Lucas Giolito (178.2 IP - 4.0 fWAR, 3.79 FIP, 27.9 K%)
Framber Valdez (134.2 IP - 1.9 fWAR, 4.01 FIP, 21.9 K%)
The White Sox got sort of rocked yesterday, as the fastball-happy Astro lineup feasted on Lance Lynn. Meanwhile, the vaunted Chicago lineup never really got their groove going against a sharp Lance McCullers, Jr. With another game at home this afternoon, Houston has a huge chance to have Tony La Russa’s squad on the ropes ahead of the off-day.
Lucas Giolito would seem to have the edge in this pitching matchup, but the home lineup can’t be forgotten about. If they continue to score like they did yesterday, it will be hard for Chicago to stay in this thing. The South Siders need that celebrated offensive core to start clicking, quickly — before they run out of time completely.
BRAVES @ BREWERS - 3:37 pm CDT
Charlie Morton (185.2 IP - 4.6 fWAR, 3.17 FIP, 28.6 K%)
Corbin Burnes (167.0 IP - 7.5 fWAR, 1.63 FIP, 35.6 K%)
This is a rock-solid pitching matchup, which is to be expected when you pit any team that made the postseason against the Milwaukee Brewers, who have taken over the NL Central on the back of some expressly dominant pitching. The Beermen more or less cruised to their Central title; the Braves bided their time in the East until the dominos started falling in their direction.
Charlie Morton was fantastic this year. Corbin Burnes was significantly better. That’s not a knock on Morton; it’s a glowing endorsement of Burnes, most certainly my pick for the NL Cy Young Award. The 26-year-old righty had a mini-breakout during the shortened season, once the Brewers began letting him start. Now, he’s fully arrived, an All-Star with an ERA crown and numerous other league-leading accolades.
Since this is postseason baseball, he will give up 13 runs.
Who wins this NLDS?
This poll is closed
RED SOX (0) @ RAYS (1) - 6:02 pm CDT
Chris Sale (42.2 IP - 0.8 fWAR, 3.69 FIP, 28.4 K%)
Shane Baz (13.1 IP - 0.2 fWAR, 4.07 FIP, 36.7 K%)
Last night, Randy Arozarena became the first player to pull of a postseason straight steal of home since literally Jackie Robinson. It was an electric moment at Tropicana, where the league-best Rays knocked around the Red Sox for a comfortable 5-0 win, despite the Boston lineup earning three more hits on the evening.
I’m not very high on Boston this year — while they were better than the Blue Jays, Yankees, Mariners, and others during the regular season, they still haven’t convinced me that they’re a complete enough team with the ability to beat bigger fish like the Astros and Rays, who have demonstrated a consistency in roster construction that tends to show up in the playoffs.
This will be a fun matchup — Sale didn’t pitch much this year to due recovery, and Baz didn’t pitch much this year due to this literally being his fourth ever game in any major-league context.
DODGERS @ GIANTS - 8:37 pm CDT
Walker Buehler (207.2 IP - 5.5 fWAR, 3.15 FIP, 26.0 K%)
Logan Webb (148.1 IP - 4.1 fWAR, 2.72 FIP, 26.5 K%)
The first matchup of its kind in baseball history, fans of the west coast juggernauts will have a heck of a rivalry series on hand this week as the Dodgers and Giants finally square off in a playoff series. After recording a combined 211 wins in the last six months, Los Angeles needed to knock off St. Louis in a one-game playoff (and did just that, in dramatic, walk-off fashion.)
Walker Buehler seems to be the heir apparent to Clayton Kershaw, insofar as he’s a young, homegrown All-Star ace, and Kershaw has the potential to dip out in free agency, injuries and all that pending. (You could also make the argument for Julio Urias, the 20-game winner who fits the bill as a lefty, too. The fact that you could make multiple arguments for Clayton Kershaw-esque pitchers, on a team that also has Clayton Kershaw, is testament to just how damn good the Los Angeles Dodgers are.)
All season long, the Giants were underappreciated as a legitimate team, but wins will do the talking, and San Francisco decided they weren’t going to regress whatsoever, instead riding some career-best and comeback-happy seasons to break the Dodgers’ streak of NL West crowns. Will that success carry over into October?
A lot of it depends on Game One starter Logan Webb, the young righty who started putting it together in 2021 after an underwhelming, walk-happy start to his career. He limited hits, walks, and homers all season, ultimately running a 3.03 ERA after nearly 600 batters faced.
Who wins this NLDS?
This poll is closed
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Enjoy the games! It’s one of the best days of the baseball season — wall-to-wall Division Series matchups. Tune in if you can, and thanks for stopping by!