So what do I think will happen with the MLB playoffs? So glad I asked.
Philadelphia Phillies versus Milwaukee Brewers – I’m never a fan of Philly teams because for pretty much my entire lifetime, they’ve done nothing but let down their fans. And the Phillies are no different. They even feuded with their fans this season. And if not for the Mets AGAIN gurgling up the division, they might not even be here.
The Brew Crew, on the other hand, have been playing like madmen lately and despite starting September poorly, have to feel like they’ve got momentum on their side. Plus CC Sabathia doesn’t hurt and looks like he could pitch every game. He’ll likely go in Game 2 and Game 5. That means the Brewers need to steal one other one… and I think they’ll do it. Brewers in 5.
Chicago Cubs versus Los Angeles Dodgers – This is a tough one for me. I don’t like Lou Pinella. (Can we stop hailing him as a savior in Chicago? This is the same guy who quit on Tampa Bay because losing was too hard for him and rather than turn it around with the young players – as Joe Maddon has done – Lou decided to bolt for a big payday and a huge payroll in Chicago. Whatever.) And I do believe the Cubs will find a way to blow it sometime this postseason.
I really like Joe Torre and think his calming influence and playoff experience will be an asset to the Dodgers. However, that said, the Dodgers really were a pretty mediocre team in a really mediocre division. Sure, they’ve got Manny now and that’s a HUGE improvement and the main reason they managed to win their division. And Manny’s bat could be the difference, especially if the Dodgers steal Game 1 in Chicago. However, I can’t imagine the Cubbies are that stupid – Manny’s basically the one guy they CANNOT let beat them. And I don’t think they will. Cubs in 4.
Boston Red Sox versus Los Angeles Angels – Another really tough series to pick. If you know nothing about past seasons, you go with the Angels, without question. They ran away with their division and looked simply dominant at times… never letting off the gas pedal all season. And the Sox are the wild card team, banged up in multiple spots, with questions in the rotation.
BUT…the Sox simply own the Angels, much the same way the Angels own the Yankees. It’s kind of weird. And I heard it said very well this week – the Angels are built really well for a long haul season, but not particularly well for a short series. Honestly, not many teams that ARE built well for a short series (i.e., two dominant pitchers) are good enough in other areas to be consistently good enough for six months to MAKE the postseason. Anyway, I’m getting off-topic. As good as the Angels have been all year, I just can’t pick them over the Sox, the team that seems to be Angels kryptonite. Red Sox in 4.
Chicago White Sox versus Tampa Bay Rays – If you put money on this matchup happening back in March, you’re probably pretty wealthy now. Who could have expected it? Both teams are thrilled to be there, but I watched the celebrations by both teams and, while I hate to focus on something so silly, I just can’t help but feel like the Rays were so happy but still ready for more, while the Sox seemed to feel like they’d just won the World Series. Maybe that’s just my feeling, but you couple that with the fact that the Rays are just, well, BETTER, and you come away thinking the Rays have got to advance.
The White Sox have been playing high-intensity baseball for the past three days and they barely got by Minnesota on Tuesday night. I just think the Rays are more tested (having outlasted the Red Sox), more ready and more talented. Rays in 4.