John Fredericks MLB Playoffs 2023
4-4 Minus $-155
All Picks Based on $100 Unit Wagers
After spending much of the 2023 MLB season proclaiming himself as the ultimate baseball genius who reshaped and reinvented the game itself, Tampa Rays manager Kevin Cash’s team collapsed like a house of cards in their second straight wild-card exit.
The Rays, winners of 99 games and off to a 23-3 start, had all three games in a best of three series at home against a team that limped into the playoffs via the back door.
Cash’s crew got smoked and humiliated, losing the first two games at the Trop while scoring a grand total of one run over 18 innings against the most pathetically inept pitching staff in the MLB 2023 playoffs.
Cash’s massive managerial ego aside, the Rays stunk up the place, while looking both helpless and listless.
We can now put to bed once and for all the persistent rumor that Kevin Cash’s was ordained as God’s gift to baseball.
On to the teams that are still in the dance. The Rays are now playing golf. Good riddance.
Rangers at O’s (-145) 1:00 PM EST
Turn out the lights Bochy, the party’s over. The birds had the best record in the American League in 2023 for a reason. They’re a young but solid club. They start off in Camden Yards throwing their ace Kyle Bradish who has nasty stuff, which got him to 12-7 with a 2.23 ERA at home.
Bradish has allowed ZERO earned runs in his last two starts over 10 innings. In his one start against the Rangers he hurled 8.1 innings of one run ball, giving up five hits and two walks.
Texas, who’s bullpen lucked out against a flat Rays bunch, counters with Andrew Heaney who sports a 4.29 ERA.
Against Baltimore this season, Heaney has been rocked for eight runs and three doctor long-balls over 9.2 innings.
The Rangers luck runs out today at The Yard. This isn’t the Trop and there will be 50,000 screaming fans, not 19,000.
Pick: O’s (-145)
Twins at Astros (-160) 4:45 PM EST
I don’t think so, Twinks.
You’re not at home, these aren’t the Blue Jays and you have to face Justin Verlander in game one. Here is JV’s line over his last two starts–both were must win games against teams fighting to make the post-season: 13 innings, one earned run, no homers, five hits and four walks. Verlander has been lights out down the stretch.
The Twins trot out Baily Ober, who was optioned to Triple A as recently as August 28 for a tired arm.
The one advantage the Twins have is their 103 MPH closer, who looks un-hittable right now. Houston avoids him by playing ahead in the late innings.
The Astros have arguably the best lineup up and down the order in baseball, with a ton of depth off the bench. Couple that with the best all around bullpen in the majors who just got five days needed rest.
I respect the Twins, but this is a tall order in a short series. Houston’s bull-pen makes this a six inning game.
Pick: Astros (-160)
Phillies (+190) at Atlanta 6:00 PM EST
This is the Braves worst nightmare matchup in the first round in a best of five series. This Phillies crew is basically a giant slayer, they have no fear of Atlanta and they hit everybody. While Spencer Strider has seemed invincible at times, in 27 innings against the Phillies this season he’s given up seven earned runs, two nukes and 18 hits. This is not worth -210. All the pressure is on the Braves to win this first game at home. Philadelphia is loose as a goose and confident.
Atlanta, you have a problem. You don’t want to go to Philadelphia at 1-1.
Pick: Phillies (+190)
D-Backs at Dodgers (-195) 9:45 PM EST
This series is a mis-match and I look for a Dodgers sweep. Clayton Krenshaw in 7-1 at Dodger stadium with a 1.58 ERA. Arizona does not have the bats to challenge Krenshaw. Couple this with the fact the D-Backs really extended their bullpen in sweeping the hapless Brewers.
The D-Backs starter Merrill Kelly has pitched 20.1 innings against L.A. this season. He’s allowed 27 hits, 11 runs and 13 walks. This is not a typo.