My predictions for the 2009 MLB playoffs:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers - NL West Champions
2. St. Louis Cardinals - NL Central Champions
3. Philadelphia Phillies - NL East Champions
4. Colorado Rockies - NL Wild Card Champions
1. New York Yankees - AL East Champions
2. Los Angeles Angels - AL West Champions
3. Detroit Tigers - AL Central Champions
4. Boston Red Sox - AL Wild Card Champions
National League Division Series:
Phillies over Dodgers in five games
Cardinals over Rockies in four games
National League Championship Series:
Phillies over Cardinals in seven games
American League Division Series:
Yankees over Tigers in four games
Angels over Red Sox in four games
American League Championship Series:
Angels over Yankees in seven games
Phillies over Angels in six games
A Few Points:
1. This HAS to be the season that the Angels end their hex against the Red Sox. Boston has dominated L.A. in the Division Series in each of the past two seasons. This season, I don't feel like the Red Sox have near enough pitching to shut down the Angels' potent offense. L.A. will finally put an end to their bad luck and get over to the hump to the ALCS.
2. I like what the Rangers have accomplished this season. They have the pitching to stay in the race until the end, but I think they will prove to be too inconsistent to reach the playoffs. The Red Sox have struggled in the second half with shoddy starting pitching, an inconsistent offense, and a lot of aging stars, yet they've still managed to stay in or be close to the Wild Card lead. I think they have enough to hold off Texas.
3. I like the Phillies to win it all again because of their starting pitching and their offense. It is too difficult to shut down Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Jason Werth and co. for an extended period of time, and I think Cliff Lee will be able to recover from a rough last two starts to dominate down the stretch and throughout the playoffs. However, Philly could just as easily be knocked out early because of a questionable bullpen, particularly Brad Lidge.
4. The Giants have the starting pitching to stay in the NL Wild Card race until the very end, but their poor offense will prove to be their downfall. The Rockies have a dangerous-enough offense and just enough starting pitching to hold off SF.