San Francisco Giants (88-74) at Washington Nationals (96-66)
|Date & Time||Friday October 3, 2014, 3:07 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Washington Nationals / San Francisco Giants --- Over/Under:
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The San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals is one of the more intriguing series in the first round of the MLB playoffs. Both have terrific pitching staffs and offenses that can disappear at times when it matters most. The Nationals won the regular season series, 5-2, and that’s probably because they’re the better team on paper.
However, like much of my playoff series predictions, I’m going with the underdog here and predicting that the San Francisco Giants win this series and advance. The logic here is quite simple, the Giants may be the lesser talented team than the Nationals but usually playoff time experience trumps talent. Majority of the players on the Giants roster have hardware already, while the Nationals have made the playoffs just once since making the switch from Montreal. Coach Bruce Bochy has two World Series rings and knows exactly what buttons to push to get the most out of his team. Coaching in October is where the best managers really earn their paychecks. I trust Bochy over a first-year manager in Mike Williams any day of the week.
The San Francisco Giants are the New England Patriots or Detroit Red Wings of major league baseball. They may not be the most talented team in the league, but you don’t want to face them in the playoffs considering they have so much experience in these type of situations. Knowing what it takes to win in the playoffs and having been in this position twice already, nerves are never an issue. The Nationals are still a little wet behind the ears and there’s a lot of questions surrounding just how well they’re going to play.
Sure, the Washington Nationals have the best ERA in baseball, but they had the second best ERA back in 2012 and still allowed eight or more runs in three of their five games against the St. Louis Cardinals. An experienced team back then simply beat down the more talented team and advanced.
The Giants are 22-8 in their last 30 playoff games and 4-0 in their last four playoff games on the road. There’s really no statistics that need to be broken down here other than the fact San Francisco was made for this time of year and has proven time and time again that it can get the job done.
A Nationals pitching staff of Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg is no joke, and is the main reason they’re in this position in the first place. However, none of those numbers matter in October.
Give me the team that’s done it before. The San Francisco Giants will defeat the Washington Nationals in the NLDS.