It’s playoff time in the MLB, and if Tuesday’s Twins – Tigers game was any indication, it will be a great postseason in the MLB. There are several big stories that will unfold as the postseason progresses- Who will close games for the Phillies? Is the Dodgers pitching good enough? Can the Twins recover from Tuesday’s emotional win? And more. With all these questions in mind, here are my MLB Postseason predictions:
American League Division Series (ALDS):
New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins
This is probably the most one-sided match-up in the postseason. I like the Yankees in this series. I think the Yankees are a more complete team and will benefit tremendously from home field advantage.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Boston Red Sox
This is going to be a very competitive series, but someone has to win it and I think that someone will be the Angels. These two teams are way different. The Red Sox are more of the power team, whereas the Angels are the small ball speed team. Past history doesn’t bode well for the Angels, but I think this year things will be different. If the Angels win one of the first two games against Lester or Beckett, I think they will win the series thanks to home field advantage. Also, Varitek cannot throw anybody out so expect the Angels to run (and run a lot).
American League Championship Series (ALCS):
New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Yankees will get their playoff nemesis in the ALCS. The Yankees have not had much past playoff success against the Angels, but as I mentioned before I think this season will be different and the Yankees will win the series. Why will this season be different? Well similarly to the Red Sox – Angels match-up, these two teams are way different (the Yankees are the power team and the Angels are the small ball team). The difference again will be the home field advantage, the Yankees home stadium is built perfectly for the team. Also, I honestly believe that the pitching is pretty even in terms of match-ups (Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte are just as good as Lackey, Weaver, Kazmir).
National League Division Series (NLDS):
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies have one of the most amazing turnarounds that I have ever seen in the MLB. They were playing some pretty terrible baseball until they fired Clint Hurdle. After they overcame that “hurdle,” they have played some top level baseball and almost won the division. Despite that I feel that the Phillies will win this series. Cliff Lee was a top 3 deadline pick up this season, and the Phillies have a solid line-up with Utley, Howard and Ibanez. My one concern is the back of the pitching staff, the Phillies need to find a solid option to close out games. If they can’t find a reliable option, they may be in danger of the upset.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
I really like the St. Louis Cardinals this season. Acquiring Matt Holliday was a great move and they have probably the best rotation in the playoffs with Carpenter and Wainwright (either could win the Cy Young). Ryan Franklin is solid at closing out games. The Dodgers don’t have the pitching to win this series and they have not been playing their best baseball in September.
National League Championship Series (NLCS):
Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals
I think the Cardinals will win this series and join the Yankees in the World Series. The Cardinals have as good a line up as the Phillies with Pujols, Holliday (if not a better one). The real difference is the pitching, the Cardinals pitching is much better than the Phillies. I would take Carpenter, Wainwright and Pineiro over Lee, Hamels and Blanton/Happ any day of the week. I would certainly take Franklin over Lidge/Madson.
New York Yankees vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Yankees look to do what they did the last time they opened a new stadium- win the world series. Clearly the Cardinals have the better starting rotation, but the Yankees have better line up when looking at the line up as a whole. The key to this series will be the fact that the Yankees have home field advantage. It will be a hard fought series, but I look for the Yankees to win it in 6 games. The Yankees are hungry for a championship, as they showed in the off-season by getting Sabathia, Teixeira and Burnett. I don’t think anything will stop the Yankees from achieving that goal.
Questions or comments? Feel free to post a comment below or send me a tweet @MikesPickz
I am 50/50 on your rankings. I agree with you that the Cardinals will make the World Series, but I think the team they meet there will be the LA Angels. The Angels play the type of baseball that wins World Series. The Yankees simply don’t have a deep enough pitching staff to make it to the World Series. And as we all know… Pitching wins championships. I think the Angels will run all over the Red Sox and win 3-1. The Phillies have some pitching trouble. We’ll see which Lee and Hammels show up, not to mention a closer. I think the Rockies could be the upset team of this year’s playoffs.
I agree about the Rockies, if I had to pick an upset win they would be the team. As for the Angels, I don’t think that they have the pitching that many people associate with them. They have been a deep pitching team in the past, but this year I think they won more because of hitting and speed than they did because of pitching. An interesting fact- the Angels had the highest team batting average in the Majors (.285) followed by the Yankees (.283) and both of them were well in front of the third place team. Also the Yankees had a better team ERA than the Angels (4.26 for the Yankees and 4.45 for the Angels). And the Yankees have one of the best back of the bullpens in the Majors (Rivera, Hughes and Aceves).
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