Today is the day. After eleven long seasons, the Phillies are playing postseason baseball this year and they’re doing it today. It’s going to fray nerves, get people’s blood boiling, but it’s still a great feeling.
Smarty will be back today with his playoff preview, but before he gets his prediction in, I’d like to just have mine on record. The entire key to the series is Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola. The offense should do enough on its part (pay no attention to how they did against Houston). If Wheeler and Nola are in top form, the Phillies will take the series. If they falter, they have no shot.
Ethan’s pick: Phillies in 3.
On to the links.
- George Steinbrenner demanded excellence from this team. It’s how Rob Thomson developed into this manager.
- Lots of previews available for this series. We’ll start with The Athletic giving both sides of the coin ($).
- Into Baseball Prospectus? How about this preview (hint: PECOTA is actually leaning slightly Phillies).
- Here is Fangraphs looking at the series, though I have trouble taking a preview series that cannot get the manager’s name spelled right.
- There better be some mea culpas written about this group, so here’s one from someone you wouldn’t expect.
- It’s possible that the first victim of the new wild card format is the team that blew a 10 1⁄2 game lead in their division.
- The crowds at baseball games this year were up from last year’s numbers, but still down from what they used to be.
- Another manager bit the dust yesterday as Mike Matheny is now looking for work in the game.
- Predictions for the entirety of the playoffs are found here.