MLB October Showdown: A Postseason Preview

Vincent HeckCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2010

MLB October Showdown: A Postseason Preview

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    With just over a week left in the MLB season, I figured it'd be good to look at the possibilities for this postseason's match-ups.

    While certain teams have much work to do in regards of locking their position in the postseason, I thought it would be fun to look into the playoffs as they sit today.

    If the postseason started right this instant, the match-ups would look like this:

    American League Division Series

    Texas Rangers at New York Yankees

    Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins

     

    National League Division Series

    Cincinnati Reds at Philadelphia Phillies

    Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants

     

    The way I calculated these results, were not based on merely opinion, I shuffled season statistics into the following categories.

    First I'd look at the series match-up on the season. The latest games being the more influential than the early season games.

    I considered the home field advantage records vs. away records.

    Next, I considered the teams September record, since it represents how hot they are now, going into the playoffs.

    This could indicate a readiness to perform in crunch time.

    Also, I consider previous experience, a very overlooked possession. Experience alone sometimes can win a team the ball game.

    Lastly, I've used some common sense also. Gotta factor that in, because it's not always what the numbers say. There aren't necessarily numbers for heart.

    With that being said, lets get into the match-ups.

American League Division Series

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    The ALDS series are tough ones.

    The Texas Rangers vs. The mighty, defending champs, the New York Yankees.

    The Season Match-up:

    The Yankees and the Rangers tied the series match-up at four games apiece. However, the most current match-ups, easily go to the Rangers as they won four out of the last five games against the Yankees.

    September:

    The Rangers have the slight edge in this also, leading the Yankees by a half a game at 10-9.

    But I will give the Yankees this, they've been battling it out with the Tampa Bay Rays, and their schedule doesn't end any easier, as they look to finish their season.

    They have six of nine games against the Boston Red Sox which is bound to be a battle to the finish.

    Conclusion:

    Still, despite what the numbers say, it's too close for me to just give this series to the Rangers. I think experience and extreme talent tips the Yankees over the Rangers.

    This one goes five however, with the Yankees finishing at home.

     

    The Tampa Bay Rays at the Minnesota Twins

    The season match-up:

    The Rays lead the season match-up, five games to three. Those games were in July and August.

    September:

    The Minnesota Twins are blazing this September with a 17-4 record. The Rays come nowhere close. But that may have something to do with them battling it out with the New York Yankees.

    They have the experience to perform in the playoffs, as they went to the World Series in 2008.

    Conclusion:

    I think this one goes deep as well. I think the Twins will take this match-up in five at home.

National League Division Series

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    The National League have tough match-ups also, but they're much simpler than the AL.

    Cincinnati Reds at the Philadelphia Phillies

    Season match-up:

    This match up all the way across the board is Philadelphia, starting with the season match-up, where the Phillies lead the Reds five games to two.

    The most recent match-up being in the late summer when the Phils swept the Reds in four games.

    September:

    The Phillies have been the hottest team in September boasting a 18-3 record against the Reds' humble 9-12.

    Conclusion:

    This will go four games, at most.

     

    Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants

    Season match-up:

    The season match-up goes to the Braves. They won the series match-up 4-3. The most recent face-off came in August in Atlanta, where the Braves took 3 out of 4 wins.

    September:

    The Giants' impressive 13-7 September record tops the Atlanta Braves disappointing 9-12. The Giants are 6-4 of their last ten, while the Braves struggle at 4-6, which includes a sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Conclusion:

    I think the Braves find a way to hop back on the winning track, and find some baseball magic to pull off the first round victory over the Giants, in a five gamer. 

American League Championship Series

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    New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins

    Season match-up:

    All of these games were earlier in the season, however, the Yankees did win five games to two.

    September:

    The Twins a have the hotter September, as we know, and the hotter streak down the stretch.

    While the Yankees may have had a slight difficult schedule down the stretch with series verses the Tampa Bay Rays and Rangers (in which they struggled with).

    The Twins down the stretch included sweeps over the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers.

    Conclusion:

    In a truly epic, seven game fall-out, I'm going with the experience of the reigning World Series champions, New York Yankees to pull it off against the Minnesota Twins in the way that we all hate, making their second straight World Series appearance. 

National League Championship Series

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    Atlanta Braves at the Philadelphia Phillies

    Season Match-up:

    Right now, the season series is at 8-7 Phillies with the Phillies winning four of the last six, including, a meaningful September three-game series in Philadelphia in which the Phillies swept the Braves.

    September:

    As spoken of before, the Phillies September record is only rivaled by the Minnesota Twins 17-4. The Braves have struggled in series losses against the Washington Nationals, and Philadelphia Phillies.

    Conclusion:

    I think the NLCS will end in six games, with the Phillies winning 4-2.

    The Phillies will have home field advantage, and the three aces will be lined up against the Braves.

2010 World Series

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    I know, nothing special about this pick. I wish I had a better prediction, but, this is just the way I see it. If anything else, Minnesota and Philly, but most likely:

    2010 World Series
    New York Yankees at Philadelphia Phillies

    Season Series:

    The series between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees was way too little and early on in the season, to have any bearing on the World Series, but the Phillies took a June series two games out of three against the Yanks.

    September:

    The Phils' September included a sweep over the division rival Atlanta Braves, and a relatively easy stretch against a NL East they are clearly superior to.

    Conclusion:

    Motivated by last years dominance over them, the Phillies will have something to prove. The Phils are known to bounce back, prevailing after failing a previous failed test.

    It's my belief that their two game win last year with Cliff Lee at ace will be trumped this year with "H2O", engaging the Yankees in a seven game series for the ages, ending in the Phillies winning at home.