Remember to comment at the bottom for your chance to win a Playoff Pizza Party for 20 catered by Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria!
Now that we know the answer to the Melky Cabrera question — he gone — attentions are turning toward the next postseason question (besides whether or not Buster Posey will catch Tim Lincecum in the playoffs). I’ve heard people chatting about this in the press box quite a bit over the past week, and there is no consensus on the correct answer.
Who would the San Francisco Giants match up better with, the Washington Nationals or Cincinnati Reds?
Right now both teams are tied in the standings, so based on head-to-head the Nats would get the No. 1 seed and the Reds would travel to AT&T to face the Giants on Oct. 6 and 7. One would have to figure Washington has a good chance of finishing ahead of Cincinnati in the standings outright, since they’re the only NL team that still has a division to clinch, but people figured the Dodgers were the odds-on favorites after both Cabrera’s suspension and their blockbuster trade.
You just never know.
There are a few things to consider when looking at the Reds and Nats as potential opponents, and you’ll get a chance in the comments to add your two cents and, in the process, enter to win a playoff pizza party for 20 courtesy of Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria.
We’re talking about extremely small sample sizes due to Major League Baseball’s unbalanced schedule, but over the course of six games the Nationals dominated the Giants. It was ugly — Washington went 5-1 against San Francisco and outscored the Giants 45-24.
It wasn’t as lopsided, but the Reds also held the regular season advantage against the Giants (4-3 record, 28-21 cumulative score). Something that may or may not be worth noting: the Giants haven’t played the Reds since late June, while the Nationals came to San Francisco and took two of three in mid-August.
It’s not exactly breaking new ground to state that teams that go into the playoffs playing well tend to fare better. That’s probably the biggest concern with the Giants clinching with almost two weeks left, but nothing much anyone can do about that now. And the Reds face the same “problem.”
If you’re able to determine who’s playing better as of late, your eyes are more discerning than mine. The Reds’ second half record is 46-23. The Nationals’ second half record is 44-27. The Reds are 12-9 so far in September, the Nationals are 13-10.
Gio Gonzalez has a good shot at winning the NL Cy Young Award and Justin Zimmerman isn’t far behind in terms of production, but without Stephen Strasburg the gap between the Nats’ rotation and the Reds’ top four narrows a bit. Still, it would seem that Gonzalez, Zimmerman, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler have the edge over Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo and Homer Bailey.
(One thing that’s kind of weird — Gonzalez’s WAR according to Fangraphs is 0.6 higher than Cueto’s, while Cueto holds the edge according to Baseball Reference by 1.2 WAR. Let’s just agree that they’re both very good.)
Both teams are strong here as well. Perhaps a slight edge to Cincinnati due to Aroldis Chapman shining above all other relievers this season, but the Nationals’ relievers are almost as impressive.
How does a huge fiesta sound?
Here’s how you can win an Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria Playoff Pizza Party for 20 at your home (as long as your home is in Amici’s delivery area):
Every day this week we’ll be running an contest post where you can comment for your chance to win.
Readers can enter daily — the more you comment, the higher your chances are to win a Playoff Pizza Party for 20 from Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria. There will be a random drawing on Saturday to select winner.
TODAY’S COMMENT TOPIC: WHICH TEAM WOULD BE A BETTER MATCHUP (MEANING AN EASIER SERIES VICTORY) FOR THE GIANTS: CINCINNATI REDS OR WASHINGTON NATIONALS?