It’s that time of year again!
National League Division Series
This is essentially Manny versus the Cubs. I’m not sure if Los Angeles has any additional players, but from what I gather the Dodgers sucked until July 31, traded for Manny Ramirez, and then proceeded to win every game for the next two months thanks to Manny hitting a gazillion home runs. Or something like that.
On the flip side, I didn’t think Chicago was that good until recently. I saw them play a bit over the past two weeks and I’m a believer. A believer that Chicago beats Los Angeles in 4 games that is.
Dammit, of course the two NL teams I could root for end up playing each other in the first round. I could go back and forth on this, but it boils down to two things. Who I want to win and who I think will win.
Two of my favorite ex-Mariners are located in this series – the Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer and the Brewers centerfielder Mike Cameron. Moyer is older than dirt and yet he still makes players half his age look like fools at the plate. Toss in the fact that I (honestly) could probably throw harder than he does and it baffles the mind that he’s still playing. I love Cameron, but it’s hard to top Moyer. Thus, go Phillies?
Yeah, not so fast. I know they’re the better team on paper and they’ve had a chance to rest their starters and the Brewers are banged up and their pitching is a mess and blah blah blah. Milwaukee is hot and in recent seasons the hotter teams have done better than the rested (02 Angles, 03 Marlins, 05 White Sox, 07 Rockies). But then I look at the recent schedule and notice that Philly swept Milwaukee just last week and that’s enough for me. Plus, Milwaukee can only go so far with running CC Sabathia on short rest, right? I think Vegas has the odds of his arm flying off his body during the series somewhere around 48%. Philadelphia beats Milwaukee in 5.
(This is like the third version of these predictions I’ve written. At first I had Milwaukee winning this, beating the Cubs, and then losing in the WS. Now I have them losing in the first round. Let this be a lesson for anybody who is thinking about using my predictions as a guide to gambling.)
American League Division Series
Repeat after me: You don’t win the AL East without being good. You don’t. You can’t. Not in this century. So to everybody thinking that Tampa is a fluke, they’re not. At the time I’m writing this, I don’t even know who they’ll be playing seeing as Chicago and Minnesota are still playing tonight. No offense to the AL Central, but it doesn’t matter either way. Tampa beats Chicago in 4 or Minnesota in 3. That said, seeing Ken Griffey Jr. playing in the World Series would put a giant smile on my face.
First off, let’s take a moment and enjoy the fact that the New York Yankees aren’t in the playoffs this year. Ahhhh. There’s nothing quite like gloating, huh?
On paper, the Angels are a better team than Boston, right? Better record, far more rested, they have home field throughout the playoffs, the Mariners finished more than 40+ games behind them – and yet I’m still not sold. Their hitting is downright finicky. Their OBP (on-base percentage, which factors in hits and walks) is 19th in the league. Slugging (total bases / at bats) is 18th. They’re 25th in walks, a stat where Boston, Chicago, and Tampa are 1, 2, 3.
Long story short, their record is so good simply because they played the majority of their games against three shitty teams! I honestly don’t even think this will be close. I wanted to say Boston wins in a sweep, but I’ll toss Los Angeles a bone and say Boston wins in 4.
League Championship Series
Philadelphia’s lineup is freaking stacked and yet every time I watch them, it seems like their 3-4-5 hitters are going 1-10. And which Myers is going to show up and pitch? Hopefully not the one that sucks. Because he really sucks. Badly enough to blow at least one of these games and help Chicago beat Philly in 5.
Boston is a good team, Tampa is a good team, whatever. I want Tampa to win this and I’m blatantly going to favor them for no reason other than desire when I say Tampa beats Boston in 6. I know damn well this is just a passionate pick, but whatever.
I want to pick Chicago. I really do. But this is the fucking Cubs we’re talking about here. Something’s going to happen like it always does and Tampa wins in 6, thus ensuring that Cubs fan worldwide cry themselves to sleep for another winter.