Predicting the two MLB “Coin Flip Games”

Posted: 10/05/2012 by levcohen in Baseball

I haven’t been talking about Baseball or basketball much recently, so I’m going to be doing baseball today, and Basketball soon.

The playoffs start today, with the two wild card matchups. Here is the playoff schedule:
NL:
Nationals will play the winner of the play in game between Cardinals and Braves
Giants will play the Reds

AL:
Yankees will play the winner of the play in game between Orioles and Rangers
Tigers will play the Athletics

Predicting the play in games:
St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves
Pitching matchup: Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86 ERA, 211 IP, 1.09 WHIP, 143 K) for the Cardinals and Kris Medlen (10-1, 1.57 ERA, 138 IP, .91 WHIP, 120 K) for the Braves

Note: The Braves set a record by winning their 22nd straight game started by Kris Medlen
Pitching advantage: BRAVES

Lineups:
Cardinals:
Jon Jay- CF
Carlos Beltran- RF
Matt Holliday- LF
Allen Craig- 1B
Yadier Molina- C
David Freese- 3B
Danny Descalso- 2B
Pete Kozma- SS
Kyle Lohse- SP

Braves:
Michael Bourn- CF
Martin Prado- LF
Jason Heyward- RF
Chipper Jones- 3B
Freddie Freeman- 1B
Dan Uggla- 2B
David Ross- C
Andrelton Simmonds- SS
Kris Medlen- SP

Notes: Martin Prado leads the MLB in average with two strikes with a .290 average. David Ross is starting at catcher in place of an injured Brian McCann. Chipper Jones could be playing in his last career game.

Hitting advantage: CARDINALS

Overall Advantage: BRAVES

Bottom Line: This should be a close, hard fought, low scoring game between two pretty evenly matched teams. I think the difference in the game is the Braves superior bullpen.

Prediction: Braves- 4, Cardinals- 3.
Win- Medlen
Loss- Lohse
Save- Kimbrel
HR: Craig, Jones

Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers
Pitching matchup: Joe Saunders (9-13, 4.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 174 IP, 112 K) for the Orioles and Yu Darvish (16-9, 3.90 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 191 IP, 221 K) for the Rangers

Notes: Saunders was picked up in a midseason trade. He has horrible career stats against the Rangers.
Pitching Edge: RANGERS

Orioles Lineup:
Nate McLouth- LF
JJ Hardy- SS
Chris Davis- RF
Adam Jones- CF
Matt Wieters- C
Jim Thome- DH
Mark Reynolds- 1B
Ryan Flaherty- 2B
Manny Machado- 3B

Rangers Lineup:
Ian Kinsler- 2B
Elvis Andrus- SS
Josh Hamilton- CF
Adrian Beltre- 3B
Nelson Cruz- RF
Michael Young- DH
David Murphy- LF
Mike Napoli- C
Mitch Moreland- 1B

Notes: Young has had a historically bad year at DH- he is worst in the MLB in wins above replacement. Beltre and Hamilton lead the majors in home runs by teammates.

Hitting Edge: RANGERS

Bottom Line: The Orioles are outmatched here, and shouldn’t win. However, they have pulled out with shocking wins before so it is hard to bet against them. However, the Rangers dominated the Orioles in their regular season matchup. The O’s are playing well, and the Rangers are not, but the Rangers are the much more talented team.

Prediction: Rangers- 8, Orioles- 5
Win- Darvish
Loss- Saunders
Save- Nathan
HR- Beltre, Cruz, Napoli, Machado, Davis

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