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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Astros: Analyzing the NLDS 

First pitch is now less than four hours away! Instead of penning an emotionally-clouded preview of my own, I'll defer to the wisdom of two individuals, whose work I probably couldn't match anyway.

Ray Kerby (Astros Daily):

"The Braves dominated each of the three previous meetings, winning 9 of the 10 games played. However, their last post-season matchup with the Astros was in 2001 and there are many indications that this year could end with a different result... Anyone expecting a replay of those lopsided playoff rounds is going to be sorely disappointed. In fact, the only commonality is former Astro Mike Hampton, who is expected to start Game 2 for the Braves... Conclusion: do not expect any mental carry-over from games that were played over three years ago.

Prediction: Astros win and sweep series, 3-0"
...and in the interest of equal time...

Mac Thomason (Braves Journal):

"To get one thing out of the way, this Astros team bears little resemblance to the Astros teams routinely wiped out by the Braves in past NLDS... This year's Braves team has a weaker offense but a more broad-based one. And the starting pitching is far better, led by Wright. Wright is the Braves' key player. If he keeps pitching like he did in the second half ... they're in great shape. If not, it will turn into a slugging contest, and that will be tough to win against Clemens and Oswalt.

60 percent chance of Braves win.
Most likely outcome: Braves in four
Both are full of great content.


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