Every five to ten years, Major League Baseball surprises us by finding a way to make the game more interesting. This postseason is the first playoffs that begin with a one-game wild card in both leagues. Now, if MLB figures out how to rein in their umpires with expanded instant replay and with the elimination of subjective strike zones, then baseball would really be in a good place.
Nevertheless, here are my picks for the NL Wild Card and the AL Wild Card. I wanted to post these before the games started tonight.
National League Wild Card Game:
St. Louis Cardinals (88-74) at Atlanta Braves (94-68) -- 5 PM EST.
The pitching matchup is outstanding withof the Cardinals (16-3, 2.86 ERA) going up against Kris Medlen of the Braves (10-1, 1.57 ERA). The Braves have made this a real easy game to predict because they have won 23 straight times when Medlen has been the starter. The Cardinals have also made this a real easy game to predict due to the recent smack talk of P Adam Wainwright. Whenever a person talks smack before a game and has no input in how the game will play out, then that is a recipe for disaster.
American League Wild Card Game:
Baltimore Orioles (93-69) at Texas Rangers (93-69) -- 8:30 PM EST.
The pitching matchup is rather mind-boggling with the Rangers going with(16-9, 3.90 ERA) versus the Orioles' (9-13, 4.07 ERA). It's strange that Baltimore would choose a pitcher with a losing record in a winner-takes-all matchup, but the Orioles have been defying logic all season.
Plus, Texas just completed one of the biggest tank-jobs in MLB regular season history by losing the AL West Division on the last day after having a 13 game lead earlier in the season. Usually for the Rangers, the choking begins in the World Series, but this year, the gagging has started already.