If Beckett, Wells & Lester can just eat innings and get the ball to Mike Timlin, Brian Corey & Johnathon Papelbon without giving up tooo many runs I think they represent the East in the playoffs.
Belle4Hall, Brian Corey???? Corey's not even one of the Sox best 5 relievers. Now if you said Hansen and Delcarmen, then maybe... but really the only 2 good relievers on the Sox are Timlin and Pap.
They also have one of the best lineups in baseball. The Tigers are the most complete team in baseball in my opinon.
I don't know about the lineup thing. Tigers are 7th in the Al in runs scored. They have the most complete pitching staff, by far, in all of baseball, and they might have the best team, but it's because of their pitching, not their lineup.
The lineup isn't great, but its not bad either. Piazza is having a great year and Adrian Gonzalez is devolping into one of the better first basemen in the NL.
The Padres have the 2nd least amound of runs scored in the NL. Their lineup is bad. You are right about Gonzalez and Piazza not being bad this year, but the bottom of that order has been atrocious. Walker's a decent offensive player, not worth the defensive downgrade. Greene, while a great defender is a pitiful hitter (yeah he gets the occasional HR, but his average is poor). Barfield is young, but he's not hitting well yet.
Any team playing Manny and Willy Mo in the OF is nowhere near a top defensive team in my book
Half Massed, you are right about half of this. Wily Mo isn't a very good OF, and that could be trouble for the Sox because of their ballpark. At least Trot Nixon did a good job of getting a good jump on balls. However, Manny has become a great outfielder in LF in that ballpark. He plays the Monster better than anybody since Carl Yastrzemski. And his general OF defense has become better. In Fenway, Manny doesn't need to do much besides play that wall.
Anyways, here are my prediction
East: Yankees (Red Sox field better, lineups are about even, starting staffs are both pretty bad though Yankees' is better, and believe it or not, the Yanks bullpen is better and deeper than Boston's.)
Central: Tigers (Polanco's injury can be replaced; they still have that 6 game lead, plus they have much better pitching than the White Sox)
West: Oakland (they've opened up that 5.5 game lead, and although I think the Angels team is better, I don't believe they can catch LAA.)
Wild Card: White Sox - most ridiculous lineup in baseball, Thome/Konerko/Crede/Dye/Pierzynski is simply ridiculous. Solid, deep bullpen, and a starting staff that is overrated but eats innings.
East: Mets (huge lead, easiest pick)
Central: Cardinals- I think that the Reds are due to fall down, especially Arroyo. Their lineup is also young, which scares me a little. The one big advantage the Reds have is in that bullpen though. The Cardinals are much more experienced than the Reds, plus they ahve a proven ace, plus have they have Pujols/Rolen.
West: LA Dodgers- I think they improved their team the most at the deadline. They ahve a solid staff (especially if Maddux keeps pitchign the way he has), and their lineup has gotten much better. Again, a lack of experience scares me here.
Wild Card: Phillies- I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but the Phillies have been playing great lately. The bullpen scares me now, but that lineup is really tough even without Abreu. Also, the SP is very good.