Honestly, this was something that I just thought of today. I’m going with an uncommon upset pick for who will win the AL Wild Card. I know I might be prone to the fact that they have had a hot start however I think they can carry through in the long run.
Wild Card: Angels vs Yankees
Yes you heard right, the Angels. And let me throw another curveball:
The Angels are beating the Yankees in the Wild Card
You heard it here first! In the matchup that pits Garrett Richards vs Luis Severino, I smell another choke job on the part of Severino, but I see Richards doing significantly better than last year’s Ervin Santana. Richards throws in a curveball compared to Ervin Santana’s style of pitching. What makes Richards special is the ability to change direction on his fastball. Imagine a 99 MPH fastball coming at you, now imagine that fastball dipping and ducking. It’s a hard pitch to hit, especially for the Yankees and most teams who are fastball hitters. Richards also has a good changeup, which is essential to a 99 MPH fastball and he can throw in a slider and curveball for good measure. Garrett Richards plays into a Wild Card himself with his pitching style that should throw Yankees hitters off.
But what if this becomes a bullpen game? Even if the Angels provide a lot of offense, shouldn’t the Yankees come back and win thanks to their bullpen and their offense coming back? Nah not in this case. Let’s say Garrett Richards goes 7 innings and allows maybe 2 runs at the max. Who can finish in the Angels bullpen? Well you have Jim Johnson, who has a strong arm and is coming off a weak season and Bud Norris as valuable set up men. The Angels could possibly trade for a closer, this being their weakness in the bullpen. But I see the Angels doing just enough in the opening stages to run away. I think that with veteran leadership among the likes of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols should propel this dynamic squad to the top. At some point, Mike Trout has gotta have a playoff career.
Names like Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez are all sexy. But as I explained, I smell an upset.