2018 Wild Card
Cubs 6 Rockies 2
It’s the consolation game for the losers of the divisional tiebreakers as the Chicago Cubs host the Colorado Rockies in the National League Wild Card Game, one day later. The Rockies are at a distinct disadvantage as this will be the third game in three days, in three different time zones. On Sunday they won the regular season finale at home on Sunday, lost the division tiebreak at Dodger Stadium on Monday and don’t have any time to mourn, as they will be at Wrigley Field on Tuesday. The Cubs meanwhile also playing three games in three days, will get to sleep in their own beds as their tiebreaker loss to the Brewers was in front of their home fans at Wrigley Field. Both the Cubs and Rockies saved their most reliable starting pitchers, for the Wild Card Game, with Kyle Freeland who has been 11-1 since June 21st gets the start for Colorado, while Jon Lester a proven postseason winner toes the rubber for the Cubs, with a lifetime record of 9-7 with an ERA of 2.55 in the playoffs. In 2018 he led the National League with 18 wins, giving the Cubs a second advantage. The two teams are relatively evenly matched with strong lineups, and the Rockies have an advantage in the bullpen. If the game is tied late, Colorado could make a run on the Cubs shaky bullpen, as Wade Davis the top closer in the National League has a chance to make his old team pay. In the end, I think the Cubs home-field edge, over the Rockies fatigue, will be the difference as the Cubs get a relatively easy win.
Athletics 7 Yankees 5
In all the previous seasons the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have done battle they never both won 100 games in the same season, until now. The Red Sox were an MLB best 108-54, while the Yankees finished 100-62 and will be playing in the Wild Card Game against the upstart Oakland Athletics. Most of baseball is anticipating another classic showdown between baseball’s two most heated rivals in the Division Series. It will not happen. While the Yankees did win 100 games, they have been quite ordinary at times in the second half. The Athletics have been one of the top teams in the second half as they were baseball’s biggest surprise, finishing with a record of 97-65. Neither team has officially announced a starter, the Yankees will likely choose either 19-game winner Luis Severino or J.A. Happ the Yankees big deadline acquisition. Oakland meanwhile is expected to do it with their bullpen. The Yankees have the ability to go step by step with the A’s bullpen, but with the health of Aroldis Chapman in the air, the Yankees have gaps in their plans. Blake Treinen has been the Athletics most reliable man, recording 38 saves, while winning nine games with an ERA of 0.78. The A’s bullpen has been strong all season, losing just once when leading after seven. The Yankees have an overreliance on the long ball, expect Oakland to exploit this, as their shaky defense ends up being the death nail, with Oakland scoring the winning runs after a Gary Sanchez passed ball.