ALCS Preview

The 2015 Postseason which has been the best top to bottom in years heads to the League Championship Series. Tomorrow I will preview the NLCS.

Toronto Blue Jays vs Kansas City Royals Fox/FS1

The Toronto Blue Jays are coming off one of the craziest 7th innings to decide a game ever. I wrote enough about that in my last blog. For the Blue Jays, they are probably from April to October, have the best offense and power as ranked #1 during the season at 5.49 per game.

2015 MLB Runs per game

As we saw on many occasions with the ALDS, they are always in the game with that offense. Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jose Bautista is as formidable as any team left.

Pitching wise, while David Price did not have as good of a game in the start he had, I think at times his trade in July overshadows the fact that Marco Estrada, RA Dickey, and Marcus Stroman have been effective as well.

marcus-stroman-josh-hamilton-mlb-alds-texas-rangers-toronto-blue-jays1-850x560

The Blue Jays will win if: Josh Donaldson proves again why he is in the running for AL MVP, David Price pitches like he did during the 2nd half of the season, and the Blue Jays offense top to bottom get in a hitting zone.

The Blue Jays will lose if: The score stays low due to good pitching from the Royals, the hitters stop hitting, and they can’t emotionally move past their crazy come from behind ALDS game 5.

Can you believe that if anyone told you in 2013 that the Kansas City Royals would be the big team at the top of the AL defending its turf, I am sure many would laugh. In game 4 of the ALDS, I think Kansas City proved itself that they are good, 2014 was no fluke, and they will be a tough out because they do not quit. While many will argue the decisions of its manager Ned Yost at times, this team has a balanced attack. Oh and Monday during their comeback 8th inning they did it without hitting a home run.

That’s not to say that they can’t. Eric Hosmer can be as clutch as the best of them with his insurance HR in the 9th inning of the game 4 ALDS.

hoz

Their balance attack of speed and power also includes Ben Zobrist, Alex Gordan, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Jarrod Dyson to name a few.

And let’s not forget a veteran like Kendrys Morales. You could tell the ALDS Game 5 was over once he hit that HR.

The Royals will win this series if: Their balance attack keeps hitting, they don’t get into a slugfest, and Johnny Cueto and the Royals pitching staff can limit how many times the ball does not leave the ballpark.

The Royals will lose this series if: They simply try to outslug Toronto. While Kansas City can hit home runs, they are better suited at playing small ball. Also the Royals bullpen has to step up and play better than it played at times during the 2nd half of the season.

Verdict: If you thought the Rangers-Blue Jays series was intense, you have not seen anything yet. Much will be said of the NLCS series due to the Chicago Cubs (rightfully so), however this series has all the makings of being epic and a classic. Look at what happened in a regular season game August 2nd:

 

 

The Royals claim they will not shy away from pitching inside, and the Blue Jays as seen on Wednesday will let them know they do not like it. While I will never advocate for benches to clear especially in the playoffs, it will not be surprising if it happens a few times in this series.

For me, this series has to go 7 games. It was exactly 30 years ago in 1985 these teams both met for a trip to the World Series, and this could be another major chapter in both teams playoff history. Still, I slightly like the Toronto Blue Jays offense a little bit more than the Kansas City pitching. I think that will be the difference since Toronto is never completely out of a game.

Blue Jays in 7.

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