"The Stack" 10-3-19
The MLB Postseason gets going in earnest tonight with the NL Playoffs and tomorrow with the NL and AL Playoffs. Who will win the World Series? Hint: it's not the Baltimore Orioles or Detroit Tigers.
The Stack is back on this Thursday and the baseball playoffs continue in full today with the NL side starting. That and football talk so let’s get right to it and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Thursday, October 3rd:
The wild card “play-on” games as I have dubbed it (and others too) so the final eight is set. My goodness, these series should be a lot of fun. Let’s make some playoff predictions.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros (Game 1 Friday)
The Rays pitching is fantastic. He dominated the A’s in their wild card win on Wednesday (A’s losing in an elimination game…what else is new?) The Astros pitching is also good, especially their starting staff with Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. The Rays are solid across the board, but their bullpen is especially impressive. The Astros have a better batting lineup, but if the Rays pitching can shut them down, which isn’t inconceivable, the Rays will be going to the ALCS. Not a lot of runs will be scored in this series, just a guess.
Prediction: Astros in 4
Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees (Game 1 Friday)
It’s fitting that the two teams who finished 1-2 in the homerun race this year play each other in the playoffs. Be prepared for a lot of homeruns in this series. Which will mean more pitching changes and longer games. If this series doesn’t average over four hours a game I will be shocked. The Yankees aren’t dominant in the starting pitching rotation, but their bullpen is good. Same goes for the Twins though I may like their starting pitching rotation just a little bit more. This is about as even as it can go, but considering the Twins have lost 13 playoff games in a row, ten of them coming at the hands of the Yankees, I have to go with history.
Prediction: Yankees in 4
St. Louis Cardinals @ Atlanta Braves (Game 1 Thursday, 5:07 PM ET TBS)
This should be a fun series…teams that have both lost to the Minnesota Twins in the World Series. The Cardinals have been impressive, but this Braves team is legit. Ronald Acuna Jr. is fantastic and he’s not the only great Braves player. They can score plenty of runs. They’re the better team and though the Cardinals have the playoff pedigree, I will go with the more talented team.
Prediction: Braves in 4
Washington Nationals @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Game 1 Thursday 8:37 PM ET TBS)
The Nationals are lucky to be here after that error by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 8th inning to give them the 4-3 lead. But, here’s the thing. The Nationals have fantastic pitching. Yes, they had to use Max Scherzer and Stephen Strausberg in the wild card game 1, but they will be back in the series. Clayton Kershaw is the lead dog for the Dodgers, but the pressure always remains on him. They have Cody Bellinger though. Give me the Dodgers though I really hope the Nationals win.
Prediction: Dodgers in 3
I will take the Houston Astros over the New York Yankees in the ALCS and the Dodgers reluctantly over the Atlanta Braves. In a rematch of the World Series of a couple of years ago, it’s going to be the same old story for Dodgers fans. The Astros are just too good.
Predicted World Series champion: Houston Astros
The baseball playoffs should be fantastic. Enjoy it everyone.
College football weekend forecast
This week, we have three battles of ranked teams. #14 Iowa visits the Big House to take on #19 Michigan (Noon ET on FOX which I and millions of Dish and Sling customers don’t get!!). Can Michigan beat a ranked team or will it be another cold, dark night in Ann Arbor? I’m going to say Michigan survives, but it won’t be easy.
#7 Auburn goes to the swamps of Florida to Gainesville to take on #10 Florida (3:30 PM ET CBS). College Gameday is there. It’s going to be a hot battle, but I think Florida gets the better of the freshman quarterback and ultimately prevails.
Perhaps #25 Michigan State will bring the fire to Columbus to take on #4 Ohio State (7:30 PM ET ABC). Doubt it. They won’t score and Ohio State will…and plenty of it. The flood of points by Ohio State in this one will be too much for Michigan State to overcome.
Other than these three matchups, there is nothing that really screams out at you this week. #18 UCF maybe should be on upset alert at Cincinnati (Friday, 8 PM ET ESPN). We could see a couple of other upsets if either #21 Oklahoma State (@ Texas Tech, Noon ET FS1) or #11 Texas (@ West Virginia 3:30 PM ET ABC) go down, but I don’t see that happening. No, #3 Georgia isn’t going to lose at Tennessee, either (7 PM ET ESPN). Could #15 Washington (@ Stanford 10:30 PM ET ESPN) or #16 Boise State (@ UNLV 10:30 PM ET CBSSN) lose? Possibly. Crazy things happen in the Pac-12 after dark. I see no upset brewing though. No storming of the fields. Both ranked teams will win.
Hopefully we see something entertaining though. We should. College football is always good.
Enjoy the weekend!
2-1 Los Angeles Rams @ 2-1 Seattle Seahawks 8:20 PM ET FOX & NFL Network
A good NFC West battle on TNF tonight. Rams running back Todd Gurley has long hated Thursday football, but now he is upset with the lack of touches he is getting a game. Five carries last week against Tampa Bay? Some of that was due to the Rams being down 21-0, but there is clearly something wrong with Gurley and it is most likely his knee. I don’t think that either of these teams have been as good as their 2-1 record shows, but on a short week, I will take Russell Wilson and the Seahawks at home in Century Link Field.
Prediction: Seahawks 27 Rams 23
Coming up Friday: Week 5 NFL preview and predictions