Entering the 2014 playoffs, the Oakland Athletics should be shaking in their cleats. The Royals have nothing to lose, and Big Game James will at least match lester through 7. Then, all of you reading this post knows what comes out of the Royal’s ‘pen, and the A’s can’t score. I like the Royals to win this game simply because of their ability to play small ball and push a run across in a tight game. Unless Adam Dunn struts into postseason folklore for his first postseason game, Kansas City advances, with momentum. This, of course, begs the question, did Billy Beane push too hard this year? A GM notoriously known for buying low and getting the most value for the franchise’s money, gambled to acquire an old pal. As of now, it looks like that was a losing bet, and Beane removing Cespedes from the highest scoring offense in baseball, depleted it to merely average. I am interested to see how Shields attacks a lineup that has struggling hitters and big time strikeout candidates (Moss, Dunn).
In the other dugout, the Royals may just be happy to be here. But, after thumping the Patriots on Monday Night Football, maybe the whole town of KC is feeling some mojo heading into baseball’s post season. But, one game and done may kill all that good Kansas City hangover feeling after muscling through a rack of Sweet and Sassy BBQ Brisket (Sounds good). But mayybeeee, a team that Paul Konerko said reminds him of the 2005 White Sox can use enough small ball, speed, and savvy to string together a few wins.
I think it’s going to be a great game. My prediction is that Lester goes 7 innings strong striking out 6 with 5 base runners allowed. However, 2 of those runs score. Shields goes 7 allowing 1 and the Royals win 3-1 after being able to push across another in the late innings to give their stingy bullpen more support. I like Alex Gordon to have a big hit in this one.
What do you think?