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MLB Playoffs Open Thread: Nationals at Dodgers, Indians at Red Sox, Cubs at Giants

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There are two potential sweeps on the docket today. Will the Red Sox and the Giants be playing on Tuesday?

Division Series - Cleveland Indians v Boston Red Sox - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers (Series tied 1-1)

Time/Place: 4:00 p.m. ET, Dodger Stadium
TV: MLB Network
Pitching Matchup: LHP Gio Gonzalez (4.57 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 177.1 IP in 32 GS) vs RHP Kenta Maeda (3.48 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 175.2 IP in 32 GS)

Outlook

Kenta Maeda is a rookie, and a good one at that. He’s been overshadowed by Corey Seager this year, who is a front runner for the NL Rookie of the Year award, but Maeda has been very good nonetheless. In addition, LA had a much better record at home than on the road (53-28 compared to 38-43) and a better record in September than any other month (they went 17-10). This game is definitely slanted in the Dodgers’ favor.

Hitters to fear are Seager (.321 BA, 18 HR at home this season) from Los Angeles and Daniel Murphy (.333 BA, 15 HR in away games this season) from Washington.

Prediction

The Dodgers win decisively in the first National League rout of the postseason.

★★★

Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox (Indians lead 2-0)

Time/Place: 6:00 p.m. ET, Fenway Park
TV: TBS
Pitching Matchup: RHP Josh Tomlin (4.40 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 174 IP in 30 G, 29 GS) vs RHP Clay Buchholz (4.78 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 139.1 IP in 37 G, 21 GS)

Outlook

Two semi-decent pitchers are going at it, and as usual, whoever pitches better will likely emerge victorious.

Hitters to fear are Jackie Bradley Jr. (3 for 7, 1 HR career vs Tomlin) and Dustin Pedroia (.294 BA in 17 AB career vs Tomlin) from Boston and Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana (8 for 16, 2 HR, 8 RBI combined career vs Buchholz) from Cleveland.

Prediction

I really want Buchholz to do well and pull off a win for the Red Sox, but that will depend on his offense. He’ll need run support to win this game. Let’s see what happens.

★★★

Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants (Cubs lead 2-0)

Time/Place: 9:30 p.m. ET, AT&T Park
TV: Fox Sports 1
Pitching Matchup: RHP Jake Arrieta (3.10 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 197.1 IP, 1 CG in 31 GS) vs LHP Madison Bumgarner (2.74 ERA, 226.2 IP, 4 CG in 34 GS)

Outlook

If there is one guarantee in the postseason, it’s pitcher’s duels. This game is not unlike the others this past week- in fact, it may be the best one yet! Arrieta and Bumgarner each need have their best stuff tonight if they plan on winning the game.

Hitters to fear are Arrieta (.188 BA, 4 HR career) from Chicago and Bumgarner (.183 BA, 14 HR career) from San Francisco (see what I did there?!).

Prediction

As good as Arrieta is, I don’t want to be the one to bet against Bumgarner. I’ll say San Francisco takes this one and Chicago wins tomorrow.

Enjoy the games everyone! Who are you rooting for?