The Angels wrapped up a disappointing 77 win and 85 loss season. Losing record + no playoffs = a bad year no matter how you slice it.
Want to know how special Ohtani was this year? Listen to the calls of each of his home runs by visiting broadcasters. The excitement and awe in the voices of people who have watched countless baseball games is telling. When they are impressed, it is impressive.
And while the home runs and K’s get most of the love, his speed led to a ton of excitement as well. A personal favorite of mine was the 9th inning against Baltimore when he stole second twice then scored on a shallow hit to right that nobody should be able to score on.
This bad year also featured some young pitching emerging. I didn’t know that was allowed to happen here.
Keep in mind these men turn 25 and 24 this off season.
Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh showed signs of improvement and make the best set of BFF’s we’ve had in a long time.
Of course any real change in fortunes will depend upon developing more talent. Taylor Blake Ward did a great job breaking down the farm system and throwing in MLB comps to our prospects. The pipeline is definitely getting better.
Really it wasn’t anything on the field that made this year so great for me (although I did enjoy the things I linked above). It was the time I spent at the ballpark, particularly with my son and my wife. The talks with friends at the ballpark, the fresh air and freshly mowed grass. Just having the rhythm of life back with a ballgame.
I took my Nana to a game. My 3 year old son belted “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with me during the 7th inning stretch, my wife got wrapped up in Ohtani’s year. Yes, the standings were bad, but I loved having baseball back.
For the teams that did have good years, the serious business of a World Series run is at hand.
The Yanks pennant hopes died thanks to a bad outing from Gerrit Cole. That dud was the end of a longer slide. Dude misses his SpiderTack but he did put up the second most pitching WAR in baseball this year. It will be interesting to see if he gains back some command this off season or settles into the slightly better than Houston version he was post sticky this year.
My favorite baseball rivalry, the Giants and Dodgers, takes the stage in October for the first time ever. Unlike the YankSux, I actually have a team I like in this one.
The Brewers have been getting overlooked all year. Some would argue Corbin Burnes’ great season deserves a Cy Young award.
Opposing the Brew Crew is an Atlanta squad whose season was saved thanks to remaking the entire outfield at the trade deadline. Alex Anthopoulos pulled off a series of key moves while the team had a losing record and now they are NL East champs.
The last time the White Sox and Astros played in the postseason, the Sox swept the ‘stros out of the World Series. I was actually pulling for Houston in that one after the BS way we lost to the Sox.
And ultimately, let’s go Tampa Bay!
There are endless prediction lists out there. The fact of the matter is that winning 3 out of 5 games in baseball is very random. One guy gets hot and he can carry a squad. One pitcher loses the feel for his fastball and games get blown.
Perhaps you want to wager a bit on the outcomes. Take a look at the odds.
I’ll throw my predictions out there (although I’m hoping to be wrong on many of these):
Tampa over Boston in 4, Houston over Chicago in 4, LA over SF in 5, Milwaukee over Atlanta in 5.
Tampa over Houston in 7, LA over Milwaukee in 6.
LA over Tampa in 6.
Of course, try not to lose your job while following all the action. There are four playoff games on today, after all.
Longform reading? Not on a playoff weekend. Enjoy the games.