If you are like me, you had a hard time watching and enjoying the postseason the last two years. That was because the Reds were painfully eliminated early in both seasons. This year, we obviously don’t have to worry about that. Our time of mourning for the 2014 season has come and gone. For those who are fans of baseball outside of the Reds, we can just sit back and enjoy this years postseason. Here is a quick preview of this years MLB Postseason, and predictions from the Redleg Nation crew.

AL Wild Card Game: A’s at Royals

The first game of the 2014 MLB postseason should be a great one. You have the Royals making their first trip to the postseason since 1985! Just think about that, that is nearly double the wait that the Reds had between postseason appearances in 1995 and 2010. On the other hand, you have the successful small-market A’s. They were pretty much the consensus best team in baseball in the first half, but fell apart in the second half, and just barely secured the second wild card spot.

The pitching matchup in the game is terrific: John Lester (2.46 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 6.1 WAR) vs James Sheilds (3.21 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 3.7 WAR). These are the two pitchers that both the A’s and Royals had to sell their souls to get via trade.

But there are truly only two words that matter in this game: ADAM. DUNN. Our old pal, Big Donkey, will be playing in his first postseason game after playing in 2,001 career games. Dunn already said he will likely retire after the season, so this is it for him. Chad Dotson wrote a great piece about Dunn here on RN last week, and how under-appreciated he was in Cincinnati.

AL WC

NL Wild Card Game: Giants at Pirates

Edinson Volquez will be pitching in an elimination postseason game. Yes, you read that right. As you see below, none of us here at RN believe that Volquez and his 4.15 FIP will be able to get past Madison Bumgarner and the Giants.

I’m not trying to make anyone close their browser and bash their computer, but this a matchup of the two teams who eliminated the Reds the last two seasons. Yeah, that’s not cool. Can we root against both teams?

NL WC

ALDS: Tigers vs Orioles

The Orioles are just one of those teams who defies logic. Their starting pitching isn’t great. Their lineup isn’t full of superstars. Yet, here they are hosting a division series.

It is hard to feel like a team who won 90 games underachieved, but the Tigers are just that. Still, it is going to be very difficult for the Orioles to get past Max Scherzer, David Price, Miguel Cabrera, and Victor Martinez.

Tigers O's

ALDS: A’s/Royals vs Angels

Mike Trout will finally get a chance to play in a postseason. Mike Trout will FINALLY get a chance to play in the postseason! If for some reason you have lived under a rock for the last three years, Mike Trout has accumulated a 28.4 WAR since 2012 (the next closest in the MLB since 2012 is Andrew McCutchen at 21.8).

The Angels starting pitching rotation is a bit shaky for a team with the best record in baseball in 2014, but Mike Trout. Mike Trout. Mike Trout.

Angels WC

NLDS: Cardinals vs Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw vs Adam Wainwright in Game 1 on Friday is exactly what postseason baseball is all about. This series is a rematch of the terrific 2013 NLCS, which the Cardinals won in 6 games. It is a bit of a shame that this series is only a 5-game series, but this is probably the one I am most excited about. And don’t worry Nation, none of our writers are picking that team from St. Louis.

Dodgers Cards

NLDS: Giants/Pirates vs Nationals

On June 1st, the Nationals were 27-28, and 3.5 games back in the NL East. The Nationals finished the season with the best record in the NL (96-66), and won the NL East by 17 (!) games. The Nationals pitching rotation is absolutely stacked: Strasburg (2.94 FIP), Zimmerman (2.68 FIP), Gonzalez (3.03 FIP), Fister (3.93 FIP), and Roark (3.47 FIP). The Nationals will a have a tough decision on who to leave out of the rotation. The Nats will be very tough in the postseason.

Nats WC

Predictions for the rest of the Postseason

Rest of the way

28 Responses

  1. zaglamir

    I can’t believe none of you took the Nationals all the way. You guys be crazy. Looking forward to some playoff baseball. Hope you guys enjoy as well!

  2. redsfan06

    Maybe it’s the 1970’s Reds fan in me, but the two teams I cannot bring myself to root for are the A’s and the Dodgers. Hope Dunn hits a homerun and the A’s get eliminated.

  3. Earl Nash

    If you look at the stat lines of all the playoff clubs, they look like lines from the early 80s as the offense is so way down. I think the whole thing is really wide open this year. Nats look the best on paper in the NL. I don’t think any of the AL clubs look like earth shakers, as they have flaws. Angels got a lineup but their starters get shaky after Weaver to me. LA has a heck of top of the rotation, but I could see their infield defense being a problem and their hitting is pretty streaky.

  4. aktrainer

    Can’t believe that Royals/A’s game! Disappointed that Dunn didn’t get to play on into the playoffs, but what a great thing for the Royals. So far, the writers’ predictions aren’t looking too good!

    • Greg Dafler

      Yes, I”m also disappointed that Dunn didn’t even get an at-bat. His first career playoff game, and he doesn’t even make an appearance. He confirmed after the game that he is retiring.

    • lwblogger2

      That was a phenomenal game! I was going to go to bed early last night and wound up getting sucked in. I would have been good with either team winning, although I was pulling for the Royals a little more due to family in KC.

      One negative comment… I love Ripken, but the analysis coming out of that booth last night was awful.

  5. The Next Janish

    I think tonight’s Royals is what Price was thinking about when he said he wanted the team aggressive on the base path. Maybe they can hire the Royals third base coach.

    • C-bus Chris 14

      Well, KC now as half as many post-season wins as the Reds do since 1996. Hard to believe our “run of success” with this core group netted us two playoff game wins in three trips from 2010-2014 with a 2-7 postseason record during that span. What a waste. And now KC is 1-0 after a 27-year post-season drought. And we have the memories of the Phillie embarrassment, the SF choke, and the Pittsburgh massacre. And now no hopes of future post-seasons even remotely in sight. Thanks Bob. Thanks Walt. Thanks Dusty. Few in baseball have ever accomplished so little with so much talent and so much opportunity. It’s really hard to do. But sitting in your office for two years doing nothing but signing bad contracts can make that happen, right Walt? It’s very hard to make three trips to the playoffs feel that unsatifying, but you collectively bucked the odds.

      • Drew

        How do you not see playoffs in the future? We have a very good SP rotation, it’s not hard to beef up a bullpen. We have really good core talent at C, 1st, 3rd, CF and RF. I think with Pena and Negron we have 2 quality Bench guys. In the bullpen we have Chapman and Jumbo and Sam so we need to just add a couple arms there. To say this franchise has no hope is laughable.

      • jessecuster44

        Unless this organization changes its fundamental approach to hitting, bullpen management, accountability, and player health, there won’t be playoffs in Cincy anytime soon. The team is an utter train wreck.

  6. Steve Mancuso

    Did anyone get the Royals win right last night?

    • Kyle Farmer

      That made me laugh! Good call on that one Steve!

    • lwblogger2

      Good call! I had the A’s and was figuring a final score of less than 6 combined runs. I thought 3-2 would have been an offensive outburst. When Moss hit his 2nd HR, I thought “Game over man. Game over!”

      I have O’s going all the way. Of course that’s a vote with my heart and not really my head. The Tigers are better.

  7. Kyle Farmer

    What an amazing game last night! I always forget how late the playoff games end. I’m a zombie for a month.

    Rooting for the Giants to oust McCryBaby and the Pirates in a big way tonight!

  8. Drew

    Can someone explain to me how a team with the fewest HR’s hit in a season and fewest walks in a season are where they are right now? How are the Royals doing it as we know walks are important and you need “some” power….right?

    • lwblogger2

      Must be pitching and defense and some luck. For the most part, they aren’t great at scoring runs. As you said, they don’t walk much. In fact, they have the fewest walks and HR in the AL. Their OBP is 13th in the AL. Their offense clearly isn’t what has gotten them this far because they are also 13th in the AL in runs scored.

    • lwblogger2

      Uh oh, I blew it… I pulled the wrong stats!!

      Royals are 10th in OBP and 9th in runs scored.

  9. cfd3000

    Couldn’t watch the game last night and seeing how it played out I’m pretty bummed. Looks like an epic game. And a big hats off to the Big Donkey. So stupid that Dunn didn’t even get one at bat. But I hear he did save a kid in the stands who was choking on a hot dog so he’s got that going for him. So long, Moonlight Dunn. Thanks for letting us tag along.

  10. Doctor

    Regarding Dodgers/St Louis, like stated above by RF06, not concievable to root for Dodgers ever. having said that, I hope it goes 5 games each game going 18 innings and blow out the pitching staffs. 🙂

    I am finding it hard to root for Pirates because of Hurdle “pontificating” about HBP when his staff has lead the league the last 2 years, this year by a wide margin.

    I think the Nats are going to WS for NL.

    I was pulling for A’s due to Dunn and thinking Lester with 4 run lead, game over. Amazing crazy game for a Royals win.

    I think Tigers will beat Orioles, kinda of pulling for that to stick it to Leyland failing with loaded Tiger teams. Like the RLN panel stated/voted, the Tigers staff and star hitters should carry them to WS.

    good start to playoffs with no Yanks, Red Sox involved, now just need to remove Cards and Dodgers to remove all my viewing angst. LOL

    • wvredlegs

      Looking for the Tigers to advance. That means more shots on the TV screen of Kate Upton. Baseball in October, supermodels, hot wings and cold Michelob Lights. Ahhhh.

  11. Doug Gray

    So when the Angels win the World Series I can claim to be the smartest person alive, right?

  12. Eric the Red

    It’s a tough post season when I’m forced to root for the Giants, and then probably the AL team in the World Series. Whiny Pirates, Richer Than Croseus Dodgers, Arrogant Nationals Featuring Gio (aka, the only starting pitcher almost as annoying as Garza), and the Cardinals. Yuck.

    As for the Giants: history will show that they started Travis Ishikawa in Left last night; I believe it was his 5th career start out there. So the Giants were forced to play a guy who hasn’t played the position and hits like a middle infielder. Please keep this in mind when complaining about the Reds: A) Not having a fantastic bench capable of filling in for an entire season of significant injuries; B) Not signing/trading for one of the dozens of Left Fielders out there who can win the Triple Crown.

    (To put that another way: if Skip Schumaker were healthy and had been traded to the Giants on August 30, he’d have been starting in Left last night.)

  13. Chris Wilson

    I’m 1 for 2 and still have my World Series participants. October madness baby! Sorry about those of you whose brackets are already busted… It’s aweseome BABY!!!

  14. Vicferrari

    Super Todd was giving post-game Analysis after extra inning game in Anaheim.

  15. redsfan06

    Wow! The number of comebacks from huge deficits this post season is already hard to believe in a season dominated by pitching. Of course, the Reds have conditioned me to expect the game to be over once a team has a 3 run lead.

    • VaRedsFan

      or 2 runs even. I forgot what exciting baseball looked like.