Sep 28, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcherSonny Gray
(54) and catcherGeovany Soto
(17) along with teammates celebrate their win over the Texas Rangers during a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Athletics clinched a wild card with the win. (Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports)
Even though the Royals are in their first postseason game in 29 years and have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, I am picking Lester and the Athletics to win the game primarily because of Lester’s dominance against the Royals and I think Oakland can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they avoided the collapse. This team still has the talent of the one that was leading the AL West up until August 1 and I expect that to show up tonight. Both pitchers will throw great games, but I’ll take Oakland by a final score of 4-2.
As for the fit for the Yankees, I think Lester is a better fit for New York than Shields. For one, the Bronx Bombers would not have to give draft pick compensation to the A’s since he was traded in the middle of the season, so it would be mainly cash based. Second, Lester knows the division very well, since he has 13 or more career wins against the other three teams.
Shields is going to be a good pickup for somebody in free agency and if he keeps advancing the Royals in this postseason, his price tag is going to go way up.
Both pitchers can eat innings and be front-of-the-line starters for any team. However, the key stat that separates Lester from Shields is the postseason numbers. Shields has a 5.80 ERA in six postseason games while Lester has a 2.11 ERA in 11 starts. Both pitchers can eat innings, which is what the Yankees’ need, but in a city that still has championship or bust aspirations, it’s the former Red Sox that seems to be the better fit between the two pitchers.