There have been seven games played in this year’s championship series, and among these games there have been four shutouts and three 1-0 games. Three of the remaining four teams in contention possess some of the most potent offenses in the game, so it seems ever more clear this year that when it comes to playoff baseball, runs come at a premium. Furthermore, this year it’s turning into the first team that scores wins. That’s been the case so far except for only one game. The Boston Red Sox were the most prolific offense in baseball and they had something happen to them in Game 1 of their series that hadn’t happen since Babe Ruth was playing for them: they were shutout at Fenway Park. The Tigers were the second highest scoring team in baseball but yesterday they sent their ace to the mound only to see their fate sealed by a 3-2 fastball that proved to be the only run of the game as they fell to Boston.
This is a trend that baseball loves to see because it shows the importance of pitching and defense when it comes to October baseball. The game completely changes and with it comes a brand of the game that was more prevalent in the early part of the 20th Century. The Cardinals were number 3 offensively and the Dodgers a paltry 17th. However the Cardinals are without one of their regular season offensive leaders, Allen Craig, and have been stymied by October’s offensive shutdown having won a game 1-0 en route to their commanding 3-1 series lead. The Cards can punch their ticket to the World Series this evening if they can beat Zack Greinke (again) at Dodger Stadium.
The LCS is the best of competition in baseball but don’t expect this trend in offensive production to change. The SP has been phenomenal for all four teams and that doesn’t look to change. The starting rotations for all four teams are now resetting which mean the top-end pitchers will get another crack at their opponents in the coming days. Tonight’s Game 4 of the American League series could see a slight movement from the norm as two back-of-the-rotation starters go head-to-head in Detroit. The Vegas lines for all the games have been steady in the aggregate runs for each game. The total number of runs is usually 7, which has yet to be exceeded. However tonight in Detroit, Vegas is giving an extra half run expecting a little bit of a more loosely pitched game. The two teams in the American League Championship Series will be looking to break out the bats after trading off 1-0 games. It’ll be very interesting to see how the two offensive juggernauts of the regular season perform tonight as the Detroit Tigers enter a pivotal Game 4 to try and even the series at two apiece and not face three must-wins to save their season. On the National League side the Cardinals will be looking to put the Dodgers away and grab a little rest before the World Series, which starts a week from today.