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blankman wrote:If the Yanks get in....it depends on the weeks their starters have. Recently, they've all been dominant one run through the rotation and then they all get shelled and then pitch well again.
A lot of if's with them...
1. If Randy has truly regained his dominance, which by his velocity and past few games it looks like he has.
2. If Moose comes back.
3. If Small continues to be great or at least a 3.50 guy like I think he can.
4. If Chacon regains his command.
5. If Wang/Wright can pitch 4.00 ERA baseball. Wright needs to make it through the 1st inning.
6. If the starters can limit the bullpen usage to only Gordon and Rivera with occassionally Sturtze because the rest of the pen is junk.
7. If Sheffield comes back healthy or at least healthy enough to play
They need #1, 6 and 7 and then IMO 2 of 2-5.
The offense is a given strength as is the very back of the bullpen. How deep the starters go (has to be 6-7 innings) will be the ultimate determination of their fate if they make the playoffs.
Its certain that they could do all that because they have at times during the season, but who knows what kind of month it would be.
Boston is very much like NY...great offense...solid pitching only at times...but their late game bullpen is significantly less dominant. Reason being...in NY...you can expect Gordon to go the 7th and Rivera the 8th and 9th. In Boston...you have Timlin...but the rest is a question, like it is in NY past their 2. In middle relief or long relief Boston is better equipped, but in the playoffs if you're using those guys much you're in trouble.
The Angels have the bullpen, but I question the offense.
Oakland doesn't have enough hitting.
Chicago has just played bad baseball. They're the least scary team to me in the AL race because of their lack of offense.
Cleveland could do some damage, but they lack the closer that is often so important. Only other knock is experience.
In the NL, I still like St Louis because of Carpenter and Pujols. Even with all their injuries, they're the top team.
The Braves...experience is a big question...and so is the closer.
The Marlins make a very scary short series with their starters and Cabrera.
Houston could be just as scary with Clemens, Pettite and Oswalt.
The Padres...well...not much to be said.
In the end...I like the AL WC (NY or Cleveland) to face St. Louis or Florida if they make it.
All just my 2 cents, take it or leave it.
Red Stripe wrote:I think it will be the White sox in the AL, they seem to miles ahead of the other teams and although Ozzie doesn't have any playoff experience managing, his style of play is perfect for winning these types of 5 and 7 game series.
In the NL I have no clue, either the Braves or the Cardinals obviously(unless a team pulls a 03 Marlins or something) but I hope to see those two in the NL Championship, that would be a great series. I say the Cardinals, I know the Braves have been great since they got the division lead but the Cardinals are debateably the best team in the league and the Braves are a very young team with lots of inexperience in the playoffs. Plus the Cards probably have the better pitching staff.
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