MLB Playoff Thoughts

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What better time to bring this picture back?

That's me last season during a crucial Phillies game. I was eating my pizza and surrounding myself with various charms of luck while watching the Phillies eek out a victory before the playoffs. I can guarantee you that I shall be watching just as intently this afternoon when the Phillies open up the Major League Baseball playoffs today at 3pm. More on the Phillies later but I just wanted to throw up my picks in each of the playoff series, now that the Chicago White Sox have played their way in to solidify the final playoff spot as American League Central division champs. I was pulling for the White Sox because I have always been a fan of Jim Thome, who hit the eventual game winning homerun, and Ken Griffey Jr. I would love to see a Phillies-White Sox World Series, but it's not likely.

The first American League Division Series starts tonight when the defending world champion Boston Red Sox visit the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels have looked like the best team in baseball throughout most of, if not the entire, year. The Angels can do it all with pitching and offense. The Red Sox have played the nemesis role of the Angels in recent years but that doesn't seem to be the case in 2008. I look for the Angels to take the first round in four games.

As for the previously mentioned Chicago White Sox, they will face the darling Cinderella team from Tampa when they travel to play the Tampa Bay Rays starting tomorrow. I don't think that the Rays are going to do very much in the postseason despite their wild and surprising success this year. The White Sox have the experience edge and would be likely to carry some momentum coming in. As much as I would like to pick the White Sox for this and a few other reasons, I am going to pick the Rays in the first round because of their starting pitching. They can be down right dangerous in a five game series. Rays in five.

Finally, the league that plays baseball the way it was meant to be played. The National League kicks off their playoffs this afternoon with the Phillies and Brewers. CC Sabathia can only pitch in a maximum of two games in this series, but I think the Phillies won't have to worry about the second start as they will win this series in four games. The Phillies dominated the season series and with Cole Hamels looking to erase the memories of his playoff debut in 2007 the Brewers could go down in a 1-0 hole fairly easily. The Phillies will have to overcome some decent pitching though, even without facing Ben Sheets but they will prevail. Again, Phillies in four.

Which brings us to the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. Is there any way the Dodgers can beat the Cubs in a short series? I don't see it happening but if they can find a way to split in Chicago who knows what could happen. The Dodgers are possibly the weakest of the playoff teams this year and I believe the Cubs take this series in a sweep.

Whoever you root for, enjoy the playoffs!

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