I dunno, I just don't see any standout teams this season that you can point to and say "That's the team to beat" and feel supremely confident about it.
Boston- Obviously have the bats but unless Schill miraculously becomes the Schill of old, forget about it with that pitching. ALCS probably and that's it (and I'm even hesitant to pick them that far).
Chicago- Solid lineup and pitching but which White Sox team shows up? The one that dominated the AL through July or the one that almost blew a 16-game lead? I wouldn't trust an inexperienced Jenks at the end of a ballgame either.
Anaheim- If they had any sort of offense other than Vlad they'd be my pick to come out of the AL. The pitching is there, particularly the bullpen, but if Torre/Francona/Guillen are smart, they'll pitch around Vlad and take their chances with the other guys.
New York- Like Boston, obviously the lineup is there. The question to me is the pitching. Randy, ok sure, but seriously, someone explain Chacon and Small to me. How in the hell did that happen? I know Small's not in the playoff rotation but still. Anyway, Moose isn't the same and I'm not sure I'd trust Chacon/Wang in the postseason, plus the bridge to get Gordon/Mo is basically non-existent.
Atlanta- Just too many youngsters to have faith in on the big stage. Plus Smoltz is dinged up and the closing situation isn't exactly rock solid.
Houston- Almost a mirror image of Anaheim. Clemens/Petitte/Oswalt can be dominate and with Lidge at the end they're about as dangerous as it gets. I just question the offense and the bridge to Lidge. Obviously if they got the WC they can score and with those pitchers you don't need to score a lot (although Roger might question that) but still, I'd feel a lot better about picking them if I saw more from the offense.
St. Louis- At first thought they'd be the chic pick but Carp hasn't been the same guy lately and Mulder you just never know about. After that, who knows? The offense is capable of carrying them but it's the pitching that concerns me.
San Diego- Almost no one outside of the Padre homers are giving them a shot but with Peavy starting 2 games they at least have a fighter's chance.....but probably not.
Truthfully I have no idea. That's what makes October so special. You can't predict this stuff. If I trusted any of the Yankee starters other than Randy, sadly, they'd probably be my pick. But as is, I'd probably say Houston or St. Louis with a slight lean to Houston. Either way I think an NL king is being crowned this year.