Razors MLB NL West Tiebreaker 10/01/2018
As we conclude one of the more competitive years in baseball with two Division title tiebreakers, Nothing was more epic than the season long three horse race in the NL West. The Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers both rose to the occasions with solid Septembers, and both teams winning their final scheduled regular season games by double digits.
Today will be a much different vibe. Unlike the last few series, this will be the most meaningful game of the season for both so far.
There is naturally going to be a high level of pressure coming into this single game tiebreaker, but there is one major difference between a game like this and the Wild Card game which is expected to be played tomorrow. That difference would be that neither team is getting eliminated today.
More than likely, the pressure will be on the batters. Both pitching staffs were prepared for a deployment of a specific starting pitcher had it come down to a tiebreaker scenario. Let’s break down the pitching matchup.
After seven games at home, the Colorado Rockies will travel off the West Coast to much more pitcher friendly conditions. However, a bigger concern in that aspect would be facing a rookie phenom who has a 2.12 ERA at home. With that being said, the Rockies and Buehler are quite familiar with each other, having seen each other 4 times this season with some back and forth results.
Buehler operates on a rather expanded arsenal for a young pitcher, as he falls on sinkers, cutters, curveballs, and sliders..plus he has a high 90s four seamer on top of that as a primary pitch. The kid has a very versatile skill collection, and a variety of weapons to unleash on this Rockies team who will likely see all five of his pitches again today. While the Rockies have gotten to the youngster before, both occasions came at Coors Field and Colorado has still failed to score any runs on Buehler in Dodger Stadium in 2018. I expect him to have the upper hand here in composure, as Buehler seems like a confident kid ready to take advantage of hitters who will likely be dreading the possibility of having to endure three different time zones in 48 hours.
Colorado, however, has a response to this. Though highly under the radar, German Marquez has been arguably the most consistent pitcher in the second half of the season. Despite spending a majority of his mound time in the pitcher’s doom park of the Coors Field altitude, Marquez recorded 12 straight quality starts to the end of the season, and in 15 of his last 16 appearances. Throughout the season, the Rockies young slinger found a good groove with his command, and has also molded his curveball into on of the toughest pitches to face under any ballpark conditions. Marquez only faced the Dodgers twice this season. Both were in Dodgers stadium, and both saw LA fail to generate more than 2 hits through 7 or more innings.
I fully expect pitching to take center stage in this one, as both teams will likely have an all in approach with bullpen management as well.
UNDER 7 -115 2*