Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MLB '09 Postseason Predictions

My, this season has gone quickly: not only are there little over a dozen and a half games left but my football loving friends have already informed me the NFL season is already underway.
(As a monogamous sports fan, I gotta start making plans for the baseball-free winter.)

So, here are my post-season predictions:


East: Yankees
With the best record in baseball and their main division rivals—the Boston Red Sox, who are 6.5 behind—concentrating on the Wild Card, the Bombers seem like a sure thing at this point. Barring a very unlikely implosion…

Central: Tigers
Detroit are the almost the mirror image of the San Francisco Giants: imposing pitching but lackluster offense. But they’ve had the advantage of playing in a division, which, quite frankly, has been a shining example of mediocrity: the second place Minnesota Twins are barely playing .500 ball. (.503 to be exact; the rest of the division all have losing records.) But the Twins and Chicago White Sox are 4.5 and 6.0 games behind the Tigers, respectively. Also, we’re in September, which is the spoiler time of the season—Detroit got swept by the Royals last week; all over MLB, baseball teams out of the pennant race are now playing like contenders—so if the Tigers were to slide…

West: Angels
Once again, this baby belongs to the Halos. (And yeah, I still call them the California Angels, regardless of what owner Arte Moreno says.) The very impressive Texas Rangers are 6 games behind them and 5.5 games behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card race, so this week’s Angels/Red Sox series at Fenway is of much interest for the top 2 teams in the West. (Boston won the first game 4-1.)

Wild Card: Red Sox
Boston doesn’t have this one wrapped up, but are favored to win it and with good reason. The Red Sox are looking pretty sharp of late—they are riding a 6 game winning streak—and are hard to beat at home. On the flip side, they are quite mediocre on the road and more than half of their remaining games are away from Fenway Park. (Mostly against the Orioles, Royals, Bllue Jays, and Indians, but once again: spoilers.) Oh, and only a fool would count the Rangers out of the Wild Card race.

On paper, the Yankees would beat the Tigers and the Red Sox would overcome the Angels in the Division Series, culminating in a New York-Boston Championship Series. On paper. But, as we all know, they gotta play those games on the field and that’s where anything can happen. Thus, I’m not making any predictions, except that I doubt the Tigers make it to the World Series.

(I am, as you know, a Yankee fan so that’s where my loyalties lie. But, along with most non-Yankees and non-Red Sox fans, I have no interest in a NY-Boston postseason match up: I’m tired of seeing the Red Sox play in any capacity this season. So…)

You know what? I'm gonna man up and make an actual prediction: if the Angels face the Red Sox in the Division Series and survive, they'll be the American League Champions. (I'm still rooting for the Yankees, tho.)


East: Phillies
The reigning World Series Champions are a solid bet to repeat in their division and look incredibly good: with a killer offense up and down the lineup, and a potent starting rotation, bolstered by the addition of last year’s AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee at the forefront—even that asshole Pedro Martinez is pretty reliable right now—the only real issue Philadelphia has is their bullpen, starting with this year’s implosion of closer Brad Lidge, whose blown close to a dozen saves. Tough team to beat, nonetheless.

Central: Cardinals
This one is practically sown up for St. Louis. I’d love for the perennially losing Chicago Cubs to make it interesting but it’s not going to happen. (It would get The Onion off their back, though.)

West: Dodgers
Manny Ramirez has been a bust—except for ticket sales and merchandise—along with his 50 game PED-use suspension, but Los Angeles have still managed to put together the best record in the league. The Colorado Rockies are trailing them only by 4 games but they’re concentrating on the Wild Card and no one else in the division has a real chance of dethroning the Dodgers from the NL West.

Wild Card: Rockies
I’m a huge fan of Giants ace Tim Lincecum, and consequently I find myself often rooting for San Francisco, who are 2.5 games behind the Rox in the Wild Card race. They are my sentimental favorite for the NL Wild Card but I’m going to try to be pragmatic and accept the fact that it probably belongs to Colorado. I will make a bold prediction, though: whichever of these 2 teams wins the Wild Card will not make it to the Championship Series. (Well, not that bold.)


I see the Dodgers disposing of the Rockies; Phillies winning the Division Series against the Cardinals. The Championship Series? Phillies over Dodgers in 6.


(possible scenarios and outcomes):

Yankees vs Phillies: Phillies in 7.
Yankees vs Dodgers: Yankees in 6.
Yankees vs Cardinals: Yankees in 6.

Angels vs Phillies: Phillies in 7.
Angels vs Dodgers: Angels in 5.
Angels vs Cardinals: Angels in 6.

Red Sox vs Phillies: Phillies in 7.
Red Sox vs Dodgers: Red Sox in 5.
Red Sox vs Cardinals: Red Sox in 5.

(So, I guess my main prediction is, if the Phillies win the pennant they win the WS, huh?)

MLB’s Wet Dream:
If Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig could somehow rig the postseason, the Yankees would face the Dodgers in the World Series. Two big city teams with plenty of WS history between ‘em, plus the press would eat up the whole Joe Girardi facing his mentor, Joe Torre, who’d be up against the team he led to victory 4 times...Imagine the revenue!

Probably not going to happen and I could care less. It doesn’t really matter who they face in the probably-in-November classic; I just want my team to make it that far. Should be fun across the board, however it turns out.

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