Monday, October 5, 2009

MLB Playoff Predictions

It's a joy to wake up every day this month and it be October, the greatest sports month of the year. Playoff baseball, Opening Night for hockey and basketball, the NFL starts to shake things out and conference play begins in NCAA football. What's not to love?

American League
ALDS Matchups

Twingers vs. Yankees
That started out as a typo, but I'm gonna leave it because it doesn't matter who the Pinstripes play, my prediction is the same: Yankees 3-1 to move on to the ALCS for the first time since 2004. Sabathia and A-Rod begin to squelch the demons of their postseasons past with strong performances in the opening series.

Red Sox vs. Angels
As much as the Angels own the Yankees in the playoffs, the Red Sox own the Angels, but more so. Varitek has an overcooked string of spaghetti attached to his right shoulder and V-Mart's isn't much better but that means nothing. The Angels could steal 25 bases in this series and I still can't pick them to beat the Sox until they do. Sox 3-2 to set up what the East Coast loves and makes the rest of America puke: Sox vs. Yanks for the pennant.

ALCS Matchup

Red Sox vs. Yankees
The season has been leading up to this as the two best teams in baseball go at it in the biggest stage they can. Much like the NBA's Western Conference Finals in the late 1990s/early 2000s you can argue that this is the real World Series as whoever wins this should win the 'Ship. The Sox straight clowned on the Yankees through the first eight games blowing them out, coming from behind, shutting them down, and so on. (/Stephen Smith Voice) HOWEVER, once it hit August, the Yanks turned the tide and won nine of the next 10 games to split the season series. To say the Yankees have momentum is an understatement. The Yankees have the biggest mental edge over Boston since the final out of Game 3 in the 2004 ALCS. They will hammer Boston's pitching and win the series 4-1.

National League
NLDS Matchups

Rockies vs. Phillies
Rocktober is soooooooo 2007. Hamels, Lee and Pedro are going to shut it down. 3-0 Phillies in the least competitive Divisional Series. Shame on the Rockies (and potentially the Twins) for ruining what could have been the prettiest postseason of all time as far as uniforms go. Even with the purple and black team, it is probably the most aesthetically pleasing playoff lineups in the Divisional Era.

Cardinals vs. Dodgers
It concerns me that the Dodgers are starting Randy Wolf, but then I thought about it with my mind instead of my heart and I found this nugget: Wolf has only allowed more than 3 ER once since June 29 and is 6th in the Bigs with 24 quality starts. Basically three out of every four times he picks up the ball, he gives his team a good chance to win the game. Two Cardinals starters, Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter come in at 25 and 22 quality starts, respectively. I love the Dodgers league leading run differential of +169, but it worries me that their Pythagorean W-L record is FOUR games better than their actual record. This sounds like an unlucky team to me and in the playoffs you need luck just as much as you need good pitching and timely hitting. This series is the biggest toss up to me but I'll pick the Dodgers for home field purposes and the "Joe Torre knows how to win in October" factor. 3-2 Brooklyn.

NLCS Matchup

Phillies vs. Dodgers
In a rematch of 2008's ALDS, I see the same result as the Phillies are confident and better equipped for a series than the boys in blue. I like Howard, Utley and co. to win a second straight pennant and get the chance to defend their crown vs. the New York Yankees in an East Coast affair. Phillies 4-2.

World Series

Phillies vs. Yankees
Hamels and Lee vs. Sabathia and Burnett? Getcha popcorn ready. If you've read one paragraph on this blog, ever, you know both Meatballs are Yankees fans, so it would be against my nature to pick anyone but the Bronx Bombers in this matchup. Yankees 4, Phillies 1. The greatest franchise in the history of franchises or sports gets greater with 'Ship number 27. Ticker Tape parade down the Canyon of Champions, make some room for me.


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