AL Wild Card Pick

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I'll take Keuchel.

Houston doesn't model well to win the whole thing; they're too reliant on home runs (which can disappear in October) and they don't have much of a pen (a deep pen and bats that make contact are the two factors you look for first when making a prediction).

But if you have to decide heads or tails in the coin flip game, I'll take the guy who was the AL's best pitcher this season who also pitched well against the Yankees.  He's on short rest and, given the state of the Astros pen, will be needed to go as deep as he can (if it becomes a battle of short relief, the Yanks have a strong advantage with Betances and Miller).

I'm rooting for Houston, they're Team Metric and I'd like to see them win the pennant.  Additionally, Correa/Altuve were both best in the AL at their positions this season (Houston has both the best pitcher and the two best position players in this game) and Springer is a fun young player; they would be enjoyable to watch make a run.  The Yanks best position player this year was McCann and he might sit given the platoon split.  Tanaka's only pitched once in the last two and a half weeks and it was five inning, four run outing.  There's some veteran fun in a Yankee run, with Ellsbury/Gardner/Beltran and should be inner circle Hall of Famer A-Rod in the lineup,

Houston was better than the Yankees during the regular season.

There's a real chance the winner here goes to the ALCS; the best team in the AL is clearly Toronto and the worst team to make the AL playoffs is Texas, but you can throw a sack over Astros/Yankees/Royals and were any of them to emerge on that side of the bracket it wouldn't really qualify as an upset.  New York has home field, they have a better back end of the pen - taking them is a defensible position (in one game, taking anyone is a defensible position, if New York wins 15-1 that's not startling, it's one game) but I'll go Keuchel and say Houston advances.

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