Chris Moore| BKD TV Insiders
The Royals hadn’t been to the postseason in 29 years. Well 29 years worth of magic came to life in the Royals come from behind win against Oakland in the Wildcard game. They may need more than magic to beat the 98 win Angels with the best record in baseball. The teams split the season series 3-3 this season and we may see another five games before this series is decided.
The lone question for the Angels is starting pitching. We know they get hit with Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Kole Calhoun, and Josh Hamilton. Also, we know the back end of the pen has been solidified with the addition of Huston Street at the deadline. So the starting pitching is the concern. After Garret Richards went down, Matt Shoemaker emerged as the ace of the staff until he got hurt with an oblique injury. Shoemaker did throw a bullpen session Tuesday and says he has no doubt he’ll pitch in the ALDS. Likely as the game three starter. Jered Weaver is the game one starter in Los Angeles. The veteran comes at you with no choice but to be crafty considering his fastball velocity does not reach 90 mph. He finished the year with an 18-9 record and 3.59 ERA. After that CJ Wilson gets the call as he brings his postseason experience from Texas to LA. He struggled this year going 13-10 with a 4.51 ERA and Los Angeles will need improvement in order to advance. Offensively, the Angels lead the league in runs scored and are tied fourth in home-runs. It’s not a fun offense to pitch to.
The Kansas Royals are the other side of this are maybe the most fun team to watch in the postseason. They lead the American League in stolen bases by far with 153. They put that on display stealing seven in the Wildcard game. You can bet that the Angels took note of that and will start the catcher that they think will throw out the most runners. The Royals don’t have a lot of power and while home-runs are often at a premium in October, you would like someone who his a legitimate threat to hit the ball out of the ballpark every at bat. Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, and Billy Butler can hit home-runs but they will not be able to put as much fear in a pitchers heart as if they were Pujols or Trout. The Royals pitching is young and very good. James Shields is the veteran and although he just pitched the wildcard game, he was pulled after five innings and could start game two. Jason Vargas gets the ball in game one with an 11-10 record and a 3.71 ERA over Danny Duffy who has been great this year with a 2.53 ERA despite his 9-12 record.
This series promises to be good with two opposite teams going at it. One relies on its ability to score runs in many ways while the other uses pitching, defense, and team speed. I think the Angels pure talent and guys with experience will push them through a very good series. Angels in five.
Byron K. Dixon- Angels
Chris Moore- Angels
Demarus Dye- Angels
Darrien Coleman- Angels