MLB Postseason Elimination Day
By: Andrew Santangelo (@aj_santangelo)
The postseason is in full swing, with four teams already sent home and four more in danger here in the second round. Elimination Day brings potentially the end to the divisional series’ as a whole, with four teams in danger of losing their season in the Yankees (1-2), A’s (1-2), Padres (0-2), Marlins (0-2).
Braves (2-0) vs Marlins (0-2): Thursday, October 8, 2020 2:08ET
This matchup might be the most interesting of Thursday baseball games. The young rookie in Sixto Sanchez will look to power through an extremely hard Braves lineup. Sanchez coming off five shutout inning vs. the Cubs, where he worked his way in and out of trouble. Braves will match with Kyle Wright, who is 2-4 with 5.21ERA. Braves pitching has been phenomenal throughout the 2020 postseason having three shutouts in four games. Marlins will need more production from the top of the lineup, especially in the two-hole in Corey Dickerson, only hitting .067 in the postseason.
Outcome: Marlins will extend the series early afternoon because of Sanchez. The Marlins throwing their best pitcher in game three to a struggling Braves pitcher who last threw on September 25th. Miami wins the game 6-3, lives to see another day.
A’s (1-2) vs. Astros (2-1): Thursday, October 8, 2020, 3:35ET
The A’s showed fight in Wednesday’s game battling back and being able to hold onto a 9-7 victory over the division rival. Sets up another must-win game for Oakland as they throw the right-hander Frankie Montas in the win or go home game. First career postseason start after appearing in relief in their Game 3-win vs. the White Sox. The Astros, just hours before the game, have still yet to announce their game four starter with Zack Greinke still battling an injury. This becomes an advantage for the A’s. Yes, the Astros bullpen threw well the first two games but assuming this becomes a bullpen game, they won’t last an entire game. The AL West division winners bats in Semien, Davis, Pinder need to take advantage. Both teams need to control the leadoff hitter. Semien of the A’s hitting .545 this postseason while Springer hitting .462
Outcome: Montas vs. bullpen game. Montas has an advantage, and the Oakland A’s find a way to extend this series to a winner take all game Friday afternoon. A’s win 8-4 on Thursday.
Rays (2-1) vs. Yankees (1-2): Thursday, October 8, 2020, 7:10ET
The Yankees power bats are in full force right now. Giancarlo Stanton has already hit six home runs in five games. The lineup has produced runs whenever the team has wanted. Outside of game one, though, with their best pitcher in Cole on the mound, the Rays have been able to score equally with better pitching. With the Yankees throwing the southpaw in Jordan Montgomery in an elimination game, this is a huge advantage for the Rays. The AL East winner with start Ryan Thompson as an “opener” and then are expected to turn to Ryan Yarbrough. Usually, the opener method would be nerve-racking, but the Rays have done it so much expect them to be fine.
Outcome: Personally like the Rays pitching more than the Yankees hitting. Rays end the series this evening with an 8-6 victory getting back to the ALCS for the first time since 2008 when they lost in the World Series.
Dodgers (2-0) vs Padres (0-2): Thursday, October 8, 2020 9:08ET
The Dodgers look to put an end to the NL West runner-up. Padres will send Adrian Morejon with their season on the line. The southpaw has pitched well out of the bullpen so far in this young postseason. First career start against a great Dodgers lineup with a lot of righties is room for concern. Dodgers could start Tony Gonsolin with May following in the bullpen, which seems better situation than the Padres who have been decimated with injuries. After a Bellinger game-saving defensive play gave LA all the momentum, things got a little heated. It will be interesting to watch if anything carries over into the Thursday game.
Outcome: Dodgers take advantage of being healthy and having the ability to face the southpaw. The Dodger offense comes through and wins a 9-6 ball game over the Padres, completing the sweep.
To recap Marlins will save their season, along with the A’s forcing a winner take all game five. Meanwhile, the Rays and Dodgers put a wrap to their series knocking off the power bat in the Yankees and Padres.