Last night the Twins and Tigers treated us to another great opening to the Major League Baseball playoffs. The Twins downed the tigers in 12 innings to earn the right to take on the New York Yankees later today in the Divisional Series. Lucky guys.
So last year I accurately predicted every series except the Dodgers-Cubs opening round set. With that in mind, I’ll probably get two of these series right and negate all the good feelings I still have about that post. Either way, this is always fun, so lets see who is going to win the 2009 World Series
Yankees vs. Twins
The Twins have been on a crazy hot streak before ousting the Tigers in last night’s one game playoff. In the past decade, three teams have entered the playoffs on similar streaks. Two of them lost in the Divisional Series and one lost in the ALCS. So not only do the Yankees have history on their side, but they also have the better team. I don’t have to go through their vaunted lineup or pitching rotation because everyone of them is a household name, it seems. The Twins will miss Justin Morneau greatly in this series, but Joe Mauer and Nick Punto will get them two games. Yankees in 5.
Phillies vs. RockiesPhils 3.
The Phillies are defending World Series Champs and the Rockies were the darlings of the playoffs two seasons ago. The Rockies boast a good lineup and a decent rotation, but the Phillies are markedly better in every aspect. I don’t see this one being very close with the Phils advancing easily in 3.
Cardinals vs. Dodgers
The Cardinals looked shaky down the stretch, but they still have Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and some guys named Pujols and Holliday. The Dodgers’ rotation is awfully young with the exception of Randy Wolf, who has never played in a postseason game. The Dodgers will certainly be a force with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and James Loney in their lineup, but it won’t be this year. Give me the Cardinals in 4. (This pick seemed solid this morning, but I’m now writing this while watching the Dodgers take a 3 run lead into the 7th. Oh well.)
Angels vs. Red Sox
This is a tough one. The Red Sox have eliminated the Angels in each of the past two playoffs, but as we know, history matters very little at this point. The Angels cruised to another AL West crown and the Sox cruised to the Wild Card, so these teams haven’t really played a meaningful game in a while. This is a toss up, but I’m saying history will repeat itself when the Sox win in 5.
Cardinals vs. Phillies
This would be an exceptional NLCS. I would love to see it. Cliff Lee vs. Chris Carpenter, Cole Hamels vs. Adam Wainwright. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, and Chase Utley for the Phils, Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, and Ryan Ludwick for the Cards. I think you’d have the top two 1-2 pitchers in the majors in this series and every game would be down to the wire. That being said, if it’s a close game, give me the team with Pujols. Cards in 6.
Red Sox vs. Yankees
Another chapter in the storied history of the Yanks-Sox rivalry. ESPN would eat this up. Of course, outside of the Northeast, most people would be pulling for both teams to lose (myself included). Just like the first series for the Yanks, they’re just the better team. There’s a reason why they finished 8 games ahead of the Sox in the regular season. No Aaron Boone heroics needed, Yanks in 5.
Cardinals vs. Yankees
This would be another fantastic series to see. These two franchises would meet in the World Series since 1964. They’ve combined for 36 titles, good enough for first and second in history. Just like the NLCS, it would provide some excellent matchups. I’d love to see Rivera stare down Pujols in the 9th at Yankee Stadium. It’s going to be one for the ages with each game being a battle to the end (think 2001 Series). Just like in the NLCS, give me the team with the best player and two Cy Young contenders. The St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series in 7 games.
Now last year I even threw out a World Series MVP winner and just so happened to get that right too (yes, I’m bragging), so I’ll try it again. I won’t go with a pitcher this time, it’s too risky in a seven game series. Pujols is too easy, so I’ll take Matt Holliday. He gets an even bigger pay day after another big postseason.
Feel free to heckle me when it’s the Dodgers vs. the Twins in the Series. I’ll still talk about the 2008 predictions.
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