AL Wild Card Series (Best of 5)
CHARLESTON(95-67) vs DETROIT (82-80) (season series 7-3, Detroit)
This series should be a close one. Detroit is coming into this series with a lot of confidence, with beating the Chew seven times in ten games.
Detroit is led by a couple of great players in Jon Price and Russ Scott. Price has led the team in home runs, while Scott leads the team in RBIs and Runs. Scott has a tendency to swing and miss a lot of third strikes, as evidenced by his team high 131 Ks. On the mound, the Domination is lead by all-star David Polanco and his team high 16 wins. It seems that as Polanco goes, so goes the Domination. When the ninth inning comes along, the Domination will rely on Santiago Samuel and his 13-16 record in save chances this year. With only one pitcher getting double digit wins, it seems Detroit might have its hands full.
Charleston is lead by Mr. Everything, Norm Cooper. He leads the team in Home Runs (61), Runs (110), RBIs (136) and Strike Outs (132). A classic “swing for the fences” type of hitter. The Chew are much better on the mound with two pitchers winning 19 games this year. David Galvez and Alex Roque have done more than their share in getting the team to the playoffs. Their closer, Ben Lambert, is money when it comes to closing out the ninth inning. Lambert is 30-33 in save chances this year.
RICHMOND (100-62) vs KANSAS CITY (80-82) (6-4, Kansas City)
With twenty games separating the teams in the standings, one would think that this series will be completely one sided, but Kansas City has the final say in this one. Both of these teams are lead by their own Mr. Everything. Should be a good series that will be decided by whose ME comes to play.
Kansas City is in the playoffs by virtue of winning game #162. This team is lead by Einar Candelaria, who leads in Home runs (32), Runs (113) and RBIs (108). On the mound, Russ Jerchower (15-9, 4.19) leads a Grillers team that had four pitchers win 10+ games. Once the Grillers take a lead into the ninth it will be hard for the other team to score. Jerome Peterson has been shutting down teams all year. His 25-31 save chances speak volumes.
The Rebels come into these playoffs with mixed feelings. They win 100 games, but are the road team in this series. Their ability to look past their seeding will determine their success this post season. To help them they will rely on Jonathan Poppell to lead them again, as he did in the regular season. Poppell lead the team in HRs (49), RBIs (161), Runs (123) and Strike Outs (132). On the mound, Richmond will send Denny Kobayashi and his 15-6, 3.74 record out there to get them past the first round. If they have a lead in the ninth, consider the game over, as Harry Sosa (25-28) will shut the door.
NL Wild Card Series (Best of 5)
WASHINGTON D.C. (96-66) vs PORTLAND (96-66) (7-3, Washington D.C.)
Can’t ask for a better opening series to the 2008 playoffs. These two teams couldn’t be more evenly matched.
The 42’s are making the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They are lead by five players that have 75 RBIs or more and none over 100, this team can win in so many different ways. On the mound, the 42’s get it done differently than most teams. Most teams send out their ace and hope for the best. Washington has a dominating middle reliever in Mendy Griffin who won 15 games out of the pen. Yes, this is the same guy who won 78 games in the minors, including 59 games over two seasons. Their closer, Hades Gibson, has saved 28 out of 32 chances this season.
Portland won their 4th division title and first since 2003. They are lead MVP candidate, Luis Limon. He has been one of the more consistent players this year for the Showers. When they take the mound, the Showers will likely start, their ace Nick Wood, (21-2, 2.86). Portland has a team ERA of 4.29, you better play good defense, because they won’t allow you to score very much.
SYRACUSE (98-64) vs VANCOUVER (95-67) (6-4, Syracuse)
Syracuse makes the playoffs for the third year in a row as they take on the Tuques of Vancouver, who make the second season for the 4th time in five years.
The Warriors have a nice one-two punch in Mariano Alvarez (57HR, 150RBI) and Omar Soriano (46, 144). If these guys can continue to hit, it will be a long series for the other team. Their pitching has a nice one-two punch as well, with Lance Evans (17-6, 4.67) and Bobby Allen (17-5, 3.60) That is a tough combination to beat.
The Tuques will do their best when they take the field. Ralph Edwards leads a very balanced team ready to go to the next level. On the bump, Vancouver will send out Louie Neruda, a 17 game winner with an ERA of 4.04. To close games out will be a bully-by-committee.