Let's start out in the American League. The A's travel to KC for the Wild Card game tomorrow. I am very torn from an emotional standpoint on how I would like this game to go. The A's were my 2nd favorite team growing up (a very distant 2nd) and I grew up in Nor Cal. The Royals are a great story with their 29 year playoff absence and I have a ton of friends at work who are big Royals fans. However, I am not going to pick on emotions, Lester will show that Billy Beane made a good pickup and advance the A's into the Division Series.
That will pit the A's vs. the Angels in the ALDS, what a great match up. Since moving down to So Cal, the Angels have been my distant 2nd favorite team so this is an interesting battle. The Angels seem to have put it together this year and with the Wild Card game moving back the A's top pitcher, I see the Angels having a pretty easy time with this series and winning in 5 or 6 games.
In the other half of the ALDS bracket there is a great match up between the Orioles and Tigers. I think the loss of Chris Davis will be too much for the Orioles to overcome and I have a feeling that Justin Verlander may be able to put it back together to contribute leading the Tigers to a win in 6 or 7.
The ALCS will end with the Tigers edging out the Angels for another trip to the World Series.
The National League Wild Card game on Wednesday pits my Giants versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. No emotional struggle here. My heart and mind say that Madison Bumgarner will continue his strong playoff pitching (and maybe drive in a run or two) and the Giants will prevail on the road.
The Giants would move on to face the Nationals in the NLDS. This is a tough match up for the Giants, the Nationals are playing well. However this is an even year and in a tough 7 game series the Giants will prevail, sending the Nationals home once again.
The other NLDS match up pits the Boys in Blue against the Cardinals. Two of my least favorite teams and we will see if the highest payroll in baseball can beat the team with the self proclaimed best baseball fans. As much as I hate to give credit, the Dodgers are playing pretty well and I see them ending the Cards season in 5-6 games.
Wow, could you imagine a playoff series with the Giants vs. the Dodgers to go to the World Series? I dare to dream, that would be awesome. The even year magic will outplay and outlast the highest payroll in baseball in a hard fought 6 game series, despite great pitching from the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw.
Before sharing my World Series winner (I am sure the suspense is killing you) I thought I needed to show a couple cards. The Giants farm team has been consistently rated low by all the experts but they wouldn't be in the playoffs without the contributions of several guys called up from the minors.
One of those guys is back up Catcher Andrew Susac, I was able to pick this Leaf Draft auto up of his for a very reasonable price. Not the greatest design ever but a solid looking card.
I was lucky enough to pick up this card right before he got called up. A nice die cut autographed card serial numbered 02/25 of starting second baseman Joe Panik. This is a sweet looking card of the man who came up and solidified a troubled position and ended up hitting in the number 2 whole and batting over 0.300 on the season. Very happy to have this in my collection.
In case you are wondering who I am going to pick to win it all, I will surprise you all and select the
***My disclaimer, if I was betting any cash on the playoffs, I would have the Nationals beating the Giants and going all the way to a World Series crown.