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The two SoCal MLB catchers, Yasmani Grandal (left) and Chris Iannetta (right). Photo courtesy of angelsphotos.mlblogs.com
HOW I SEE SOCAL’S TWO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAMS’ FATES IN THESE FINAL TWO WEEKS OF THE SEASON AND BEYOND
Head To Head: Dodgers won five of six games in the Freeway Series this season, sweeping the Angels at Dodger Stadium and winning two of three at Angel Stadium
Dodgers: 85-63 and in first place in the National League West, seven and a half games ahead of the San Francisco Giants with 14 games left
- Magic number to clinch the division: Seven
Angels: 76-73 and in third place in the American League West, four games behind the Texas Rangers with 13 games left
- Two and a half games behind the Houston Astros for the last Wild Card spot
ALL RIGHT, ENOUGH DAWDLING: HERE IS WHAT I PREDICT FOR OUR TWO SOCAL TEAMS…
Thanks largely to arguably the two best pitchers in baseball, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, despite a lack of stability among the 4th and 5th starting spots and a group of middle relievers who haven’t been consistent enough for my taste, barring a complete collapse these Dodgers should win their third straight N.L. West crown.
Their goal needs to be to have that title wrapped up by the time they face the Giants in a four game series on September 28th; Don Mattingly’s team may be in trouble if they don’t.
As for the postseason, if the Dodgers play the New York Mets, who are well on their way to the Eastern Division title, in the Division Series, they will have a decent chance to move on to the League Championship Series,
Where they will most likely face the team that has been keeping them out of their first World Series berth in 27 years, the St. Louis Cardinals, as once again I don’t see L.A. getting past them, the Cards having had the best record in baseball all season long and showing no real signs of faltering.
In other words…
Playoffs, but (once again) no pennant for the Dodgers
If you need to know who these two stars are, I don’t know what to tell you. Photo courtesy of kmscubreporter.com
As for Orange County’s Angels, you’ve got to hand it to them as their scrapiness has left them in solid postseason contention with two weeks to go.
Right fielder Kole Calhoun has once and for all established himself as a more than dependable regular with him having his best season in Anaheim.
And Mike Trout has been his usual best-player-in-baseball self with his career high 39 home runs to date.
But outside of Houston Street’s 38 saves, no other Halo pitcher has set the world on fire like those two Dodgers across town as Garrett Richards is the only Angel starter with a winning record.
One thing is for sure:
This upcoming series with the Astros will more or less determine the Angels’ postseason fate, one way or another, as those Astros are the very team that the Halos need to catch if they are to face the (most likely) New York Yankees in the one-game Wild Card playoff.
The bottom line as far as how I see things?
It’s a toss-up.
The Astros haven’t been playing well lately as they recently surrendered their hold on first place, being recently swept by the Rangers, while the Angels were solid in taking three of four from the Minnesota Twins.
If they do make the postseason…
It will be as a Wild Card, where the Yankees will beat them rather comfortably as I just don’t see the Angels’ pitching as up to snuff enough.
Even if they do beat those Bronx Pinstripers, they’d have to face the Kansas City Royals, who mopped the floor with them last year and whom I expect will do the same this year if that situation arises.
Although it would be quite nice if I am proved wrong and our two teams meet in a Freeway World Series…
That, in a semi-nutshell, is how I see things unfolding.
And those are the predictions that I am sticking with.
An Angels coach hitting fungoes to his players before a Freeway Series match at Dodger Stadium. Photo courtesy of angelsphotos.mlblogs.com