By Tomi Rantanen

Grasping the last straws

MLB wild card round sees Baltimore travel to Canada to take on the Blue Jays in Toronto and West Coast vs East Coast battle between the Giants and Mets. Both Baltimore and Toronto finished the regular season with 89-73 record, while Mets and Giants ended up with 87-75 respectively. If the wild card round ever was justified, this must be the time.

Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays

The American League Wild Card teams seem equal in all aspects. Being divisional rivals, they faced each other 19 times during the regular season, of which Toronto won 10 and Baltimore 9. In Toronto, the home team managed to win 6/10, but remarkably lost the final two home games of the regular season – playing against Baltimore of course.

In Accuscore pre-season simulations Toronto took the AL East division title but Baltimore was underestimated and left out of the post-season altogether. However as the season grew older, Baltimore rose the ranks as well. Simulating the AL Wild Card game with updated lineups: Blue Jays win 52.0% and Orioles 48.0% of the simulations.

As expected, best of one wild card game is expected to be as close as ever and not even Accuscore’s supercomputer can determine the clear winner on this one.

San Francisco Giants @ New York Mets

If the AL wild card teams are extremely familiar with each other, the same can’t really be said about the NL contestants Giants and Mets. In seven meetings the Mets won the first and last two, leaving the Giants with three in the middle. First three of the meetings were in New York, where Mets were 44-37 on the regular season. Giants road record was barely over .500 with 42-39.

Accuscore’s pre-season simulations painted Giants as the wild card team, but again the Mets took us by surprise. Especially with their injury problems on the mound and bullpen, the team did surpass all expectations even after finding themselves in the battle for post-season seeding.

Practically left with one ace standing, the Mets will start Noah Syndergaard and will face battle-hardened opponent in Madison Bumgarner. It is expected to be an extremely low-scoring affair, with neither of the teams boasting top-notch offenses. In Accuscore simulations the home team takes a marginal edge, with Mets winning 53.0% of the games.

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio