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Kyle Wright Atlanta Braves
Brandon Belt San Francisco Giants
NLCS return possible
October 5, 2021
Manager Gabe Kapler said Tuesday it's "the dream scenario" for Belt (thumb) to be ready in time for the National League Championship Series, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Belt landed on the injured list last week after suffering a fractured left thumb, and he'll be sidelined for at least the NLDS. It was reported the injury is expected to require about four weeks to heal, though the team is still holding out hope the 33-year-old will return ahead of that timeline. Darin Ruf and LaMonte Wadeshould see action at first base in the meantime for the Giants.
Alex Patton Alex
Oct 6
Max Muncy Los Angeles Dodgers
Postseason return possible
October 5, 2021
Manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday that Muncy didn't suffer a UCL tear and won't require surgery on his left elbow, and there's a "glimmer of hope" he'll be able to play later in the playoffs, should the Dodgers advance, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
Muncy can be ruled out for the NL Wild Card Game on Wednesday, and it's also safe to say he'll be unavailable for the NLDS should Los Angeles beat St. Louis. It sounds like the 31-year-old has avoided a serious injury, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be able to return during the playoffs. Albert Pujols, Cody Bellinger and Matt Beaty will all be in the mix at first base for the Dodgers going forward.
Alex Patton Alex
Oct 6
Reiver Sanmartin Cincinnati Reds

Congrats to Roll2, who also finished second in NL Doubt.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 6
Gerrit Cole New York Yankees

When I penned the Arenado comment yesterday, I hadn't looked at Peter's projection for Cole. Now I have...

Tough to say!

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 6

Post-mortem in the Post:

Did Cole simply never recover sufficiently from the left hamstring injury that felled him on Sept. 7? Was he exhausted from the 2021 grind that featured a leap from 60 games to 162 and a case of COVID in addition to the hamstring ailment? Did the crackdown on sticky stuff do him in? Did he actually feel pressure in these big spots despite plenty of experience and success in other big spots, including in a Yankees uniform this year and last?

... Cole, not surprisingly, pooh-poohed any queries that could be perceived as excuses: “The other team’s dealing with the same type of situation. When it’s all said and done, I didn’t perform the way I wanted to perform tonight.”

https://nypost.com/2021/10/06/gerrit-coles-wild-card-disaster-sparks-yankees-question/

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 6
Reiver Sanmartin Cincinnati Reds

Picked him up when I saw he was scheduled to pitch against the Pirates, he ended up getting two, and his quality start in the second won me the championship in a 30-team head-to-head dynasty.  My opponent and I, over a two-week period tied, including in the RBI and QS categories, and I won the tiebreaker having gone into the playoffs as the top seed.  September was strange this year, as you used to be able to count on the better pitchers feasting against lineups with callups, but teams adding only two, as opposed to five to ten, made the last month of the season more volatile, IMO.

John Thomas Roll2
Oct 6
Josh Hader Milwaukee Brewers

I think the 2 keys to the Brewers making a deep postseason run are Yelich...if he starts producing they become a 6 deep lineup...and Hader....with Devin Williams out he could be asked to get 4+ outs in A LOT of games. 

van wilhoite LVW
Oct 5
J.D. Martinez Boston Red Sox
Missing AL Wild Card Game
October 5, 2021
Martinez (ankle) is not on the Red Sox's wild-card roster, Chris Cotillo of The Springfield Republican reports.
ANALYSIS
Martinez left Sunday's regular-season finale against the Nationals with a left ankle sprain, an issue which is evidently serious enough to prevent him from serving even in a designated hitter role just two days later. Whether or not Martinez has a chance to be active for the ALDS should Boston advance remains to be seen.
Alex Patton Alex
Oct 5
Nolan Arenado St. Louis Cardinals

If Peter had a better projection this year than the one for Arenado, I haven't seen it.

Postseason Odds

Chances of winning the World Series

TmLgWin WS
Tampa Bay RaysAL16.5%
Atlanta BravesNL14.2%
San Francisco GiantsNL13.9%
Los Angeles DodgersNL12.7%
Houston AstrosAL12.3%
Milwaukee BrewersNL10.6%
Chicago White SoxAL9.1%
New York YankeesAL3.9%
Boston Red SoxAL3.8%
St. Louis CardinalsNL3.0%

See full playoff odds table at Baseball-Reference.com

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 5
Josh Hader Milwaukee Brewers

The Athletic's Britt Ghiroli likes the Astros, simply because no one else likes them. If I were in Vegas, I'd put my money on a National League team simply because the NL was so clearly beaten by the AL this year that payback is in order.

Here's is the only writer (of eight) at The Athletic who predicts an NL team will win.

Keith Law

Wild cards: Yankees over Red Sox, Dodgers over Cardinals
ALDS: 
Rays over Yankees, White Sox over Astros
NLDS: Dodgers over Giants, Brewers over Atlanta
ALCS: 
White Sox over Rays
NLCS: 
Brewers over Dodgers
World Series: 
Brewers over White Sox in 6

I don’t think there’s a whole lot of science involved in predicting the postseason — even the most lopsided matchup of playoff teams would give the underdog at least a 40 percent chance to win, because baseball. And I don’t see anything here that’s lopsided. We don’t have any bad teams in the playoffs, far from it, with several very good teams (Toronto especially) missing the postseason because the top tier of clubs was so deep (and the bottom tier was so … bottom-y). So, given the relative futility of the exercise, I did what I usually do — I started by picking the teams with the better starting rotations, and then decided from there if the underdog offered enough reason for me to go against that. Therefore, I’m not saying that the Dodgers are an objectively better team than the Giants are, but that they have a starting pitching advantage that I don’t think the Giants’ strengths can overcome enough for me to pick them over LA. And if Burnes-Woodruff-Peralta stay healthy and pitch the way they are capable of pitching, the Brewers are as well situated to win the first championship in franchise history than they have ever been.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 5
Zack Greinke Houston Astros

While Red Sox and Yankee Nations obsess on the game tonight, The Athletic takes a more expansive view of the postseason. I think Britt Ghiroli's onto something.

On the eve of the wild card games, there’s no dominant favorite among our staff, though more of our writers picked the Rays to win it all than any other team. The Astros were a close second, and the White Sox also received several votes. Only one writer picked an NL team to win the World Series — the Brewers, with apologies to the 107-win Giants. And there’s a wide variety of expectations for the 106-win Dodgers, ranging from a wild-card exit to a Series appearance.

Brittany Ghiroli

Wild cards: Yankees over Red Sox, Cardinals over Dodgers
ALDS: Rays over Yankees, Astros over White Sox
NLDS: Giants over Cardinals, Braves over Brewers
ALCS: Astros over Rays
NLCS: Giants over Braves
World Series: Astros over Giants in 7

Sorry. No one outside of Houston wants the Astros to win, but isn’t that why this is a distinct possibility? The Astros offense is ridiculous; more than half their lineup ranks among the top 50 in wRC+ for offensive players. The rotation, led by Lance McCullers Jr., is good enough to compete. If their bullpen can hold up (and perhaps Greinke emerges as a relief weapon), Dusty Baker’s group could be holding a trophy, no asterisks needed.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 5
Kyle Schwarber Boston Red Sox

The Athletic today:

Over/under: 8

WRITERPICK
Andy McCulloughRed Sox
Eno SarrisYankees
C. Trent RosecransYankees
Nick GrokeYankees
Sahadev SharmaRed Sox

Why did you pick the Red Sox?

Sahadev Sharma, Cubs beat writer: Kyle Schwarber has started one wild-card game before and launched an unforgettable home run. I say he does it again as the Red Sox advance.

Why did you pick the Yankees?

C. Trent Rosecrans, Reds beat writer: The good news is that we’re guaranteed to not have one of the Red Sox or Yankees after Tuesday. The bad news is we’re guaranteed to have either the Red Sox or Yankees after Tuesday.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 5
Dylan Floro Miami Marlins

I've never been a believer so am not thrilled that he turned into the closer. Would have preferred someone I bought like Bender. Congrats to the teams that grabbed him.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Oct 5
Noah Syndergaard New York Mets

So I guess fully healthy means they won't announce the fact that he isn't allowed to throw any curveballs?  It will be interesting to see if the Mets make a QO.  If they do, doesn't he have to accept it?  Maybe not, as teams will make speculative offers on hurt starters that have proven talent.  I'd be happy if either my Astros or my Nats sign him to a 3-yeat deal!

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Oct 5

Yes, Alex, B players frozen by me or others, A players bought or added from free agency. Semien was my MVP. I paid 20, would have gone 26 w inflation, though never considered more. Agreed w Eugene that his BA would be higher after leaving Oakland. Power this year was off he charts. 

David Molyneaux NeauxBrainers ()
Oct 5
Gabe Kapler San Francisco Giants

That's terrible! The worst I've ever heard.

Plenty of pennant races just this close, but none where a manager's unexpected and inexplicable decision is the deciding factor.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 5

And if Suter gets Beaty out or doesn't face him in the Dodgers game. 

van wilhoite LVW
Oct 5

If Webb doesn't come out for the 8th, you win? Seriously?

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 4

Congrats to the Neauxbrainers!

B are players you froze, A players you bought? Looks like Marcus Semien was your runaway MVP.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 4

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