ALDS- Rays in 4 (this could easily go either way; I think Tampa is slightly better in both the rotation and bullpen. It really comes down to the Lee vs. Price battle in Game 1. Plus Tampa has home-field.)
ALDS- Yankees in 4 (the easier one to call. No Morneau for Twins=problems. Liriano+home field should equal a split of the first two games for the Twins in one way or another. And the Twins have deeper starting pitching. But the Yanks have Rivera, and they'll throw Pettitte and Sabathia, which will make life tough for the Twins who struggle against LHP.)
NLDS- Phils in 3 (the easiest one to call. The Phils' top 3 starting pitchers are better than the Reds. Both teams play good offense. Phillies also have home-field. Phils also have the better closer, though the Reds do have two very impressive LHP (rhodes and chapman) coming out of the pen to help neutralize the Phils' left-handed dominant lineup late in games.)
NLDS- Giants in 5 (the toughest one to call. I actually think the Braves are the better team. But they are throwing Derek Lowe in game 1, and are only using their best SP [Hanson] for one start. They'll probably start DLowe twice, which is foolish. Plus the Giants have home-field. This series is so tight though that I could see it really going either way; part of the problem for the Braves is that 2 lefty starters for the Giants hurt the Braves lineup, who have 2 of their best 3 hitters as LHBs.
ALCS- Rays in 6. This is where the fun starts. But the Rays have more depth all-around. Plus they match up very nicely for the Yankees as Posada can't throw anyone out.
NLCS- Phils in 5. The Braves would have a better chance against Philly, since at least they have a very good bullpen if starting pitching could keep them in the ballgames. But the Phillies are still the class of the NL this year, either way.
WS- Phillies in 6. Again, the big three are going to be tough to stop, and I doubt the Phillies would throw anyone else but the big 3 if they make it to the world series. Plus Ruiz is a pretty good defensive catcher behind the plate, which would help to limit the Rays' running game.
At the end of the day though, we all know it's irrelevant since it's all about luck anyways....
NLDS- ATL v SF- ATL NLDS- CIN v PHI- CIN -------------------- ALCS- NY v TEX - TEX NLCS- ATL v CIN - CIN -------------------- WS- TEX v CIN -------------------- WS CHAMPS- JOSH HAMILTON AND THE TEXAS RANGERS
NLDS- ATL @ SF- ATL in 4 NLDS- CIN @ PHI- PHI in 4 -------------------- ALCS- MIN @ TEX- TEX in 6 NLCS- ATL @ PHI- PHI in 6 -------------------- WS- TEX @ PHI- PHI in 6
I thought it would be fun to go with underdogs! I think it's possible for Minn to beat a weak pitching Yankees team, and I think Texas/TB is the most fun 1st round match-up.
Philly is the favorite to make it back to the WS and I would love to see Texas big bats against Phillies big SPs.
...Boston papers now and then suffer a sharp flurry of arithmetic on this score; indeed, for Williams to have distributed all his hits so they did nobody else any good would constitute a feat of placement unparalleled in the annals of selfishness. -Updike
Rangers @ Rays – This one is all going to come down to Price vs. Lee in game 1. If Criff Ree gets the best of the rays, I don’t think the Rays’ staff can hold back that offense for the rest of the series. This is the series I think is the biggest toss up and the winner if this has a big determination on the next rounds outcome, in my opinion.. I’m gonna say that the Rays eek out a close one in game and end up taking the series.
Tampa Bay – 3, Texas - 1
Yankees @ Twins – What I want to happen and what I think will happen are two different things here. Francisco has big game jitters, and Ron Gardenhire is notoriously the Yankees bit@h. I think the Yankees could blow this one by pitching Phil Hughes in game 2 instead of pitching the veteran lefty, Pettite
On the road.. Assuming that the Yankees pitch Pettite in game 2, I think that 0 home games are won in this series.
New York – 3, Minnesota – 2.
Atlanta @ San Francisco – has Tim Lincecum had the best year of his career this year? No. has he looked extremely shakey throughout the majority of the season? Yes. Is he still Tim Lincecum? Yes. I think we see the real Lince in this series and with that, the Giants Staff is forceful. Depending on how they want to utilize their talent, any combination of Lince, Cain, Sanchez, Bumgardner is as good as it gets. Also, I think the Braves a making a severe mistake by pitching Lowe in game 1 instead of Hanson. The Braves lineup is decent, but it’s got holes and the Andres Torres led Giants offense is better than you think. This one’s a laugher.
Giants – 3, Braves 0
Cincinnati @ Philadelphia – might the reds have the best offense in baseball? It’s possible. But the Philadelphia’s is damn good as well. Philadelphia also has the staff and playoff experience to match it. If the Reds can get some quality work from there starters, they do have two nasty lefties (Rhodes and Chapman) in their pen to attack the Phillies lefty-heavy lineup, but I really don’t think it gets that far.
Phillies – 3, Reds 1
Yankees @ Rays – This one is immediate death to the Yankees. Posada can’t throw anyone out and the Rays can run, run, run. The Yankees pitchers are going to be so focused on trying to control those runners that their focus will shift from their pitcher and that’s when they’ll get hit by the Rays’ bats. I think the rays are going to control the pace of these games and the Yankees won’t be able to keep up. Look for the Rays to put up 5+ runs every game.
Tampa Bay – 4, New York – 2
San Francisco @ Philadelphia – Gonna see the playoffs best pitching duel in this series. Lincecum vs. Halladay, Cain vs. Oswalt, Sanchez vs. Hamels. I think that Halladay will get the best of Lincecum, but the rest of the Giants staff will get the best of the Phillies. Upset city.
Giants – 4, Phillies – 2
(I can’t remember who won the all-star game, so I don’t know who has home field advantage…. Oh well)
Rays @ San Francisco – It’s been a great run for the Giants, but it comes to a screeching halt here. The Giants staff expended every thing they had holding the Phillies offense in check and it just comes to a point where the wheels fall off. Congrats to Andres Torres, Buster Posey and the entire Giants staff for a great post season, but this is Longoria’s trophy.