October 2, 2007

MLB Divisional Playoff Picks

While many of us have already shifted our primary focus to football, the baseball playoffs should be interesting and at least keep us entertained when the football's a blowout. But really, October baseball is always fun.

American League:

Angels at Red Sox: While the Red Sox have the most recognizable set of names in the rotation, none of the starters has finished the season on the highest of notes. Dice-K probably has a tired arm, Schilling is starting to look old, and Beckett can be great or mediocre. The Sox bullpen is their real Achilles heel, with no decent setup man other than Timlin (maybe). The Angels have the pitching to make this an interesting series. The key will be whether the Halos can get their speedsters on the bases enough to disrupt the Sox pitching and manufacture some runs. Look for a big series from Vlad the Impaler. Pick: Angels in 4.

Yankees at Indians: We all know what the Yankees have: old pitching and incredible lineup. The Indians are more of an unknown. The lineup has a lot of pop, and Sabathia and Carmona had great years at the top of their rotation. The key for both teams will be patience early in the game, working counts, so that each lineup can exploit the other's bullpen. Unfortunately, I think the crafty, aging Yankee pitching will have a good series against a young lineup. Petitte is back, and I can't remember the last time he lost in the postseason. I hate myself. Pick: Yankees in 4.

National League:

Rockies at Phillies: The battle of fading momentum. The Rockies have won 13 of their last 14. The Phillies have come back from 7 down with 17 to play, with some help from the Mets. The only pitcher with decent credentials on either team is Hamels, but neither ballpark really limits the home runs. Expect a high scoring series, with plenty of excitement. I think the Rockies come back to Earth. The schedule really hurts them. After playing a 13 inning game last night and all that excitement and then the red-eye to follow, they're the first game tomorrow at 3. The Phillies have slightly better pitching and a few veterans with some playoff experience. Pick: Phillies in 5.

Cubs at D'Backs: This is the toughest series to handicap in my opinion. Both teams have greatly exceeded expectations. The D'Backs are very young but managed the best record in the NL. The Cubs looked unbeatable at times, but terrible at others. As I see it, the experienced, high-quality Cubs starting pitching will dominate the inexperienced Arizona lineup. I'm going out on a limb and calling for a sweep, though it could be a sweep the other way. Pick: Cubs in 3.

See you next round, though just so the record is straight: Angels to win it all. I hate the Yankees and the Red Sox.

6 Responses:

"ben" said...

Cubs beat Phils
Yanks beat Red Sox

Cubs beat Yanks

Then all we'll have left is Cleveland to end their horrible streak and the world can finally end.

Russell said...

So maybe I should have checked the injury report to see that Gary Matthews Jr. didn't make the roster before picking the Angels... I'll stick with them and hope for the best.

Jeremy said...

Russell, given your 5-0 week of NFL picks, I personally would have no problem riding your MLB picks to the bank (your NCAA destruction can be forgiven based upon all the upsets)

michael said...

Yeah with no Matthews, and Vlad stuck to DHing only, the Angels have a severe disadvantage on defense. That in addition to the fact that Lackey has like an ERA of 37 at Fenway. It doesnt look good for the Halos.

Russell said...

Good thing the teams I picked are a combined 0-6 so far. Jeremy, I hope you rode my picks to the trash can, because they're not going to the bank.

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