As promised, I’m coming back this offseason with some real posts. Since I haven’t done that since like August, this is a big step for me. First up will be the Major League Baseball playoff predictions. Luckily, I’m really good at this so you won’t even have to watch the games and you can just jump right into hockey season. I can’t wait for hockey season.
Let’s get started:
We’ll start in the AL, since it’s not real baseball (I’m kidding, I’m just kidding…). The Central Division Champion Minnesota Twins will be squaring off against the trillion dollar Wild Card winners, the New York Yankees. I’m not going to try and hide it, I’m pulling for the Twins. The Yankees buy championships and I don’t like that. Unfortunately, the Yanks will win this one in four games. Really, just look at the probable pitchers for the series. New York sends up Sabathia, Pettitte, and Hughes while the Twins counter with Liriano, Pavano, and…Brian Duensing? No offense to Mr. Duensing here as he’s pitched well this season, but he’s not exactly the most feared pitcher in the world. The Yanks have crushed the ball off Twins’ pitching so far this year to the tune of a .297 team average in six games, though most of that damage came in the a three game set in New York. Minnesota has missed their slugging 1st baseman, Justin Morneau, since July 7th with post concussion syndrome but they have played in his absence. Jason Kubel did the most damage against the Yanks this year, launching three homers in four games and driving in 9 of the Twins 20 runs in the six games they played. So after all that, I think we’ll get the same result as the ’09 ALDS except I’ll give the Twins one win. Yanks in 4.
The other ALDS is much more intriguing, I think. The Rangers are playing someone other than the Yankees in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. They won their first ever playoff game and then promptly lost 9 straight after that. this year seems a bit different, though, as the Rangers sport a true ace of their pitching staff for the first time in a long, long time. That ace none other than Cliff Lee, who will probably get $100+ million from the Yankees in the offseason. He’ll battle with former #1 pick David Price in what may be the best pitching matchup of all the Division Series. Past those two it’s kind of a toss up. CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis for the Rangers have no postseason experience while the Rays will send out James Shields and Matt Garza. Both are capable of shutting the Rangers down but they’re also capable of giving up a ton of runs. This should be interesting. One thing the Rays do not have is Josh Hamilton, who hit .300 with two homers against Tampa in the regular season. I’m saying he’ll be the difference in this series as Rangers win in 5.
Over in the NL we have the Phillies and the upstart Reds starting their series tomorrow. I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time breaking this one down because this won’t be close. That’s not a knock on the Reds, but the Phils are that good. Their three man rotation in this series will be Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels. Yeah. Series over. The only real chance the Reds have is if Joey Votto hits .850 with 9 homers or if Johnny Cueto gets scared of something and kicks Ryan Howard in the face until he retires. That’s only two start suspension, you know. Phils in 3.
The final series the NL is probably the most competitive. I really don’t know who’s going to win this one. The Braves are banged up but still manage to win and the Giants got in the playoffs because the Padres decided they didn’t want to go. Atlanta is going to throw a red-hot Derek Lowe in Game 1 against Tim Lincecum. Logic suggests the Giants and Lincecum would win that one, but in his last five starts Lowe is 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA and a 2.14 Groundball ratio. If he comes out with his sinker working as well as it has been then he could make shore work of the Giants relatively anemic offense. On the flip side, no one on the Braves has hit well against Giants pitching except Martin Prado who is out for the year. Really, I don’t know which way to go on this one. The Giants hit .197 against the Braves this year with a collective OPS of .582. That’s horrific. I’m going with the Braves in 5 just because I like them more. This one’s a toss up.
And now, because I really want to play video games I’m going to save my Championship series breakdowns for a later date. But really, it’s going to be the Phillies. I don’t really need to write it.
Filed under: MLB | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Cincinnati Reds, Major League Baseball, Minnesota Twins, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Playoffs, Predictions, San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers |