Ready for some baseball….
We’ve had a dramatic 9th inning comeback, a Kershaw save and we are still only midway through October. That’s why we love October, particularly in a year where the last four teams have as close as an equal chance of winning as they do now. Let’s look at the remaining four teams and see who will be the last team standing.
Toronto Blue Jays: The American League favorite made short work of the Texas Rangers and if their fans are looking for reasons that they’ll have their first World Series Championship since 1993, they don’t have to look too hard. They finished 4th in homeruns this year and are in the top ten in runs right off the heels of a nearly 897 run 2015 season. They have the bats to carry them deep into the playoffs. Cleveland won 4 of the 7 games they played vs Toronto this year, but the Jays outscored the Indians 38-24 in those matchups, which bodes well for future performance. Marco Estrada will look to build off his 8.1 inning, 4 hit and one run appearance vs Texas.
Cleveland Indians: Proving people wrong is what we do. And we’re just getting started. Cleveland’s twitter handle sums up the city’s thoughts quite aptly. Is this the year for Cleveland? It very well may be. A city tormented for so long finally broke through in basketball and if they can follow it up with wins in the next two series they will have broken the curse for sure. Still, this is the hardest sell to make. Cleveland doesn’t boast the pedigree of the other contenders. They finished 7th in ERA, but the three teams left are above them in that metric. They finished 5th in runs scored and 10th in hits with their mishmash lineup. A win would be a true team effort.
Chicago Cubs: Don’t say it. Don’t say it because you’ll jinx it. A city riding a 108 year curse, a Steve Bartman incident and off the heels of a monumental collapse last year doesn’t want to hear they’re the odds on favorite to win the series. They don’t need to know that they topped 800 runs and have the best pitching in baseball by a comfortable margin. They don’t need you to mention that they were the only 100 win team this year or that John Lester has been brilliant lately and will continue that trend on better rest than the Kershaw-led Dodgers. They don’t want to hear it because it would make it that much more painful if this year wasn’t the year.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Kershaw magic. Is this his special month the way guys like Bumgarner have entered mystical status? Will Justin Turner – and advanced stats love him with his 30 Runs Above Average rating and 4.9 WAR – become a household name? He leads a Dodgers team that will have to be perfect to unseat the Cubs. The problem may rest on the fact that the Dodgers pulled out their magic a round too early and now enter a series against a superior team with their star pitcher having followed a 110 pitch performance with a 9th inning save. But, hey, it’s October. Let’s see what happens!