MLB Playoffs: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

josh millarSenior Analyst IOctober 8, 2008

Many feel the Tampa Bay Rays are the biggest surprise in the playoffs.

Not me. They were the biggest surprise of the regular  season.  This isn’t Kansas anymore Dorothy, and the Rays are legit.

It was no surprise to me that they beat the White Sox who had to win four games just to get to the postseason.  The fact that they had the highest percentage of runs scored off of the home run ball of any playoff team since 1969 didn't help their cause.

What was a surprise was the sloppy defensive play of the Angels.  This raises the age old question—did they clinch too early?

They hadn’t played a meaningful game in what seemed like months and it showed.

It may be time to admit it—the Angels aren’t built for October.

Now in the ALCS The Red Sox face the Rays. One might think the young Rays may be intimidated by the storied Red Sox. Not here. The two teams played 19 times this year and the Rays bested the Red Sox to take the AL East.

Rays in seven.

In The National League, It was no surprise That the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Brewers. The Brewers were gassed from their run to the postseason.

The surprise was how handily the Chicago Cubs were defeated by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs, like the Angels, coasted to the postseason. They were highly touted for the second year in a row and failed to win a single game.

But what else could we expect from America’s loveable losers?

The Phillies' pitching is at its peak, and the Dodgers' bats are hotter than they’ve been all season.

Good pitching beats good hitting

Phillies in six.