American League Playoff Preview

The Playoff field is set for the MLB post-season and the American League new faces and some old ones from the past few years. Before the division series can officially start though there is the wild card game to be played.

Wild Card Round:

Houston Astros v. New York Yankees: The wild card game will be taking place at Yankee Stadium with the Yankees once again hosting a post season game of some sort. This is the Yankees 12th appearance in the postseason since the 2000 season and we all know the franchises history and success. The Astros on the other hand will be making their 10th appearance in franchise history and 1st appearance in the American League. It is a battle of young v. old.

These two teams have had very different seasons but came in with similar expectations from the experts. No one thought either would be in the playoffs this year. The Yankees were thought to be to old and the Astros were still considered in a rebuilding phase. In the end I think the youth movement in Houston wins the Wild card game and moves on. 

Dallas Keuchel is pitching on three days rest and is the potential Cy Young winner in the AL. He is a tough lefty with a 2.48 ERA. He is opposing Masahiro Tanaka who at times this year has looked both untouchable and a No. 5 started at best. I think the Astros come out with energy and take to the Yankees to move on to face the K.C. Royals.

Astros over Yankees (4-1)

Divisional Series:

Blue Jays V. Rangers

This divisional round matchup offers something every one loves. Top pitching but also hitting featuring the No.1 and No.3 offenses in the AL. It will be interesting to see how this series ends up since both teams made trades at the deadline to push them into the playoffs.

I believe that the Blue Jays will end up winning the Series in 4 games. The offense is just to good with Tulowitzki, Batista, Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson leading the way and having David Price starting at least two of those games. 

The Rangers will put up a fight with Hamels leading the pitching staff and Fielder leading the offense. If anything I'm sure we can all agree though that Adrian Beltre needs to hit a home run at least in one of the games to have his teammates try to touch his head. If you don't know what I mean by that check out this clip:

Blue Jays over Rangers in 4

Astros V. Royals: The other division series I believe will be the wild card Astros against the Royals. In this series I expect it to be all strategic baseball with pitching and small ball dominating. While both teams certainly have the offensive capabilities to put up large numbers, they also ranked in the top 10 for pitching.

I also think the series will go all 5 games and the Royals will advance to the AL championship for the second year in a row to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. If the Yankees do go on to face the Royals I still believe Kansas City will come out on top in 5 games. The Yankees pitching will ultimately be their downfall and now with news of C.C. Sabathia entering rehab for alcohol addiction it's just another blow to an already fragile rotation.

Royals over Astros/Yankees in 5 games

AL Championship: 

Blue Jays v. Royals

The A.L. Championship series should be a good one with the top two teams in the A.L. going at it. These teams battled in the final weeks of the season to claim home field advantage throughout the postseason and the Royals got it on the last day of the regular season. Now its time to see if it pays off.

The Blue Jays will be bringing the bats with them in this series and it will be up to another trade deadline acquisition to try and slow them down in Johnny Cueto. I expect him to lead the charge and wiggle through this high powered offense and show his worth before reaching the open market this upcoming offseason. It is after Cueto that this could get iffy for the Royals. They again have a dominating bullpen so if they can get to them with the lead the Royals can win this series.

I just don't think it will be enough. The Blue Jays are going to the World Series and representing the A.L. on offense alone. They have David Price, Mark Buehrle and Marco Estrada to lead the rotation, but we all know this teams goes with the bats. I mean Jose Bautista's nickname is "Joey Bats" if that doesn't show how dominating this offense can be just think about this since Tulowitzki was traded to Toronto on July 28 they have gone 43-18. That is absurd and the reason I am picking them to win this series and represent the A.L.

Blue Jays over Royals in 5 games

That's just my stance. Let me know who you think comes out of the A.L. and represents them in the World Series.

Stay tuned for the N.L. preview tomorrow.