Tag: NL Wild Card

MLB: NL Wild Card Preview; Colorado Rockies vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Colorado Rockies vs Arizona Diamondbacks: 8:10 P.M. 

These two NL teams make a return to the playoffs after years of missing out. Arizona last made it in 2011, while Colorado hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2009. Both of these teams are well deserving after having solid regular seasons, and both turning it around after a disappointing 2016 season in which both teams had high expectations. Now it comes down to one game for the right to play the Dodgers. These teams know each other pretty well after playing 19 times this season with Arizona having a slight edge with 11 wins. Anything can happen in one game, let’s look more into both teams.

Offensive slugging leads Arizona to Wild Card…

NL Wild Card GameArizona won 93 games this year, a huge turnaround from a year ago only winning 69. Unfortunately for Arizona, they play in the same division as the Dodgers who had an even bigger year, so Arizona had to settle for the wild card. Arizona showed they were all in by trading for outfield slugger J.D. Martinez from the Tigers. Martinez has been on an absolute tear since joining Arizona, so much so that his name is getting thrown around in the MVP discussion. Martinez adds a big power bat to an already stacked lineup. The core of the lineup is comprised of Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, and AJ Pollock. There’s no point in pitching around any of these guys because you’ll just have another tough out right behind him. Arizona has gotten great starting pitching this year, and they’ll go with their ace Zack Greinke in this game. Greinke led the way for Arizona with 17 wins and a 3.20 ERA. However, this will be no easy task against a stacked Colorado lineup.

Rockies Wild Card test…

NL Wild Card GameColorado ended up finishing six games back of Arizona to take the second wild-card spot. For most of the season, it looked as if it would come down to the wire between Colorado and Arizona for that top spot. However, the Rockies hit a rough patch some point in August and lost their step a bit. Meanwhile, Arizona was playing their best baseball of the season and ultimately ran away with the top wild-card spot. The Rockies have a pretty stacked lineup themselves. Leading off is the NL batting champion, Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon batted .331 this year and drove in 104 runs, the most ever for a leadoff man! Nolan Arenado has had a spectacular year and will get his first shot playing in the postseason. Arenado does it all, playing a stellar third base, and at the place where he finished two RBIs off the league lead. A couple other bats to watch for are Trevor Story, who is finally starting to heat up, and Ian Desmond who is finally healthy. Getting the ball on the mound will be Jon Gray. Pitching has been up and down for Colorado this season, and Gray will have to be able to at least match Zack Greinke.

The Pick…

I’m expecting an exciting game here. My biggest question will be can Jon Gray vs Zack Greinke. Even bigger than that, the question is can Colorado overcome a subpar last month or so and put it all together for one game. I think the core of the Arizona lineup is too hot right now, and I expect Greinke to show up in a big way. I’m going with Arizona over Colorado 5-2.

Sports News: MLB Wild Card Race, NHL Signings & Danis Zaripov, Spit balls of the week!

It’s that time of the week, school is starting soon, NFL season is officially here, the MLB wild card race is heating and the NHL is now a month away. It is Spitballs of the week time! Catch up on the latest news surrounding the NHL and MLB. Some of my own takes and some stuff to watch out for in the coming months!

MLB: The AL Wild Card race is probably the more interesting of the two, the Yankees have now dropped six of their last 10, the Twins are one game out and the Indians are on a nine-game winning streak. There’s not much to look into here the Yankees are slowly losing grips of the Wild Card, Baltimore is only a game and half back and the Yankees continue to be inconsistent. Also, the Yankees face off against the Orioles two more times before the year ends and the Twins one more time(Watch OUT!). The Orioles are 8-2 in their last ten and face off against Toronto, Cleveland, Yankees, Toronto for the next upcoming series. The Twins have been able to hold their own and see some success in big moments, the Twins play Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Toronto in the next upcoming series. As for the Twins, they have an “easier” half of the schedule compared to the other wild card teams.

The NL, of course, the Nationals and Dodgers have control over their divisions, the Cubs will more than likely win the NL Central and as far as Wild Card goes the Diamondbacks and Rockies will be the two teams in those last two spots. The Rockies have been on/off lately but the Cardinals and Brewers do not scare me too much for the Rockies sake. The Diamondbacks are 9-1 in their last ten and play San Diego, Dodgers, and the Rockies in the upcoming series. The Brewers are 1.5 games back from the Rockies and after Washington, they face off against the Reds, Cubs, Pirates, and Marlins, scheduling may favor Milwaukee, here do not sleep on them!

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Oh, Clayton Kershaw is back, after returning from the DL after a month, he shut down the Padres for 6 innings allowing no runs, 7 strikeouts and two hits. That’ll be fun come playoff time to face off against the Dodgers pitching rotation and bullpen. Nothing new Kershaw and the Dodgers just continue to dominate MLB teams and the league as a whole right now. The Dodgers have 92 wins with still a month of baseball to be played. 

Justin Verlander was sent to Houston recently, many thought Verlander was going to stay and Houston messed up by not going out to get a pitcher at the deadline. Well, those critics can be silenced now, as Houston now has a former Cy Young winner and a pitcher with 16 starts in the postseason and 380 in the regular season. Can’t hurt as the Astros were deemed for not making a move, acquiring Verlander is a big addition the Astros rotation.

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NHL: The KHL forward who was suspended from the KHL for doping is making his way over to the NHL now and a few teams have expressed interest in him. Danis Zaripov is a 36-year-old forward from the KHL, he’s played nine seasons in the KHL and has produced, 453 points and 199 goals. Two teams that have publicly expressed interest in Zaripov is Pittsburgh and the Rangers. It’s said that Malkin expressed interest in playing on the same line with Zaripov, a guy who just won the Russian most valuable player award will more than likely get another Russian forward to join him unless the Rangers offer Zaripov more money.

The Blue Jackets have locked up forward Alexander Wennberg for 6-years at $4.9 mil a year. The 22-year-old forward has shown major strides of progression in the Blue Jackets organization now, and anytime a player goes from 40 to 59 points in one season, it deserves a little looking into. Wennberg is a big, strong forward who will be a top three player on the Blue Jackets for years to come. The six years is absolutely crucial to Columbus because now he’s locked in and will be a huge drawing asset for other players looking to come to Columbus in the future.

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Thomas Vanek is back on another team for another season! The 33-year-old forward has signed a 1-year deal for $2 million with Vancouver. Vanek has played on six NHL teams and five different ones in the past four seasons. Vancouver will be Vanek’s seventh NHL club and sixth team in five seasons. Vanek scored 48 points and 16 goals with the Red Wings/Panthers last season. Vanek has struggled to stay healthy and remain consistent in line ups but at $2 million for a team like Vancouver will not hurt at all. Vanek can now play along with the Sedin brothers who may help resurge the talented goal scorers ability and get him some confidence back. Vanek is capable of being a 50-60 point player when he’s healthy, barring injuries and Vanek plays a full season, paired with the Sedin brothers would not hurt the once 40 goal scorers year.

Spitballs: Yankees, Twins take last two wild card spots, Dodgers win 115 games and probably the world series(I don’t care, they’re too good), Red Sox’s bunt again to annoy Yankee pitchers, Zaripov goes to Pittsburgh, Vanek scores 30 goals next season, Wennberg tallies 65 points next season.

Be on the look out later today for some introduction to the NFL season article!!

 

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