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On the Astros: So, you want to win a one game playoff?

The science (kind of) behind beating the Yankees.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros are finally back in the playoffs. We can finally watch meaningful baseball. We can finally watch the Astros play in October. It's 2015, who would've thought? One slight problem, a one game playoff and the New York Yankees stand in the way of the actual playoffs.

People say the playoffs are a crapshoot. If a five game, or a seven game, series is a crapshoot, I'm not even sure we can define what a one game playoff in which the winner takes all is. It's sad. Everything the Astros have done in the 162 games prior, could all be for nothing.

So, you want to win a one game playoff?

First, you'll need good pitching. And, thankfully, the Astros have just that in Dallas Keuchel. On the heels of a Cy Young calibre season, the left handed ace is a pretty good option to sent to the mound. I mean, sending the best pitcher in the league on the season to the mound has to give the Astros a great chance of winning.

After all, last season, the San Francisco Giants used a complete game shutout from Madison Bumgarner (and, then, another few unbelievably good starts) to see off the Pittsburgh Pirates. But, then again, the Oakland Athletics sent Jon Lester, their newly acquired ace, to the mound in their wildcard game and that, eh, didn't really work.

If you want to win a one game playoff, good starting pitching will certainly help, but, then again, it's only one game and, pretty much, anything can happen. Dallas Keuchel could, single handedly, win the wildcard game for the Astros. Dallas Keuchel could have a shocker. One game playoffs suck.

If you want to win a winner takes all contest, some clutch hitting will help. While, in general, clutch hitting is arbitrary, maybe the Astros can run into some big hits. And, who better to run into some big hits than a team full of slugging, home run hitting, strikeout prone, hitters?

Just like how Brandon Crawford slugged a game winning grand slam in the wildcard game last season, a big home run for an Evan Gattis, or a Chris Carter, in fact, anyone, will go a long way to help the Astros winning. Furthermore, where better than the home run friendly confines of Yankee Stadium to play such a game.

But, then again, the strikeouts could flood in, the home run ball could be lost, and Masahiro Tanaka could dominate. In one game anything can happen, irrespective of your quality, your talent and your abilities. One game playoffs suck.

Unless, Dallas Keuchel pitches a gem and the Astros advance, of course. In that case; praise the wildcard game and the opportunity of playoff baseball it has afforded us.