AL Division Series Preview
By: David Troy @FuturePrez2024
Oakland vs. Houston
We’ve cut the field in half with Oakland beating the young, hot-hitting White Sox, and the Houston Astros beating the Twins without the aid of any trash cans. Though, you could describe the entire effort of the past 18 playoff Twins games as trash. In any case, let’s preview what to expect from this series.
Houston and Oakland met 10 times in the regular season with Oakland taking 7 out of the 10 games. This provides some historical data for bettors that we did not have during the majority of the Wild Card Round Series. Most team batting statistics are pretty close for both teams with a slightly better OPS for Oakland and better batting average for Houston. Pitching edge probably leans towards Oakland – but with the usage they had on their bullpen and even starters in the three-game set with Chicago, Houston may be set up better for the beginning of the series.
Another angle is the over/under. This year the under has been a winner 7 out of 10 times for the bettor, with one of those games going over in a seven-inning shortened game. No more than 9 runs have been scored in any game between the two this year. In games at Dodgers Stadium, where the ball doesn’t tend to carry as well at night, I’m personally looking for unders and team totals that I can take advantage of.
I’m not betting on the series winner, but I think the Astros will likely take this in four games.
New York vs. Tampa Bay
Many could consider this one a hitting team (NYY) vs a great pitching team (TB). New York proved quickly in two games that it can handle postseason pitching, even though Bieber had his worst start of the year and Carrasco wasn’t much better in his three innings of work. Tampa blitzed the Toronto pitching, and easily cruised to victory in their two games.
Just like in our other series, Tampa has won 7 out of 10 games against New York this year. Over/Under was 5-5 during the matchups with two overs hitting during the double header shortened games. Tampa has been pretty successful against Cole – winning 2 of 3 games he started against them this season. In a series where Cole may be pitching twice, the Rays have a solid chance to take one of those games.
I like the Rays in this series. Glassnow, Snell, and Morton have done pretty well against the Yankees this year, and the Rays are a scrappy hitting team. If they can avoid giving up home runs (an obvious but important statement) they should be able to win close games. Considering these games are in Petco, a pitcher friendly park, the edge has to go to Tampa.
This definitely could go the distance so I’m looking more to matchups and playing game by game. But, at plus money, I may take the Rays to win the series as well.
Who ya got for these AL matchups?
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