Predictions as of Monday, Oct. 3, before the first playoff game.
Well, my regular season predictions turned out better than I expected, as I nailed three out of the four spots in the American League with the Yankees winning the East, Red Sox the wild card and Angels the West. My National League predictions weren’t quite as accurate; I only predicted two of the four correctly, with the Atlanta Braves winning the East and St. Louis Cardinals winning the Central. Hopefully my playoff picks will be just as good, if not better.
American League Divisional Series
New York Yankees defeat Anaheim Angels 3-1
As much as I want to pick the Angels to beat the Yankees, we all know that the Yankees are bringing their A game into the playoffs. Over the last month of the season, the Bronx Bombers have been one of the hottest teams in baseball and they show no signs of slowing down. The Angels are a formidable opponent, but with the way Randy Johnson has been pitching--especially at home--if the Yankees manage to take one game out of the first two in Anaheim, they have the series won.
Boston Red Sox defeat Chicago White Sox 3-2
The defending champions had a rather lackluster end to the season, but the postseason is a time when you can start again. The White Sox finished with the best record in the AL, but besides the last three games of the season, in which they swept the Indians, they sort of scuffled to the finish line. The White Sox had only one consistent starter in the second half of the season, Jose Contreras. The Red Sox have no consistent starter, but they do have playoff experience and the ability to score at any given time; this run-scoring ability gives them the edge.
American League Championship Series
Boston Red Sox defeat New York Yankees 4-2
Sox versus Yanks, what else could you expect? It seemed like only yesterday the Red Sox had a five game lead in the AL East, and the Yankees’ playoff hopes seemed all but gone. Now the Yankees have the AL East title and are playing great baseball, while the Red Sox have been inconsistent. Being the Red Sox fan that I am, I’m having a lot of trouble picking against them; even though something tells me otherwise, I need to follow my heart. The Red Sox will find a way to pull it out and the curse of A-Rod will live on.
National League Divisional Series
St. Louis Cardinals defeat San Diego Padres 3-0
This is one of those match-ups that just isn’t fair. The Padres made the playoffs merely by flirting with .500 the entire season in the worst division in baseball. Meanwhile, the Cardinals once again finished the season with the best record in the entire major league. The Padres don’t stand a chance. The Cards have better pitching, hitting, fielding, fan — everything.
Houston Astros defeat Atlanta Braves 3-1
The Astros had an awful start to the season, to the point where they were completely discounted from making the playoffs. The ’Stros, however, had an amazing second half and collected the national league wild card. The Braves weren’t expected to do much this season either, but Bobby Cox proved just how great a manager he is by taking a team of relative nobodys to yet another NL East title. The Braves, however, just don’t seem to be built for the playoffs, and MVP candidate Andrew Jones is struggling. Meanwhile, the Astros are designed to win in the playoffs, with three of the most dominant starters in baseball: Roger Clemens, Roy Oswalt and Andy Pettitte. The ‘Stros’ pitching should propel them past the Braves.
National League Championship Series
Houston Astros defeat St. Louis Cardinals 4-3
I feel like this is going to be the best match-up in the playoffs to watch. As hyped-up as everyone is about Sox/Yanks possibilities, the Astros and the Cardinals are the two teams most built for the playoffs. Once again, the Astros’ pitching should be able to give them at least two quality starts out of every three, which will be enough to beat the defending NL Champ Cardinals.
Houston Astros defeat Boston Red Sox 4-3
Again, I feel that the Astros are simply built for the playoffs better than
any other team. It seems like starting pitching always wins championships, and
the Astros have great starting pitching. It was hard for me to pick who would
win this series, but I just felt the Red Sox team doesn’t have what it did
last year, and unless they are able to get incredibly hot in the playoffs, they
don’t have what it takes to win the World Series. Because of this, the
Astros should be on their way to the first World Series championship in