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Pitching with the season on the line

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David Price and Alex Cobb

Maddie Meyer

Mike Axisa of CBS Eye on Baseball just ranked the playoff teams in order of the best to worst starting pitcher duos. It's tough to argue with his selection of Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke of the Dodgers first, and probably not worth arguing about the choice of Detroit second. Whether you call their number two starter Anibel Sanchez or Justin Verlander is mostly a moot point—it's better to have all three than to not.

That brings us to the Rays, Axisa's number three with David Price and Alex Cobb. If a team needs to win two one-game playoffs to get into the divisional series, there's very few better ways to go about it than to throw David Price in the first and have Alex Cobb ready for the potential second matchup.

In much the same vein, the always excellent David Laurila asked 12 major league players who they would want pitching if they needed to win one game. They were not allowed to name a pitcher from their own team. An overwhelming six of the twelve chose Clayton Kershaw, but the only other pitcher to be named more than once was our own David Price.

Adrian Gonzalez:

David Price. Nastiest? He’s up there for sure.

Nate McLouth:

I can’t say Nolan Ryan? I’m going to take David Price. I don’t like facing him. There are a handful of guys you could take, but he’s the guy I’ll go with. He’s got a big-game mentality

Those are both hitters who have spent time in the AL East, and who know Price well. One note I would make is that the players seem to be (correctly) keying on the fact that he's good, not that he's had amazing high-pressure success in the past. Price is 1-3 in the playoffs, with three playoff starts, and has a 3.96 ERA (worse than his career ERA). Of course I don't care about that, but it doesn't appear that Gonzalez or McLouth do either.

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