I can say with about 90% confidence that the Yankees will win the AL East, the Tigers the AL Central, the Angels the AL West, and the Red Sox the AL wildcard. I know the Twins are close in the central, but honestly with 10 games left and a 3 game lead, I just don’t think the Tigers will lose out.
I can say with more like 96% confidence that the Phillies will win the NL East, the Cardinals the NL Central, the Dodgers the NL West, and the Rockies the NL Wildcard. Come on Giants and Braves fans, do you really think your boys will catch the Rockin’ Rockies? No, no. It’s Rocktober once again.
If all of the above outcomes are true, here’s how I see the playoffs playing out.
ALDS: Yankees trump Tigers. Angels edge Red Sox.
CC + offense beats Verlander with no offenseive support. Its that simple for games 1 and 4. Games 2 and 5 will feature Mr. I Know October, Andy Pettitte. And if the real AJ Burnett stands up for Game 3, Tigers fans won’t be happy. I get that Verlander and CC are close. And Edwin Jackson is good, but he’s untested, young, and hasn’t exactly been “lights out” recently. Jarrod Washburn has a been a wreck since leaving Seattle. Maybe Rick Porcello can be big, but I don’t know if he’ll be Pettitte big. Yanks have the better rotation in my mind. Add in a better bullpen (Hughes and Rivera essentially make every game a 7 inning game), and a better offense (Find a hole in that offense. I dare you), and it seems like a no-brainer. Sure, you have to play the games, but I don’t see how the Yanks can lose that series.
The postseason is about pitching, and honestly the Red Sox have a better staff than Anaheim Lester and Beckett four times in a five game series beats Anaheim easily. Lackey’s good, and Kazmir can be, but the Red Sox seem like the favorites and sure bets right now. Youkilis, Bay, Drew, and V-mart are going to be key to their offense, and if on their game will carry Boston out of the ALDS as victors.
Rockies triumph over Phillies.
Cardinals slaughter Dodgers.
Am I wrong to say I think that right now Ubaldo Jimenez is just as good, if not better, than Cole Hamels. He’s allowed 2 or less runs in 8 of his past 10 starts, and opponents are hitting only .232 off him for the year. 5 of Hamels’ past starts have led to 4 or more runs, and his ERA is 4.11 on the year. Sorry Cole, but Ubaldo is Beautiful. Cliff Lee has been dirty (Other than those 3 straight rough starts in late August/early September), but I still think he is wildly overrated. Opposing hitters are batting .269 against him, that’s not exactly dominant. None-the-less, Lee is probably better than Jason Marquis head to head, as Marquis seems to have lost his earlier season success. But, Jorge de La Rosa might be the most dominant pitcher when on his game. Before his last start Jorge had gone 26 innings while only allowing 3 earned runs. If he pitches two games for the Rox, which he should (Marquis pitching one), then the Rockies can and will win the NLDS. The Rockies bullpen easily trumps Philly’s (Lidge is absolutely atrocious) and the offenses are both strong. The Rockies will have to rely on players like Brad Hawpe, Todd Helton (former star I suppose), Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez (future star), and Troy Tulowtizki (Jeter Junior as I call him), while Philly banks on superstars Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins. Rox will win it.
When you face two Cy Young hopefuls twice each in a 5 game series. You’re going to lose. Sorry Joe Torre, but Tony LaRussa’s team is going to kill yours. Billingsley is good, and Wolf has had a good year, but Wainwright and Carpenter are two of the three best pitchers in the National League. I don’t care what you’re offense is; there is no way you can win 3 games when those two start four of five. If you DO care about offenses Pujols and Holliday are much more formidable than Manny and Kemp. Okay, the Dodgers are more balanced in the lineup than St. Louis, but I’m telling you Wainwright and Carpenter don’t lose.
ALCS: Yanks over Red Sox
CC Sabathia v. Josh Beckett is about as good a pitching match-up as you can get. Andy Pettitte v. Jon Lester would be a neat Young v. Old game. AJ Burnett can beat Dice-K, Wakefield, Bucholz, whoever…that is if his good stuff shows up that day. If not…its anyone’s game. The Yanks have better D, a better bullpen, and a much better offense. Yeah, Boston’s got Pedroia, and Bay, and V-mart, and Youk, and Drew…but compared to Jeter, Damon, Tex, A-Rod, Posada, Swish, Matsui, and Cano…that’s nothing. Yanks also have a better bench, and Brett Gardner could do to Boston what Dave Roberts did to New York back in ’04. It could be close, but the Yanks would win the best of 7 series. They’re the better team.
NLCS: St. Louis beats Colorado.
I love the Rockies. I love Coors Field. But, I said it before and I’ll say it again…Wainwright and Carpenter are DIRTY. Say they start 4 games (Even though they’d probably start 5 combined), and the Rox somehow manage to win one of ’em. Well then Colorado has to go up against John Smoltz and his playoff reputation as well as Joel Pineiro who is a different pitcher these days. The Rockies offense isn’t that good, and I just can’t see them beating St. Louis. But who knows? (Personally, I would much rather see the Rockies win. If my prediction is wrong I will be as happy as I can be).
World Series: Yankees beat Cardinals.
I know I keep talking about the filthiness of the Cardinals 1-2 punch, but CC Sabathia, as of late, is just as filthy as Carpenter and/or Wainwright. Andy Pettitte can keep the Yanks close in Game 2, and the offense will munch on the Cardinals bullpen. That Yankee offense loves the late innings. When you eliminate that huge competitive edge that St. Louis had in the prior two series, you see the Yanks can really beat them. The Yankee ‘pen will be lights out, especially Hughes and Mo, and that offense is just incredible. Sorry Albert and Holliday, but two good hitters doesn’t beat eight. The Yanks just seem to good to not win the World Series this year. That’s my opinion.
So there’s my playoff predictions. We’ll see how right I am as October comes around.