After a thrilling end to the MLB season, the Mets, Giants, Orioles, and Blue Jays made their way into the playoffs. Two wild card games will be held to decide who will play the number 1 seed in their league: the Texas Rangers in the American League and the Chicago Cubs in the National League. After a tight race, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays tied with a record of 89-73. In the NL, the Mets and Giants have fought their way into the wild card spots. As we can tell from both of these teams performances at the end of this season, both of these games are going to be extremely close, and will most likely come down to the wire.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Prediction: Orioles win 5-1
The Baltimore Orioles have had an amazing season thus far, capped off by even better September. They fought their way back from an 82-71 record to 89-73 finish, earning a spot in the wild card in the process. The Orioles phenomenal offense includes the likes of Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo, who finished the season with the most home runs in the AL. Additionally, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Chris Davis have all helped lead this powerhouse of an offense into the playoffs. Chris Tillman will be pitching for the Orioles in the wild card game. Over the season he has had a 3.77 era with a record of 16-6. The Toronto Blue Jays will be pitching Marcus Stroman. In his last 7 starts, he has gone 0-5 with an ERA of 3.98. His ERA for the year was 4.13, and he has lost more games than he has won. Lately, he has not been very consistent. Tillman is a way more experienced pitcher than Stroman, whose only played for 3 seasons (MLB). Although the Blue Jay’s have a great offense consisting of Josh Donaldson, Jose Batista, Troy Tulowitzki, and Edwin Encarnacion, Tillman should be able to shut them down. Also, Baltimore has one of the best bullpens in the MLB with a combined ERA of 3.40, 3rd best in the entire league. The Toronto Blue Jays have one of the worst bullpen averages in the MLB, and won’t be able to shut down Baltimore’s core offense (ESPN). The Orioles should be able to slide past this game without an issue.
New York Mets vs. San Francisco Giants
Giants Win 3-2
The San Francisco Giants are one of the hottest teams in baseball, something they have been known to continue throughout the postseason. In their last 7 games, the Giants have gone 6-1 to fight their way into a Wild Card game against the Mets. They have been playing amazing with lights out pitching. The Giants have a great rotation including Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto. With Bumgardner starting in the wild card game, the Giants will look to set the pace, and feed off of his postseason prowess. Bumgarner’s stats for the playoffs is incredible. He has won 7 games and has only lost 3. His overall ERA for the playoffs is 2.14 which is incredible, especially considering the fact that he is only 27 years old. The Mets pitcher, Noah Syndergaard has also had a great season, but he doesn’t have a lot of experience in the postseason. He has only pitched 3 postseason games and he has lost one of them. He will not be able to shut down the Giant’s offense consisting of Buster Posey, Angel Pagan, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford. The Mets offense has not been as strong lately only with Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera as their leading players. They will also be shut down by Bumgarner due to astounding his pitching abilities in the playoffs. The San Francisco Giants do have a worse bullpen, but their bullpen has pitched a combined 478 innings. The Mets bullpen has pitched almost 50 more innings than that. San Francisco has thrown the most complete games (10) in the MLB doubling the 2nd place team. Madison Bumgarner has thrown 4 of the 10 complete games. This shows that the Giants won’t need as much help from their bullpen in the wild card game. Although this game will be close the Giants will end up taking the win.
These games will certainly be close, and very exciting. Watch the Orioles-Blue Jays game at 8:00 9/4 on TBS and watch the Giants-Mets game 8:00 9/5 on ESPN.