MLB Postseason Preview: AL Wild Card

Chris Moore| BKD TV Insiders

As the calender flips to October that means one thing, Postseason baseball is upon us. The crew here at BKD TV has made their pick for tonights one game playoff between The Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals.

29 years. That’s how long it has been since Kansas City has seen an MLB Postseason game. Tonight that will change as the Oakland Athletics come to Kansas City for the one game American League Wildcard game. One thing is for sure in tonight’s game; it will be loud. Both teams are sending their ace to the bump to try and push them into ALDS against the Angels.
For Oakland, it’s Jon Lester. Remember back in July when Oakland traded for him and gave up Cespedes and everyone, including me, thought Oakland had just become a super team with a super rotation? Well, Oakland went on a slide that they have not been able to stop since that trade. Many people think if the A’s don’t at least win tonight that Billy Beane’s job could be lost considering they had the best record in baseball before the trade. But in Oakland they are all preaching the same thing; it’s a whole new ball game. They are correct. The playoffs are a completely different animal than the regular season and the A’s are built for a short series. Don’t forget, Jon Lester’s postseason ERA is 2.11 which is third best all-time! But this is less than a short series, it’s one game and anything can happen.
As for the Royals, they send Big Game James Shields to the mound. This another guy that was acquired in a big deal. The Royals gave up prospects including the big prize Wil Myers for James Shields. This game is exactly why the Royals made the trade. They have a front line ace who has pitched in many games, including the ’08 World Series for the Rays. On offense Kansas City doesn’t blow you away, but they have some pop in the bats of Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler and speed with Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon. Also, they are one of the best defensive teams in baseball.
The common denominator between the clubs is the bullpen. Whoever is winning after six will probably have this game in hand with the bullpens these clubs have. It may come down to which manager uses his bullpen the best. So who wins? The experienced Oakland A’s who have been to the playoffs for the past two years? Or the young, up and coming Royals behind the rowdy crowd in Kansas City that set a decibel level record in the football game just last night. It’s a game of pitchers in the playoffs and tonight is going to be a heck of a match up between the two. I’ll put my money on the guy with one of the best postseason ERA’s of all-time with Jon Lester and the Oakland A’s in a 3-1 win.
Picks For AL Wildcard:
Byron K. Dixon- Kansas City Royals
Chris Moore- Oakland Athletics
Darrien Coleman- Kansas City Royals
Demarus Dye- Kansas City Royals
Tomorrow I will be back with my preview for the NL Wildcard game between The San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates.
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