Quote of the Moment

"Beep Industries currently has no openings. This is a good thing. Any number of career paths are better than game development. Lots of jobs are more lucrative and far less work. We hear marketing and animal husbandry are filled with potential."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

MLB PLayoff Preview and Predictions

October is here, and with it, and every sports fan is focused on one thing: The NFL, Major League Baseball's playoffs and the road to the World Series. Okay, fine, so there are probably more folks focused on Week 5 of the NFL than who's playing in the MLB Divisional Series, but for we baseball fans, it's still a big deal. Plus, this year has what promise to be some great matchups, and some great questions.

Will this be the year that A-Rod and the Yankees shake off their postseason woes?
Will the Cubs break the curse?
Who wins the battle of the ex-Seattle Mariner skippers? Lou Pinella, or the man who replaced him in Seattle, Bob Melvin?
Will the Red Sox and Yankees get another shot at each other for the American League Championship?

So for those keeping score at home, here's a quick preview of the Divisional series games, and my predictions for October Magic.

American League:
New York Yankees (94-68), AL Wild Card vs. Cleveland Indians (96-66), AL Central Champs

It's the best of the weakest division in the AL versus the Yankees. After starting the season at in the cellar and even being swept by the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays in May, the Yankees put together an impressive second half to win the wild card and make a serious run at the Red Sox for AL East champions. Cleveland, meanwhile, beat up on their weak division, but it's doubtful they can stop the Yankees.
Prediction: Yankees in 5.

Anaheim* Angels (94-68), AL West Champs vs. Boston Red Sox (96-66), AL East Champs

Probably the two strongest teams in baseball this year meet in the first round. Both have great starting pitching and solid offense. Though it'll bug Ahab no end though, I've got to give the edge to the Angels. I think their bullpen is a bit stronger, and they've got a bit more depth off the bench. Plus, I can't stand Julio Lugo and J.D. Drew from their Dodger days.
Prediction: Angels in 5.

National League:
Colorado Rockies (90-73), NL Wild Card vs. Philadelphia Phillies (89-73), NL East Champs

Two of the hottest teams of September meet in what ought to be a very exciting series. The Phillies looked dead midseason, but put together a massive run (helped by a total collapse by the Mets) to take the divisional title. They face the Rockies, who won 14 of their final 15 and went 13 innings on Monday night to pull out a 9-8 win at home during a 163rd tiebreaker game. This one's too close to call, but I've got to give the edge to the Rockies. They've got crazy momentum, and have proven time and again that anything can happen in Coors Field.
Prediction: Rockies in 5.

Chicago Cubs (85-77), NL Central Champs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (90-72), NL West Champs

The Cubs managed to be the best of the worst division in baseball, narrowly beating out the Milwaukee Brewers for the championship. Now they face a suprising Arizona Diamondbacks team, which put together a big second half to win the West, and look to be challengers in their division for several more years. I don't think this one will even be close. The Cubs might manage one win in Wrigley, but they look totally outclassed here.

An interesting side note for Seattle Mariners fans, though, will be the meeting of Lou Pinella, a Seattle hero from his days as the Mariners skipper, when Seattle made their only post-season appearances, and Bob Melvin, the man who replaced Lou in Seattle, and who was basically run out of town for being saddled with a bad team and not being Lou Pinella. Personally, I hope the Diamondbacks kick the Cubs collective asses.
Prediction: Diamondbacks in 4.

And that's the divisionals. Here are the rest, assuming my insane picks actually happen.

ALCS: Yankees vs. Angels. A-Rod and the Yankees choke again, giving some solace to frustrated Red Sox fans as the Angels win in 6.

NLCS: Rockies vs. Diamondbacks. The Rockies finally run out of gas against their NL West foes, but not before the highest scoring game in postseason history gets played at Coors Field. Diamondbacks in 7.

World Series: Diamondbacks vs. Angels. In a West Coast showdown, the Angels have more pitching, and more offense. Angels take it in 5.

Oh, and for those keeping score at home, the answers to the questions posed at the beginning of the post?
No, In their dreams, Bob Melvin, and Thank The Lord No.

*Yes, I know they're actually the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I just refuse to call them that because it's both cumbersome and stupid. There's only one baseball team in Los Angeles, and they don't play in Anaheim.