This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com
First off, it must be said. The Twins/Tigers one game playoff was one of the greatest regular season games we’ve seen in many years.
Now, onto the postseason! My predictions should be taken with a grain of salt, and considered an optimistic piece by an unabashed Red Sox fan. For what it’s worth, I said the New York Yankees would finish in third place and that Joe Girardi would be fired by the 4th of July. So, really, my predictions are subject(and likely) to be completely inaccurate. It’s the postseason, and who doesn’t love a little guessing game.
I picked the Philadelphia Phillies over the Colorado Rockies, 3 games to 1. I think the Rockies are underrated, and could shock the Phillies. However, the Phillies have the arms that are likely to play very well, especially Cole Hamels. He’s had a mixed bag of a season, but he’s thrown a few gems this year. Cliff Lee was a huge pickup for them and Joe Blanton’s been up & down this year, but I think he’s beaten a number of quality lineups this season and should be ok. Pedro Martinez & Jamie Moyer will be big components to their wins throughout the postseason.
I picked the LA Dodgers over the St. Louis Cardinals, 3 games to 2. I think Joe Torre’s handling of his roster will win this series. The Dodgers have a few starting pitchers with questions, but when Juan Pierre is a 4th outfielder and could easily be a starter on any other team, that’s a tremendous advantage, in my opinion. Ramirez, Ethier and Kemp are big home run hitters, and Pierre’s speed off the bench will be trouble for anyone. As you may guess, I’m picking Juan Pierre to play a big part in the Dodgers success due to his revitalized 2009 season.
I picked the Red Sox over the Angels 3 games to 1. This one could go either way, I think. It may even go 5 games. The Angels could very well win this. I’m picking 4 games, though, for the Sox. I’m crossing my fingers and saying Buchholz and Lester will rise to the occasion and that Beckett will provide the solid veteran postseason presence. With Victor Martinez behind the plate and in the lineup, I think they have a real good chance to dominate. I suspect we’ll see Jason Varitek start at catcher at least once.
I picked the Yankees over the Twins with a 3 game sweep. In a short series, I think the Yanks can smash their way offensively. They may even look impressive. I believe the Yankees pitching staff has a lot of questions(is C.C. due to rebound when it matters? Is Pettitte’s age a factor? How will Burnett react to his first taste of October?) that will be answered one way or the other in the postseason. It’s possible I’m way off base and the 103 Win Yankees are the real deal.
I picked the Phillies over the Dodgers in the NLCS, 4 games to 2. Pedro won’t be the MVP, but he’ll be a big piece of their win. It’ll come down to pitching, and I think the Phils have a slight advantage. My theory is it takes pitching, ultimately, to win in the postseason, and the Phils may be better equipped to make it to the World Series. They seem to have more options.
Naturally, I picked the Red Sox over the Yankees in the ALCS, but it will go 7 games and the Sox will take it 4 games to 3. My surprise pick is that Tim Wakefield gets put on the roster, pitches a few innings in a lopsided loss, early in the series. I also believe that Billy Wagner, Alex Gonzalez, and Victor Martinez will shine in the series and put a spotlight on the great pickups during the season.
I chose the Red Sox over the Phillies in the World Series, 4 games to 1. I think Pedro Martinez will get a standing ovation at Fenway and then fails to make it through 5 innings. A Sox fan can hope, right?
What are your picks?