Why Your Team Won’t Win The 2014 World Series: AL Edition
I don’t mean to rain on your champagne celebration. I hate to interrupt you in between Facebook posts about how the O’s/A’s/Angels/Tigers/Royals will “prove the haters” wrong while ordering a shirt proclaiming the lower level title they earned. We do have talk about why your team won’t win the World Series.
Sorry, maybe next year. It was a good run while it lasted.
Because Moneyball is a better movie than a strategy to win in the playoffs.
Do I need to say more than that? Fine.
The white elephants have gone from the best record in baseball at the All-Star break to barely — barely — avoiding a tiebreaker game. Anyone who has laid a parlay bet knows it is a longer odd scenario where Oakland has to win the last game of the season and then win a coin toss Wild Card game against the Royals, before finally getting some breathing space in a longer series against the division winners.
The long uphill battle will be done by a team beset by injuries. Josh Donaldson’s MVP bid was derailed by a nagging left knee injury. Brandon Moss has also been playing through pain. Moss’ hip is so bad, off-season surgery is already planned. John Jaso is out the rest of the season. Even for Oakland who is really great at having depth to rotate guys have shown they can’t win without these guys.
Because you don’t have an ace amongst the flock of birds and are missing Manny Machado, Matt Wieters and 2013 Chris Davis.
Despite locking up the division, Buck Showalter doesn’t know who his starters will be after Chris Tillman. Wei-Yin Chen may start Game Two… or he may not. Gausman may get a start or he may be in the bullpen. Can you imagine any other team not knowing at least their three main starters??
The underdog thing is really cute and all. The O’s finally win the AL East division for the first time since 1997, but let’s be honest, it was the weakest AL East in a long time. Their run differential would have been only good for third place out west.
Because not every starter can throw a complete game every playoff game.
There are bullpen concerns and then there is the pit of disaster that sits out in Comerica’s outfield that is the Tigers’ relief corps. Actually, calling them a relief corp is too nice. They are to pitching what gas cans are to firefighters.
Much like an old Little Ceasar’s pizza, the window of freshness is quickly closing on the Tigers. The talk of an untenable payroll and needing to win now for their pizza-empire-owning soon-to-pass owner will be a great burden. If they want to win now, they may need to do something with Kate Upton to bring Justin Verlander’s attention back to baseball and away from her gravity defying bosom.
Kansas City Royals
Because when getting to the playoffs for the first time in three decades creates that much excitement it is hard to muster much effort to win a Wild Card game, let alone a full Division Series.
Their back of the rotation will disappoint. The lack of a star will hurt. Good defense and solid pitching isn’t enough to overcome the good-not-great makeup of the KC Royals. Beyond James Shields you have the over-his-head Wade Davis and the I-can’t-believe-I found-a-team-who-wants-me Jason Vargas. Yordano Ventura is a rookie that has had too many shaky games and wild throws.
God have mercy on your souls if you need a fourth arm.
Los Angeles Angels
Because Mike Trout can’t play all nine positions.
David Freese has been meh. Josh Hamilton has been hurt and … been very Josh Hamilton when healthy. A strong staff will send the Angels back to heaven. Trout, C.J. Cron, Josh Hamilton, and Freese all have a whiff rate around 24%.
Staff ‘ace’ Garrett Richards was a surprise … and is now lost. That leaves Jered Weaver, who has been inconsistent at times. Hector Santiago and Matt Shoemaker don’t exactly ask for confiedence. That leaves C.J. Wilson, who has seen his ERA raised higher than an Inland Empire bro fan screaming from the upper deck.
My pick for the team that has the best chance to not lose: Detroit Tigers
Brian Reddoch is a CraveOnline reporter and rabid fan of all teams Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter @ReddReddoch or “like” CraveOnline Sportson Facebook.
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