AL & NL Championship Series
With two MLB playoff rounds completed, the Turtle Sports Lines are 8-4 on series winners! This week we have the American League and National League Championship Series. The AL is a showdown between the Rays and the Astros. The NL features the Dodgers and the Braves. The ALCS is a best of 7 series that will take place in San Diego, CA. The Rays get the last at bat in games 1, 2, 6, & 7. The Astros get games 3, 4, & 5. The NLCS will take place in Arlington, TX. The Dodgers get home field in games 1, 2, 6, & 7, while the Braves get 3, 4, & 5. All games are played on consecutive days.
Houston Astros vs. Tampa Bay Rays
We did not see the Astros playing as well as they have. They knocked off a solid Twins team in the 1st round and then followed up by beating a fan favorite Athletics team that seemed to have all the pieces and set a record with 12 HRs in the series. The Astros then tied that record in route to winning the series. This round they take on the Rays who finished 1st in the AL. The Rays got here by beating the Blue Jays in the 1st round, and then going 5 games with the Yankees. It can be said that the Yankees beat themselves by underachieving. Not just from a payroll standpoint, but looking at their lineup, it draws similarities to the '27 Murderers Row. Stanton, hitting 6 HRs, was really the only thing anyone will remember about the offense. As for the numbers, both offenses were very similar during the regular season. The Astros put up a .240 BA, scored 279 Runs, and hit 69 HRs. The Rays earned a .238 BA, scored 289 Runs, and hit 80 HRs. In the playoffs, the Astros have hit .281 with 13 HRs, and scored 40 Runs. The Rays hit .217 with 14 HRs, and scored 32 runs. We're going to call this a draw. On the other side of the ball, the Astros put up a 3.83 ERA giving up 23 Earned Runs with 12 HRs so far in the playoffs. The Rays are slightly better with a 3.63 ERA. They gave up 25 Earned Runs with 12 HRs. In the regular season, the Astros pitching put up a 4.31 ERA, gave up 251 Earned Runs with 70 HRs. The Rays had a 3.56 ERA with 209 Earned Runs and 70 HRs. With the numbers being so close, we have to look at potential. The Rays have the higher ceiling on both sides of the ball. Starting pitching is better. Bullpen is better. Big hitters are in an abundance. For these reasons, we're going with the Tampa Bay Rays to win this series.
Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
This will be a good series. Both teams finished the regular season 1 and 2 in Runs, HRs, RBIs, OPS, and SLG. Atlanta has the advantage in BA, but LA has the advantage in Ks. In the playoffs, both teams have 41 hits. LA was able to convert 30 runs compared to Atlanta's 24. The Braves have hit 7 HRs while the Dodgers have hit 2. From a pitching standpoint, the Braves have dominated the playoffs. They have a 0.92 ERA compared to the Dodgers 2.00 ERA. The Braves have given up 5 Earned Runs and 1 HR. The Dodgers have given up 10 Earned Runs and 3 HRs. Atlanta issued 9 free bags while LA gave up 14. Both teams racked up 59 Ks. In the regular season, LA had a better ERA, less Earned Runs, more Ks, and less free bags. The numbers being what they are, LA has a slight advantage in the series. But the Braves have the NL MVP front-runner. They also have thrown 4 shut outs in 5 playoff games. The Dodgers have a stacked team and are never out of the game. They also have the Kershaw Curse. We're riding with smart money and taking the Atlanta Braves to win this series.
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/ As always, please forgive any typos and grammatical errors