PCL Finals Start Tonight

The Pacific Coast League Championship Series opens tonight, when the best-of-five series begins in Round Rock, Texas.

It’s an all-Texas battle in terms of the major league affiliates: the Texas Rangers Round Rock club against the Houston Astros Fresno affiliate.

Neither team has ever won a PCL title before, so someone new is going to get the trophy.

The big news going into the series is that PCL Most Valuable Player Matt Duffy was called up by the Houston Astros yesterday, creating a big hole in Fresno’s lineup (Duffy hit 20 homers and drove in 104 runs). Fresno has replaced him with infielder Colin Moran from Houston’s Double-A team – he’s former Rainiers pitcher Brian Moran‘s little brother, who was a first round draft pick in 2013.

Despite that key roster move, I’m picking Fresno to win the series. I like the way the starting rotations stack up for Fresno – especially in the later games of the series. But I do think it is going the distance. My pick: Fresno in five games.

Here’s the schedule with listed starting pitchers – all times are Pacific:

  • Game One – tonight: Fresno’s Mike Hauschild at Round Rock’s Anthony Ranaudo, 5:05
  • Game Two – Wednesday: Dan Straily at Robert Coello, 5:05
  • Thursday – travel day.
  • Game Three – Friday: Round Rock’s Phil Klein at Fresno’s Brett Oberholtzer, 7:05
  • Game Four (if necessary) – Saturday: TBA at Asher Wojciechowski, 7:05
  • Game Five (if necessary) – Sunday: Anthony Ranaudo at Mark Appel, 1:05

You can follow the games rather easily online: go to the PCL scoreboard right here and when the game starts there will be icons for free streaming radio broadcasts, a pitch-by-pitch gameday screen, and MiLB.TV if you are a subscriber.

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