John Smoltz was a recent guest on a very good episode of Jonah Keri’s podcast and he articulated that the current playoff format does not reward the best team in each league like it should. He’s correct. The team who performs best over the course of a 162-game season should have an advantage over the wild card team in the division series, or at least a bigger advantage than three home games versus two. Smoltz opined that maybe four of the five games should be at the home of the league’s best team.
Frankly, I don’t think that goes far enough. My proposal: In the division series the wild card team has to play every game - be it three, four, or five - on the road. And the games are on consecutive days (maybe we could allow for one off-day) to prevent a wild card team winning on the strength of two good pitchers. The other division series can remain as is. It would likely finish later than the best team vs. wild card series but that further benefits the team with the best record by allowing them to rest and set up their rotation for the next round, assuming, of course, that they win their division series.
Yes, that means if the Cardinals are lucky to make the NLDS this year they’d have to play every game at Wrigley under this proposal and that’s entirely fair. The Cubs are running away with the division, they’ve earned every advantage. Just as the Cardinals did last year. Besides, there’s also this:
Joe Schwarz took a look at Carlos Martinez’s highly effect slider. This is good news, everyone. And this same Carlos Martinez is organizing a Vitilla tournament at Ballpark Village. If you’re unfamiliar with Vitilla, Lil Scooter has you covered.
I gushed over Yadier Molina’s fine hitting in the second half of 2016. Yadi is also about a month away from finally showing up on the Cardinals’ Baseball-Reference page for top 20 career WAR players. Sorry, Jim Bottomley.
Lots of Cardinals’ affiliates heading to the playoffs. Check it out here.
Facebook live episode 12: The Bullpenning
Come join Craig Edwards on his couch as he rolls through a litany of issues as it pertains to our favorite baseball team.
It was an off-day last night so that’s it. Enjoy your holiday weekend, everyone.