The Youth Movement and MLB Postseason Following The Wild Card Round

The Youth Movement and MLB Postseason Following Wild Card Round

By: Alex Crowl

The Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant movement or simply the Major League Baseball youth movement is here, and they have created a path for other extremely young players around the league to step in and wreak havoc. The success of the youth in the regular season has now transferred into the postseason. It is baffling for me as a senior in college to watch men my age even in the league, let alone performing at such a high level. All we can do is sit back and enjoy the show.

The average age for the AL Wild Card winning Houston Astros is 26. The one-and-done New York Yankees average age is 35. The Astros shortstop and rookie of the year candidate, Carlos Correa is 21, and consumed alcohol for the first time after the Astros beat the Yankees in the Bronx. Cubs’ rookie utility player Kyle Schwarber stepped onto the scene as a 22-year-old and proceeded to crank a 450-foot two–run home run that added insurance in a dominating shutout against the Pirates.

Another theme is the flat out dominance of pitching in baseball, as we have escaped the steroid era. Almost nothing can be done in a one game do or die situation when you run into pitchers performing to their peak ability, like Jake Arrieta and Dallas Kuechel were. But I digress. Now let’s talk some baseball.

It seemed like it would be difficult for the Houston Astros to go into Yankee Stadium in October and get a win. The ace for the Astros, Keuchel, has not been nearly as dominant on the road this season. However, he flat out got it done for the ‘Stros, as he shut down the Yankees.

Keuchel has been unbelievable at home this season. He is 15-0 with a 1.46 ERA at home, while he is 5-8 with a 3.77 ERA on the road. The Astros are moving on to an intriguing series with the Royals. Which should shape up to be a good one.

I like the Royals in this series even without closer Greg Holland, who was shut down for the season with an elbow injury. The Astros are ahead of schedule, while the Royals are right on schedule. The Royals lineup all season has been potent, and the improved offense should help out one of the most reliable bullpens in all of baseball over the last couple of years.

If you have any knowledge of baseball at all, you could have probably seen what the Pirates had coming to them with the hottest pitcher in baseball, Arrieta, on the mound. This Cubs-Cardinals series is one I am struggling to figure out. Regardless, I like the odds of whichever team wins this series to represent the NL in the World Series.

The Blue Jays and Rangers have a tremendous divisional matchup as well. Both teams have a ridiculous amount of momentum heading into the playoffs. The Rangers appeared to be building for next season when they acquired Cole Hamels at the trade deadline. Since his acquisition however, the Rangers have been on a tear. The Rangers have flown under the radar, have a sneaky good lineup with some big name players that have come on strong in Fielder, Choo, Beltre etc. They might just challenge the best team in the AL, the Blue Jays.

The Jays are fairly simple to read. They have the best lineup in baseball and two dominant pitchers right at the top of the rotation. They are my favorite to win The World Series and the favorite for many others. When your lineup card reads Revere, Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, and Tulowitski, you have a chance to do some serious damage to opposing pitchers. With David Price and Marcus Stroman providing the one-two punch on the mound, that’s a scary team to take on.

The New York Mets pitching rotation can get them to the World Series. The Mets, top to bottom, have the best pitching rotation in baseball, and the resurgence of their offense through Yoenis Cespedes has worked wonders for the team in Queens. The Red Sox traded Yoenis Cespedes for Rick Porcello. Just to remind the people out there how absurd that is.

I have personally lost faith in the Dodgers. I can’t put my finger on why. They have a lineup that maybe hasn’t performed to the expectations of a 227 million dollar payroll. They have Zach Greinke, who may be snubbed of the Cy Young award, and of course, they still have Clayton Kershaw, who just finished a 300-strikeout regular season. I’m just not feeling any momentum oozing from this organization that has failed in the postseason as of late. The Dodgers never fail to worry about their payroll or expenses though.

I like the Blue Jays out of the American League. I would pick them because I can’t see myself picking any other team in the AL. The National League is a little more complicated. That only makes sense because there is a division, that being the Central, that has the three best teams in all of baseball. One member of the division, the Pirates, was just eliminated following a 98-win season. I like the team that rises from the Central in the Cubs or Cardinals to take on the Blue Jays in the 2015 World Series. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Metropolitans make a run for the pennant with the pitching staff and offensive revival brewing in the big apple.

If I absolutely had to pick, I would select the Toronto Blue Jays to take on the Chicago Cubs in this year’s World Series.

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