Riding The Ray of Hope or Tito’s Revenge?

The Rays won Game #163 with David Price on the mound, and ‘underrated’ Alex Cobb is set to take on the Cleveland Indians for the one game playoff. Cobb’s been awesome since pretty much June. In his one start against the Indians he shut them down. which was also way back in April.

The Indians are putting their hopes in the arm of Danny Salazar, with all of 10 career MLB starts. Salazar has never faced the Rays, or the Red Sox, or the Athletics. He faced the Tigers twice, and struck out 10 the first time and blanked them for 6 innings the second time.

My theme has been pitching, and it’ll be interesting to see if Danny Salazar can have the Non-Cueto type of outing. The bats behind him are impressive. There are 10 players with at least 10 home runs on the year. However, Nick Swisher is notoriously terrible in the postseason. Will he finally break his own curse?

The Rays are also battling their own curse, of sorts. They need to prove that this core of players can not only reach the World Series again, but win it.

So which way will this go?

I’m going with the Rays knocking off Tito’s Revenge. It might be a pitching duel, but the youth of the Indians will do them in, ultimately.  Nick Swisher will continue his tormenting postseason failures.

PIRATED PLAYOFFS or RED(s)emption?

The Reds are trying to get over the hump of being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.  The Pirates are just happy to be here and they may be good enough to run a bit of a stretch.

Which way will this go?

The Reds are throwing Johnny Cueto against the Pirates’ Francisco Liriano. Cuerto has made 2 starts in September against the lowly Astros and Mets. Liriano has had a resurgence in the NL despite an ERA nearly double from his first half to second half.

With the Reds’ hopes resting on the shoulders of Johnny Cueto and the Pirates riding high on their first playoff berth in 2 decades, I think the Pirates will handily defeat the Reds. It could be a blowout either way, but I’m leaning on the side of Pittsburgh.

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You have to like how my broad general prediction for the Rays scoring early and setting the pace worked out in my favor.  Also, Nelson Cruz’ 0fer didn’t help the Rangers at all.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME EXTRA BASEBALL?

Hell Yeah.

 
Who’s going to win tonight’s Game 163 – Texas Rangers or Tampa Bay Rays?
 
Martin Perez is going for the Rangers, and has faced the Rays once, tossing 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R. 
 
Meanwhile, David Price is 1-4 in 8 career starts against the Rangers with an ERA of nearly 6.00. He didn’t face the Rangers this season.
 
The Rays have a pretty good bullpen, but the Rangers ‘pen has 3 guys with sub-2.00 ERAs and the highest ERA of the ‘pen regulars is 3.03. 
 
I think pitching always wins, but there is another factor.
 
The Rangers activated Nelson Cruz, who hasn’t faced MLB pitching since August 4th when he was suspended for being a cheating bastard. He owns David Price, but I think if he’s in the starting lineup, he’ll be chewed up by Price due to the layoff. I think Martin Perez will get knocked around a bit, because he’s 22 years old, hasn’t pitched in a game like this, and youth rarely beats experience.
 
Between Perez and Cruz, I think the Rangers are overmatched.
 
So, I think the Rays win this because they have a capable bullpen(though not as good as the Rangers), and I think they score early to set the pace. 
 
Starting Cruz is a mistake.
 
Of course, when he hits 3 homers and smashes the Rays, you’ll all have to pretend I never posted this.
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Day 7 of #30daysofbiking #BIKENYC

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