Well, it's October (almost), and it's time for predictions about the postseason picture. I don't think anyone have ever gotten all of their picks right before. I see the postseason as the NCAA basketball tournament. A million and one predictions, never one completely correct.
I'll try my best, though.
Tampa Bay Rays versus Chicago White Sox or Minnesota Twins
First off, it's all about the Twins. The White Sox will either lose Monday against the Detroit Tigers in their makeup game, or will lose in the one-game playoff. This series is all about the low-revenue-team series.
The Rays are taking this in four games. They are no longer crawling to the finish line. The Rays are in and they have the best team to finish a job. The Rays will win Games One, Three, and Four. Game Two will a close game but will ultimately be lost when Kazmir is relieved.
Final: Rays win in four.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim versus Boston Red Sox
Now, this is a series. Both teams have strong offense and pitching staffs. Neither team is new to each other, having met up in the 2003 ALDS, and most recently the 2007 ALDS.
You can't go wrong by picking either team, but I'm going with Angels. Their pitching is just deeper than the Red Sox. They hold four starters to the Red Sox's three, so they will be fresher in the later series. I do see this going to the wire, with the Angels winning the odd games and Red Sox winning the even.
Final: Angels win in five.
Chicago Cubs versus Los Angeles Dodgers
You cannot call what I'm about to say a bias pick. Yes, I believe the Cubs will get laughed out of this series, but I'm doing this based on baseball picks. The Cubs will win this series.
Let's face it: The Dodgers have a bad team. They barely finished above .500 and played in a weak division. The Cubs have four really good starters and are winning this thing in four games. Harden will crumple under the pressure of the playoffs and/or will get injured in his start, leading to a Game Three loss.
Final: Cubs win in four.
Milwaukee Brewers versus Philadelphia Phillies
This one isn't even close, folks. The Brewers can't win without Sabathia, and he has to pitch in Game Two. The Brewers aren't even dumb enough to pitch him on TWO days rest in the first game of the series. The next time he could pitch would be Game Five, which won't come.
The Phillies are sweeping this series. Sabathia has had a huge workload this year since the overuse by Ned Yost (and now by Dale Sveum). He has pitched three times in 12 days, and will be pitching (again) on three days rest in Game Two.
His arm will fall off, count on it. The Phillies will pound whomever the Brewers send out in Game One. Ben Sheets cannot be counted on.
Final: Phillies sweep
American League Championship Series
Tampa Bay Rays versus Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I have been trying to debate this for weeks. I really don't know which team I like more. I jumped on the Rays' bandwagon in May (when I placed a $5 bet on them winning the A.L. East with my brother, a Toronto Blue Jays fan, mind you), so I'm favoring the Rays.
On the other hand, I'm a big fan of Vladimir Guerrero. I am going to give the edge to the Angels, however. Their pitching is stronger than the Rays, and they have more experience.
Plus, you can't argue that Francisco Rodriguez and Scot Shields are the strongest eighth and ninth-inning men in the game.
Final: Angels win in six.
National League Championship Series
Chicago Cubs versus Philadelphia Phillies
Now the bias kicks in. The Cubs are not winning this series. The Dodgers have Manny Ramirez, that's it. The Cubs' "big" hitters can match up with Ramirez easily. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino are going to run all over the weak-catching Geovany Soto.
Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are going to rip the now-weak Cubs pitching apart (since Harden is injured, as I am predicting). The Cubs' bullpen will not hold up under the stress and the Phillies' daunting offense, and the Phillies bullpen will stay strong.
Final: Phillies win in six.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim versus Philadelphia Phillies
This should be a one-sided affair. The Phillies have a good pitching corps, but it's pretty short with only three good starters. With the Angels, they have four solid starters and a more daunting bullpen.
The offenses should be evenly matched, with maybe a slight edge towards the Angels, only because of the Angels pitching.
This one shouldn't be long, but it shouldn't be easy. Don't expect a sweep, but something close to it. Can you say, "Angels in five?"
There you have it folks. I have predicted my postseason. I have no idea how this will go down, as no one really does. The postseason is an entirely different season all together and anything can happen.
Who saw the Colorado Rockies unprecedented run to the World Series? How about the St. Louis Cardinals and their 2006 World Series championship over the heavily favored Detroit Tigers?
Only time will tell.