If you missed The Stack from yesterday since it got posted late, you can be find it here. The Stack is back today to recap baseball and look ahead to TNF so let's get right to it and see what's in "the stack" for today, Thursday, October 3:
Rays top Indians, advance to ALDS
Tampa Bay Rays continue to roll and look like a very hot team following
their 4-0 win over the Cleveland Indians last night. Their pitching has
been tremendous. Alex Cobb was the man on the mound last night
and pitched seven strong shutout innings. Have to feel good for him
given what he went through this year getting hit in the head by a line
drive against Kansas City and missing what, 60 days? So you have to
feel good for him. Speaking of feeling good, Delmon Young is
feeling good. He belted a home run to break a 0-0 game in the top of
the third that helped propel the Rays. Indians pitcher Danny Salazar
had mowed through the lineup the first two innings and was feeling
confident. Young put an end to that. Now the Rays get Boston on
Friday. Boston won the season series 12-7. Should be a good series,
one I can see the Rays winning. They had to win on the road to earn a
shot at the playoffs. Then they beat Texas Monday night in game 163 and
had a relatively easy time last night against Cleveland. Their
pitching staff is good and feeling it right now. Should be a good
NLDS picks today
The baseball playoffs really feel like they are starting today with the National League Divisional Series. The first game puts the Pittsburgh Pirates up against the St. Louis Cardinals. It's so great to have the Pirates back in the playoffs this year. They are going to give the Cardinals all they can handle in this series. Had Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh and were playing St. Louis, I'd put the odds the the Cardinals win at 85/15. Against Pittsburgh, it's 50/50. The Pirates won the season series 10-9. Today's matchup puts A.J. Burnett on the mound for the Pirates against Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals. While Pittsburgh has a little momentum right now, I think the Cardinals pick up the game one victory. First pitch is set for 5:07 PM ET on TBS.
The second NLDS game today is between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers were in last place in the NL West a couple of months into the season and then once they called up Yasiel Puig, their season completely turned around. They were the hottest team in baseball. They won the NL West by 11 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks. They cooled off a little bit in September, but they are ready for October. The Braves are a good team, but they struggle in the postseason. Great regular season team, suspect playoff team. I think it happens in this series once again and while the Dodgers won't sweep the Braves, they'll win game one. Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers against Kris Medlen of the Braves. Kershaw will dominate. First pitch is set for 8:37 PM ET on TBS.
Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns 8:25 PM ET NFL Network
When this game first appeared on the NFL schedule, the game looked like a snooze fest. However, both teams are 2-2 and have played surprisingly well this year. The Browns looked like they gave up on their season two weeks ago when they traded Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, but they have won the last two games led by Brian Hoyer. He's played extremely well. The Bills are a little banged up on both sides of the ball. They've lost some defensive starters, but that didn't stop them from picking off Joe Flacco five times last week. Don't know if C.J. Spiller will play tonight. If he does, he won't be fully healthy. Cleveland is rolling right now. I see that continuing.
Prediction: Browns 24 Bills 16
Coming up Friday: TNF reaction plus preview and predictions for week 5 in the NFL.