- bal
Tommy- bal
Evan- tigers
Bryan- tigers
Justin- tigers
Dabs- tigers
@WilcoMeThat- bal
Gracie- tigers
Coin Flip- bal

kanKansas City Royals (89-73) vs. laaLos Angeles Angels (98-64)

-The two teams split the season series 3-3
-Josh Hamilton is a combined 10/57 (.175) against James Shields and Jason Vargas in his career
-The Angels went 12-14 combined against teams still remaining in the playoffs
-The Royals are the first playoff team with less than 100 home runs since the 1978 Royals
-Royals Game 1 starter Jason Vargas has a 3.02 ERA in over 95 IP against the Angels in his career, which is his best against any team (minimum 60 IP)

Game 1 (@LA)- Weaver vs. Vargas
Game 2 (@LA)- Shoemaker vs. Ventura
Game 3 (@KC)- TBD vs. Wilson
Game 4 (@KC) if necessary- TBD vs. Weaver
Game 5 (@LA) if necessary- TBD vs. TBD

Ryan- kan

Tom- laa
Tommy- laa
Evan- laa
Bryan- laa
Justin- kan
Dabs- laa
@WilcoMeThat- laa
Gracie- laa
Coin Flip- laa

stlSt. Louis Cardinals (90-72) vs. ladLos Angeles Dodgers (94-68)

-The Dodgers won the season series 4-3
-This is the fourth playoff series between these two teams since 2004 (Cardinals have won 2, Dodgers 1)
-Dodgers Game 1 starter Clayton Kershaw is 5-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 14 regular season starts against the Cardinals and 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA in 3 post-season starts
-Yadier Molina is hitting .299/.347 combined in his career off of Kershaw, Grienke, and Lackey
-The Cardinals have won 27 playoff games the last three post-seasons

Ryan- lad
Tom- lad
Tommy- lad
Evan- lad
Bryan- lad
Justin- lad
Dabs- stl
@WilcoMeThat- stl
Gracie- lad
Coin Flip- stl

Game 1 (@LA)- Kershaw vs. Wainright
Game 2 (@LA)- Grienke vs. Lynn
Game 3 (@STL)- Lackey vs. TBD
Game 4 (@STL) if necessary- Miller vs. TBD
Game 5 (@LA) if necessary- TBD vs. TBD

sfoSan Francisco Giants (88-74) vs. natsWashington Nationals (96-66)

-The Nats won the season series 5-2
-The Nats are 69-39 since June 1st
-The Nats team ERA in the regular season was 3.03, which was best in baseball
-Buster Posey is hitting .262/.295 combined in his career against Strasburg, Zimmermann, and Gonzalez
-Giants starter Jake Peavy has a 2.17 ERA in 12 starts since being acquired from the Red Sox

Game 1 (@WAS)- Strasburg vs. TBD
Game 2 (@WAS)- Zimmermann vs. TBD
Game 3 (@SF)- TBD vs. TBD
Game 4 (@SF) if necessary- TBD vs. TBD
Game 5 (@WAS) if necessary- TBD vs. TBD

Ryan- nats
Tom- nats
Tommy- nats
Evan- nats
Bryan- sfo
Justin- nats
Dabs- nats
@WilcoMeThat- nats
Gracie- sfo
Coin Flip- nats

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