I know this is a little late as Gio Gonzalez is in agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers on a deal, but I have to at least put it out there as to why he should have been an Angel.
Anaheim is dead last in their division. Their pitching staff looks more like the waiting room at your local hospital then a major league staff with injuries to Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs and Nick Tropeano. 4/5th of the what should have been their starting rotation this year are injured. What did the Angels’ do? They turned to Matt Harvey, a reclamation project, and Trevor Cahill, an 11 year vet with a career ERA of 4.11.
Gio Gonzalez was at one point a very good pitcher, similar to Matt Harvey, but he lost his way. For a team like the Angels that really have no better options why not take a chance on another reclamation project? Why not see if they could capture lightning in a bottle? What is the worst that could happen, they fall further in to last place? Getting Gonzalez on the cheap is a low risk, high potential reward for the Angels who really can’t sink any further.
Last night the Boston Red Sox, behind the bat of Brock Holt, beat up on the New York Yankees. It was an impressive win and history was made with Holt hitting for the cycle, but why is no one talking about the Houston Astros sweeping the Cleveland Indians on Monday.
Houston is the defending World Series Champions, they won 103 games in 2018 and beat Cleveland like they were playing a minor league team in spring training. Yet if you watched the news this morning you may not even realize they played. New York, Los Angeles and Boston are big TV markets, but let’s not loose sight of what the Astros are doing on their way to defending their 2017 Championship.
With all-stars like George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Gerrit Cole the Astros have to be feared and respected. Let’s stop paying attention to a non-deciding game between the Yankees and Red Sox and start talking about the sweep that took place last night.
According to @OddsShark the Dodgers and Brewers are +350 to win the World Series, just behind the Astros at +260, but let’s be honest is anyone picking the Brewers to beat LA?
Let me be clear I am not a Dodgers fan, but clearly they are the horse to bet on in the NLCS. Los Angeles finished 2018 with an National League leading 3.38 team ERA lead by not Clayton Kershaw (2.73 ERA), but by Hyun-Jin Ryu (1.97 ERA over 82.1 IP). Oh and that guy Kershaw, may be the best pitcher we have ever seen, wasn’t even the team leader in wins. That honor falls to Rich Hill. Why then am I bringing up Kershaw in all this, because that just shows the depth of the Dodgers starting rotation. They will have to face the likes of Jhoulys Chacin, Wade Miley, Chase Anderson and a few other castoffs from other teams. Hands down the Dodgers have the better starting staff.
While the Brewers have the clear favorite for the NL MVP in Christian Yelich and a solid center fielder, though over-hyped coming out of Kansas City, in Lorenzo Cain I dare you to name the other seven starters. Go ahead, I can wait while you try. Times up. Milwaukee was second in the NL in home runs, behind the Dodgers. They finished seventh in average, LA was eighth, and sixth in OBP while their counterpart was third. Los Angeles is lead on offense by guys like Manny Machado, Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig and Kemp, household names for fans of the MLB. Clearly the advantage in hitting swing to the Dodgers.
With all that being said the one category that the Brewers may dominate in over the Dodgers is heart. No statistic can measure heart, but you can see it on the field and for sure the Brewers have it. Unfortunately pitching, hitting and skill usually beat out heart in professional sports and the NLCS will be no different.