WILDCARD ROUND PREDICTIONS
American League Wildcard:
Oakland Athletics @ New York Yankees
(Wednesday, October 3rd, 8:00 p.m. EST, TBS, Yankee Stadium)
Two of the American League’s best teams will clash in a win or go home battle in the Bronx. The New York Yankees reached 100 wins and are playing in the Wildcard due to the unbelievable season by the Boston Red Sox. The same can be said for the Oakland Athletics, a 97 win club that is playing in this game due to the Houston Astros incredible season. Nonetheless, this matchup will be a fun one and certainly looks to be an exciting game to watch.
The Yankees will look to surge early against the Athletics, who look to be bullpenning this one. The Athletics will attempt to get started early as well, but the Yankees starting pitcher for the game may impose a block on that plan. New York has a decent advantage in terms of offensive production lineup-wise, but Oakland isn’t to be taken lightly. Khris Davis is one of the most powerful hitters in baseball and he leads the Athletics solid offense. Both clubs have incredible bullpens and there’s no clear advantage to either one if the game were to come down to it.
The advantage that pushes me to pick the New York Yankees is the Yankee Stadium advantage. The Bronx Bombers are one of the most beloved franchises in all of sports and you’d best believe that Yankee Stadium will be sold out and rocking on Wednesday night. The Yankees will get out to an early start behind home runs from Luke Voit and Gary Sánchez, while the Athletics will respond with a Khris Davis bomb. The Yankees will continue to produce throughout the game, resulting in a 6-2 victory and sending them to a ALDS matchup with a familiar foe in the Red Sox.
The New York Yankees defeat the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wildcard, 6-2.
National League Wildcard:
Colorado Rockies @ Chicago Cubs
(Tuesday, October 2nd, 8:00 p.m. EST, ESPN, Wrigley Field)
The first intriguing wildcard matchup will ensue on Tuesday evening at Wrigley Field. The Chicago Cubs lost the division tiebreaker game to the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-1, and that has put them in this situation. The Colorado Rockies lost the division tiebreaker game to the Los Angeles Dodgers, which sent them packing for Wrigley.
Both teams are extremely talented and have well-rounded lineups with talented hitting across the board. Wrigley Field will be a major advantage for the Cubs in this game, having the support of one of the most avid fan bases in baseball history. The Rockies are putting left hander Kyle Freeland on the mound, whose terrific season I discussed earlier. The Cubs will trot out veteran lefty Jon Lester, who’s been in many postseason games before.
Experience will be a major factor in this one, and the Cubs just have way more of it. Lester and Freeland will duel, but the Cubs will take the reins once the Rockies hand it off to the bullpen.
The Chicago Cubs defeat the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wildcard, 4-2.