So it begins…

Dex Knows Fowler with a fly ball to Jayson Werth…and ACTION! The playoffs are upon us, at long last. Congrats to the Phillies, Rockies, Dodgers, Cardinals, Angels, Twins, Red Sox, and Yankees for making it this far. Only 4 of you will get past here, so play your hearts out. Just going to do my refined Division Series predictions very quickly….

Rockies over Phillies in 4. The rotations seem to be about equal (Yes Ubaldo Jimenez-Aaron Cook-Jorge De la Rosa is just as good as Cliff Lee-Cole Hamels-JA Happ), but the Rockies will win because of their bullpen. Betancourt, Street, Beimel, and Morales are great insurance for the late innings, while the Phillies don’t even have a sure thing closer. The Rox seem to be a faster team, with Dex Knows Fowler, Carlos Speedy Gonzalez, Tulo, and Clint Barmes all being possible threats on the basepaths. The Phils have Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Werth and Victorino giving them a powerful lineup, but the Rockies counter fairly easily with Tulo, Smith, Hawpe, Helton, and Atkins. Sure, the Rox aren’t as powerful, but they do have the threat to do damage on the scoreboard. The Rockies also have a strong bench with Jason Giambi, whichever two outfielders aren’t starting on a given day (Gonzalez, Fowler, Smith, or Spilborghs). Eric Young Jr. brings his wheels and Ian Stewart packs a little punch as well (if he’s starting, Atkins is a good power threat as well).

Cardinals over Dodgers in 3. This comes down to pitching. Do you really think Randy Wolf can beat Chris Carpenter? How about Clayton Kershaw over Adam Wainwright? No. Okay so the Cards will take the first two games, both in LA. Then they come home to Busch Stadium and have the privilege of facing Vicente Padilla. The Padilla-Pineiro match-up is a little more of a toss-up, but I give it to the Cards, plus homefield advantage, plus Pujols-Holliday, the Cards will win this easy.

Yankees over Twins in 3. The Yanks went 7-0 against the Twinkies this year. CC Sabathia is starting against Brian Duensing. The Twins don’t have Morneau. The Yanks have Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Matsui, Posada, Cano, and Swisher. Also, Carl Pavano is starting game 3 for Minnesota. The Yanks will win that game, mostly because everyone (even Jeter) hates Pavano.

Angels over Red Sox in 5. Lackey v. Lester. Beckett v. Weaver. Kazmir v. Bucholz. This is going to be an exciting series. Both teams have great pitching. I’m not sure who will win which games, but I do think the Angels will pull past the Red Sox mostly due to Mike Scioscia’s impressive management. The Angels are younger than Boston, and a little more energetic. I just have a gut feeling they’ll win, no real insight…sorry. Regardless, it’ll be a fun series to watch.

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