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SnakePit Round Table: Wild-card Week

The first round of playoffs are in the books...

Wild Card Round - Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs - Game Two Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Are you watching more, less or about the same amount of playoff baseball?

ISH95: Less technically, since we don’t have it on at work like we did last year, but probably following it about the same.

Jack: Define Watching. I’ve had the games on, but I’m not glued to the couch watching every pitch. There were so many games and I had things to do, so it’s probably a few innings of actually watching the game and a few innings of it on in the background.

James: Like Jack, with there being so many playoff games, I have had them on, but I have not necessarily been watching. Mostly, they have just been background noise for me. I wind up watching highlights at the end of the day to see all the things I missed by not actually taking any time out to actually watch what is on my television.

Makakilo: My focus is the Diamondbacks, so I watched very little. One team of interest is the Padres, who I picked to win the World Series despite the long odds.

Steven: Like most, the games have been on in the background but I’m not giving it much thought. I’ve enjoyed hearing the excitement of the playoffs with more interesting teams making it and advancing but without the D-backs in the hunt I can’t get too excited.

Do you like the expanded post-season?

ISH95: Not really. At least not this much. Too many teams made it in that just simply shouldn’t be there, and unlike other sports, you can’t entirely count on them weeding themselves out. If they kept it at 12 next season, though, I don’t think I’d really mind too much.

Jack: No. Maybe it would be more exciting if there were fans in the stands. But it’s just too many teams, too many games. It’s watered down. It’s not special.

James: Not particularly.

Makakilo: Yes because it provides more opportunity for unexpected results. Much can be learned when the unexpected happens.

Steven: Like Jack says, without fans in the stands there’s just too much going on even if I enjoy seeing teams that normally wouldn’t be in there.

What stood out for you in the wild-card series?

ISH95: Everyone seems to have taken a different approach. That’s been interesting to see. Also, these Padres are really fun, and I’m going to really, really hate them soon.

Jack: 6 of the eight series ended 2-0. Avg runs per team per game was just 3.8 There were a few high scoring games, but for the most part pitching dominated. Just not the way most people would prefer to see pitching dominate. There has been a lot of debate on the pages lately about how short starters go and how many relievers it takes to navigate a game. Aesthetically it sucks. But teams are trying to win and this is their best chance.

James: I think it has mostly been just how uncompetitive most of the games have been to this point. There were a couple of games that were actually close and somewhat exciting, but for the most part, it was readily apparent just which was the better team.

Makakilo: The Padres/Cardinals series stood out. Three amazing things happened.

  • In game two, Fernando Tatis Jr and Wil Myers each hit two homers. That combination is historic.
  • The Padres bullpen dominated the Cardinals. The Padres bullpen pitched 21 innings, which was much more than their starters who pitched 6 innings.
  • Scoring consistency won the series. The Padres scored at least 4 runs in each game (exactly 4 runs in two games). During the regular season, I wrote that scoring at least 4 runs each game was a key to winning games (for the Diamondbacks).

Steven: The Padres/Cardinals was the most exciting series for me, watching each of those games show something different was awesome. Normal game in the first, slugfest in the second, and a shutout in the finale for the Padres. Baseball at its finest.

Which division series are you looking forward to most?

ISH95: Padres and Dodgers should be crazy. Tingler won’t be able to bullpen the whole series this time, so he’ll need to adapt against the always tough Dodger line up. Rays and Yankees should make for good entertainment too.

Jack: I find watching LA annoying. Houston/Oakland is interesting to me. And game one of the Yankees/Rays series has a great starting pitcher matchup in Cole vs. Snell. Maybe both will pitch well and we get to see a classic duel.

James: I guess, probably whichever game happens to be on when I have both the time and inclination to watch.

Makakilo: I’m with ISH that the Padres/Dodgers series will be interesting! Wouldn’t it be awesome for the Padres to win?

Steven: Yankees/Rays should be great as well as Padres/Dodgers.

Pick an underdog to pull off an upset.

ISH95: Are the Marlins technically underdogs? I feel like with all the talk of them having never lost a playoff series they aren’t, but if they are, I’m going to go with them.

Jack: Vegas odds showing Yankees are actually slight favorites over the Rays who beat the Yankees by 7 games for the division, and had the better run differential. On the other hand Judge and Stanton are back. If those guys stay healthy and mash throughout the series it’s going to be tough even for the Rays great pitching to navigate that lineup. There will be no Yankee stadium fans to deal with however and no traveling Yankee fans contingent in Tampa. I’m picking the Rays.

Marlins a BIG underdogs vs. the Braves. We’ll see.

James: Maybe the Padres. I don’t really know. Honestly, despite the expanded field of teams, I’m still having trouble finding one in the playoffs I really can get behind. Of the teams left, I am probably pulling most for the Rays. Despite Vegas, I’m not seeing them as much of an underdog.

Makakilo: My pick is the underdog Padres!

Steven: Yeah I hope the Padres win but I wouldn’t put any money on it. If I needed to, I’d put $100 on the Rays. They’re very good.

What are the best and worst things about your pets (past or present)?

ISH95: My dog is super cuddly, which is awesome, unless it isn’t, and for some reason you need just a tiny bit of space, then it’s horrible lol

James: Growing up I had two dogs in the house. One of them had a hyper-inflated mothering instinct. It was fun to watch her tend to the other dog and, for a time, the kitten in the house, or watching her try to mother my younger brother when he was born. On the negative side, she was a dog, which means she had fur. I’m allergic, so there is that.

Makakilo: The best is when my cats explore and play. Perhaps the worst is when they throw up a hairball.