Tuesday, September 9, 2014

MLB Postseason: Two Surprises?

The MLB postseason is right around and the corner and who would have thought with the moves the Detroit Tigers made at the deadline that the Kansas City Royals would be leading the American League Central with three weeks left in the season. Also before the season began, did anyone give the Seattle Mariners a chance to making the postseason? I sure didn’t. I laughed at Robinson Cano when he left the Yankees for the Mariners but I guess he knew what he was doing. The Mariners are in the second Wild Card spot as of today with the Tigers right behind them. I can guarantee you the first Wild Card team is scared to death if they have to face the Mariners in the lose and go home game. Felix Hernandez is the reason for that. Let’s take a look at the Royals and Mariners and their chances of making a run in the postseason.

Aside from Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez is probably the best pitcher in baseball. He doesn’t get the recognition he deserves because he plays in Seattle. When were the Mariners last relevant? When Ichiro was around so it’s been a while. Pitching in the postseason is what wins. As you probably hear a lot good pitching beats good hitting. In the postseason, you won’t see a lot of scoring because teams are throwing the best three pitchers and their ace on three days’ rest. The Mariners can be a very dangerous team if they make the postseason. They have a good one, two punch at their top of the rotation with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma. The offense is led by Robinson Cano and he actually has a decent supporting cast around him with the likes of Austin Jackson, Kyle Seager, and Kendrys Morales. If the Mariners, in fact do make the postseason, don’t be surprised if they make a little run. Seattle has a team that is flying under the radar and they have the pieces to make a good run.

The Kansas City Royals seem to always have the talent to be successful but is this the year they finally make the postseason? The pitching staff has potential in James Shields, Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura. What makes the postseason fun is seeing the young guns break out? Look what happened last year with Sonny Gray and Michael Wacha. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same breakout happens with Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy this season if they do in fact make the postseason. The Royal’s offense is a bit of a question mark. The only real threat in the lineup right now is Alex Gordon. They have some good young players but they still haven’t been able to put it all together. The strongest part of the team is the bullpen. If you’re down after six innings there’s a very good chance it’s game over. The Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland combo means you’re probably not scoring another run. These three have been lights out all season and in the playoffs if the starters can get through six innings with a lead, they will have a good chance to win.

The MLB season is coming down to the wire and it’s an exciting time for baseball fans. I always love a good underdog story so I’m hoping the Royals can hold off the Tigers in the division and the Mariners can stay in the Wild Card spot. Once the postseason is here, it’s a brand new season and everything is up for grabs. The Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals are two teams who are not getting much recognition but come October, they will be very dangerous teams to play. We’re in for an exciting postseason so buckle up.


Alan Liang is a senior Drexel Sport Management major with minors in Marketing and Business Administration from West Windsor, NJ. Alan scores baseball games for Baseball Info Solutions and is currently on co-op with the Philadelphia 76ers in the camps department. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanLiang29. 

Connect with Alan on LinkedIn.

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