All star break. Check
Trade deadline. Check
Labor Day weekend: Check—-ing
What does this mean?
Well for most people, it means that fall is finally upon us. School is about to start, the pool is about to close for the summer and to baseball fans, October baseball is coming in HOT. I would compare it to the thrill we see from the meteorologist on Groundhog Day when Punxsutawney Phill doesn’t see his shadow. But in all seriousness, baseball is warming up as the weather cools, and not just in Los Angeles, Houston or Arizona either.
So who are we going to see in October? Well when I say see I mean who are we going to be WATCHING on the electric babysitter that is. We’re students, so unless we can get a coveted E-transfer from the ‘rents or conduct a bank robbery, we will not be able…no we are perfectly able, we will not be FINANCIALLY able to attend playoff baseball. Oh well, who doesn’t love listening to Joe Buck and his gum chewing on air right??? As for what teams will be popping Korbel or maybe just maybe Veuve, only time will tell as we inch closer to crowning a champion.
Cutting to the chase, what I am doing is playing around with “playoff all-star teams”, for both the American and National Leagues. Before I start putting pen to paper on a roster, I need to determine who will be included in the pool to choose from.
A few rules:
– 25-man rosters (I know the playoff rosters are 40 deep, however it does not make sense to include quality bench guys where normally teams bring up a handful of AAA players)
– I have gone with 12 position players and 13 pitchers for the NL, and 13 position players and 12 pitchers in the AL because of the Designated Hitter
– All players are chosen based on individual skill and playoff history, not on how they would fare on a team with other “playoff all stars”
– Managers (the ones with the with two best records) : AL: AJ Hinch (HOU) NL: Dave Roberts (LAD)
Okay, in the AL I will take the division leaders right now (Houston, Boston, and Cleveland as the 1,2, and 3 seeds respectively). For the wildcard, the race is wide-open, so we’ll use the teams currently in the two sports, the Twins and Yankees. Minnesota is young, talented and dynamic across the field and has really surprised everyone. The Yanks have a talented roster and if they can just straighten out the bullpen and get a little bit more consistent on offence they are a threat.
AL Position Players:
Catcher: Christian Vasquez (BOS), Gary Sanchez (NYY)
Infielders: Jose Ramirez (CLE), Francisco Lindor (CLE), Jose Altuve (HOU), Carlos Correa (HOU), Marwin Gonzalez (HOU), Miguel Sano (MIN), Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)
Outfielders: Andrew Benintendi (BOS), Eddie Rosario (MIN), Aaron Judge (NYY), George Springer (HOU)
AL Pitching Staff:
Starters: Corey Kluber (CLE), Chris Sale (BOS), Dallas Keuchel (HOU), Luis Severino (NYY), Justin Verlander (HOU)
Bullpen: Andrew Miller (CLE), Aroldis Chapman (NYY), David Robertson (NYY), Dellin Betances (NYY), Cody Allan (CLE), Craig Kimbrel (BOS), Chris Devenski (HOU)
Unlike the AL, the NL side is pretty well set in stone. Okay, not in stone, but certainly super glued. I would be shocked if anything changed much at all quite frankly. We have two division leaders completely cruising in the Nationals and Dodgers in the NL East and NL West respectively. In the Central, the Cubs do not have as big of a lead but it seems one more magic trick or wild animal Joe Maddon brings into the clubhouse on West Addison will shut the door on the two brew cities–St. Louis and Milwaukee. As for the Wildcard, it’s a matter of who will be the home team between Arizona and Colorado. Once again, the five teams I will build the roster from are the Dodgers, Nats, Cubs, D-Backs and Rockies.
NL Position Players:
Catcher: Wilson Contreras (CHC), Matt Wieters (WAS)
Infielders: Nolan Arenado (COL), Corey Seager (LAD), Daniel Murphy (WAS), Paul Goldschmidt (ARI), Kris Bryant (CHC), Javier Baez (CHC)
Outfielders: Bryce Harper (WAS), Charlie Blackmon (COL), Gerrardo Parra (COL), Chris Taylor (LAD)
NL Pitching Staff:
Starters: Max Scherzer (WAS), Clayton Kershaw (LAD), Zach Grienke (ARI), Jon Lester (CHC), Stephen Strasburg (WAS)
Bullpen: Wade Davis (CHC), Kenley Jansen (LAD), Pat Neshek (COL), Pedro Baez (LAD), Archie Bradley (ARI), Greg Holland (COL), Sean Doolittle (WAS), Justin Wilson (CHC)
Overall, both rosters have a good combination of offense, speed, defense, pitching, and October experience. Comment your thoughts below or tweet them to us @RallyTowelMedia or to me @therealweaves