Houston (29-31) v. Oakland (36-24)
The first duel, which starts at 16:07, let’s be precise, will put two teams, which in advance arouse very different emotions … Astros are obviously no longer popular since the scandal with theft of signals unveiled at the end of the 2019 season The players are fully aware of this, and it is certainly no stranger to their difficult 2020 campaign. “To silence those who hate us. That’s what summed up our season, ”said outfielder Josh Reddick after his team swept the Minnesota Twins in the first round. The 2017 World Cup now takes on athletics … which has in its ranks the one who revealed the scandal: their former teammate Mike Fiers. On the field, watch out for star card stop Carlos Correa, who had a good, albeit short streak against Minnesota. But it was their pitching staff that drove the Astros into the next round, allowing just two points in two games, the best performance among the Americans’ eight teams. As for Oakland, who got rid of the Chicago White Sox on the verge of three meetings after losing the first, there is little to say about this hard-fought first round. Except they sent eight pitchers to the mound in the previous game. Will A be able to satisfy a large proportion of the fans?
New York (33-27) vs. Tampa Bay (40-20)
The possibility of one one-two strokes The Yankees’ first-round pick against the Cleveland Indians. And that was exactly what happened. Still, the Bronx color bearers met Shane Bieber in the first game, most likely the Cy-Young Trophy winner in the US. The poor man was cut to pieces by New York hitters. In two games, they have beaten 7 home races and scored 22 points. Heavy. But one should not underestimate the balanced formation of Florida, which collected the best record for the American this season. His pitching staff spotted the young but dangerous Toronto Blue Jays hitters in the first round. No surprise, as Tampa Bay finished the season in third place on average in earned races. Their work against the Blue Jays was therefore only a logical continuation of the achievements of the last 60 games. But Toronto is not New York. Can we resist impulses from LeMahieu, Stanton, Judge, Urshela, Sees, Torres night after night? Every throw on autopilot can be expensive. That said, this season Tampa Bay has taken eight of the ten games between the two teams and should therefore not suffer from an inferiority complex. An interesting face to face.
San Diego (37-23) v. Los Angeles (43-17)
You would think that the chief statistician of major baseball is the brother-in-law of Fernando Tatis Jr., so much so that he floods the MLB Stats account with numbers about him! In defense, the young Padres sensation gave him plenty of material against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round. In the first three career games, the 21-year-old had shortstop 5 hits in 11 appearances, went 3 times to first, scored and produced 5 runs and hit 2 homers. Not bad. Also, by hitting both more than one homerun in Game 2, Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers the second duo in history to achieve this feat in the post season. The second time was in 1932. Two strangers named Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. But party may end in a few days in San Diego. As expected, the Dodgers got rid of the Milwaukee Brewers without even having to pull out all the stops: 4-2, 3-0, thank you, good evening. Only two points awarded that surprisingly places them in third place in this chapter of the National, behind the two teams that will pay the price for the second semifinal. But unlike Atlanta and Miami, the overall effectiveness of shooters in LA had already been demonstrated this season, with the majors having the highest earned average. A huge test for the young Padres.
Miami (31-29) v Atlanta (35-25)
There’s a lot to say about these Marlins, Chicago Cubs knockouts in the first round. First, things started badly for them with an outbreak of COVID-19 at the beginning of the season. Two months later, they became the first team to reach the playoffs after a campaign with more than 100 losses. And while the opponents, the Braves, have just put the brakes on an ugly series with ten consecutive lost series, the Marlins, them, have never lost one! In their other two autumn appearances (1997 and 2003), they simply won the championship. As we have already written, Miami has not yet achieved anything exceptional this season, neither collectively nor individually. Their best player, at least statistically? Third baseman Brian Anderson, 11 home runs, 38 RBIs. Atlanta gave up a total of zero points in two games against the Cincinnati Reds. It’s just one smaller than Miami. Few fireworks in sight, we could therefore expect. But this season, the Braves finished second in the National for points, homers and batting averages. Not a piece of cake for the Marlins pitchers, who did not really have such a challenge ahead of them against the Cubs. And which they are likely to miss.