Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 NL Wildcard Game Prediction

Tonight is the NL Wildcard game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.  This is absolute pitching match-up pitting aces Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole against each other.  Gerrit Cole has had an absolutely outstanding season and I'm not trying to take anything away from him but I think Jake Arrieta gives the Cubs the advantage.  He finished the season 22-6 with an ERA of 1.77, an FIP of 2.35 and an fWAR of 7.3, second to only Clayton Kershaw.  But it is his second half that really shines considering it was one of the most dominate ever.  In 15 second half starts Jake Arrieta went 12-1 posting an ERA of 0.75, which is the lowest in baseball history.  And did I mention he struck out 28.3% of the batters he faced.  Since the beginning of August, spanning 12 starts, he has allowed all of 4 earned runs with a 0.41 ERA and the Cubs are 12-0 in those games.  In that same span 269 pitchers have allowed 4+ earned runs in an inning.  At the end of the day I think the Cubs win this game by a score of 3-1 because of Jake Arrieta.

Jake Arrieta: 8 IP, 11 Ks, 0 Walk, 3 Hits, 1 ER
Hector Rondon: 1 IP, 1 Ks, 0 Hits, 0 ERs

Gerrit Cole: 6 IP, 5 Ks, 1 Walks, 7 Hits, 3 ERs
Joakim Soria: 1 IP, 2 Ks, 1 Walk, 0 Hits, 0 ERs
Tony Watson: 1 IP, 1 K, 0 Walks, 0 Hits, 0 ERs
Mark Melancon: 1 IP, 1 K, 0 Walks, 1 Hit, 0 ERs

Cubs runs score on a Kris Bryant two-run home run with Dexter Fowler on base and an Anthony Rizzo solo home run.  Pirates score Polanco on a McCutchen double.

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