Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cardinals advance; Detroit and Oakland ready for Game 5

The St. Louis Cardinals have reached the National League Championship Series for the third straight season after taking out NL Central rival Pittsburgh. The Redbirds are set to take on the NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers beginning Friday, Oct. 11 in St. Louis.

While the National League participants have been determined, a Game 5 tilt between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics is set for Thursday night with the winner gaining the right to face the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.

Pittsburgh Pirates (1) at St. Louis Cardinals (6) – Cardinals win series 3-2 
  • Adam Wainwright tossed a complete game for his second win of the series.
  • Wainwright allowed two runs in 16 total innings for the series with 15 strikeouts.
  • Gerrit Cole went five innings allowing two runs on just three hits for the Pirates.
  • The Cardinals hit just .209 for the series, but launched six homers as a team.
  • The Pirates slashed .201/.269/.312 over the five games.
  • Andrew McCutchen did not have a RBI during the series – Gerrit Cole did.
  • Matt Carpenter is in a bit of a slump – the MVP candidate went 1-for-19 in the series with six strikeouts.
Tonight: Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics - Series tied 2-2

Detroit – Justin Verlander (Game 2 – ND, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 11 K)
Oakland – Sonny Gray (Game 2 – ND, 8 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 0 R, 9 K)

I picked the Tigers to win the series (albeit in four games) and will stick with the prediction. I like the A’s choice of Gray for the start over Bartolo Colon, as he was able to go toe-to-toe with Verlander in Game 2. It won’t be easy for the Tigers with the A’s getting last licks and having demonstrated a propensity for walkoff wins. However, I see the pitching matchup resembling that of yesterday’s between Wainwright and Cole – Verlander’s experience adding up to just a bit more than Gray’s upside.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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