MLB Playoffs 2012 Predictions: Which Teams Will Battle for World Series?

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IOctober 12, 2012

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 08:  Allen Craig #21 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates his home run with Yadier Molina #4 in the third inning against the Washington Nationals during Game Two of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 8, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The 2012 MLB Playoffs have been one for the ages so far, and we're not even through the Division Series.

Bud Selig and the MLB front office hit the nail on the head when they added a second Wild Card playoff spot to each division, thus making the postseason and winning the division all the more important for baseball.

Game 5 in the Bronx tonight will determine who will face the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, and with CC Sabathia on the mound for New York, I like the Bronx Bombers to advance to the Championship Series against the Tigers.

Sabathia was dominant in his Game 1 outing against the O's, going 8.2 innings while surrendering just two runs and fanning seven Baltimore hitters to give the Yankees a 1-0 series lead.

Despite the recent struggles of the Yankees' offense, I think Sabathia keeps the Orioles at bay tonight and Derek Jeter finds a way to put his mark on this Game 5, propelling New York into the ALCS.

As for the National League, I have the St. Louis Cardinals ousting the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park behind the right arm of Adam Wainwright. St. Louis has a solid lineup with Allen Craig, David Freese and Carlos Beltran swinging the bat well, which doesn't bode well for Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez.

Once the Cardinals advance to the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants, I again like St. Louis to make another run at a World Series title. Behind the solid pitching of Wainwright, Kyle Lohse and Chris Carpenter, the Cards' starters will be too much to handle for the Giants' offense.

Offensively, the Cardinals have been clicking, outscoring the Nationals 23-9 in the NLDS, something I believe they'll carry over to the NLCS against San Francisco. That said, I think it's going to be a tight series, but I like the experience of the Cardinals in seven games.

Back to the American League.

New York will get sweet revenge against the Tigers, who knocked the Yankees out of the playoffs last postseason. With Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda pitching extremely well for the Yankees, I've got to give the edge to New York.

For a team that led the MLB in home runs during the regular season, I'm looking for the Bronx Bombers to find their stroke in the ALCS, overpowering Detroit in six games to advance to the World Series.

Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson may very well struggle throughout the entire postseason, but I wouldn't bank on Robinson Cano going cold throughout the playoffs.

There it is, folks. Yankees vs. Cardinals in the 2012 MLB World Series.

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