O’s and Royals Sweep to Meet in ALCS
October 6th, 2014 by Justin Thomas
The sweeps were incredibly impressive on both sides, considering that the O’s beat the last 3 AL Cy Young winners in their 3 games, and the Royals were able to hold off the best offensive team in all of baseball.
Baltimore advances with home-field advantage for the ALCS as the AL East Champions, and Kansas City fights their way through Oakland and Los Angeles to advance as the AL Wild Card team.
Even though the O’s were the higher seed in their series, both the O’s and the Royals were the underdogs in their respective ALDS matchup.
Looking ahead to the ALCS between Baltimore and Kansas City, a couple of things stand out:
Number 1: Pitching
The Orioles starting staff has been very strong, stronger than they should be in theory. However, the Orioles real strength is in their bullpen. Baltimore has put themselves in a position with their bullpen that if their starter can make it even 5 innings, the bullpen can shut it down the rest of the way with confidence. The Royals, on the other hand, have proven that they have one of the strongest starting rotations in the major leagues, holding the best offense in the majors to just 6 runs in 3 games. They have also proven that their bullpen has durability, winning multiple extra-inning games this postseason.
Number 2: Team Chemistry
Both teams have made it to the ALCS mainly because they are just that…teams! These clubs have made it this far due to a very strong team chemistry. The Orioles have proven that they can mix-and-match players in the lineup for each game, and put a solid team out there every time. The Royals have had the strength as a unit to win clutch extra-inning games, and also come from behind and produce a decent amount of offense, both things they struggled with in the regular season.
Number 3: Managers
Buck Showalter vs. Ned Yost. Need I say more?
The ALCS between the Orioles and Royals starts Friday, October 10th in Baltimore.