AL Playoffs: Boston, Cleveland, Detroit and Los Angeles.
AL Championship: Boston vs. Detroit.
AL WS: Boston.
NL Playoffs: Chicago, New York, San Diego and LA Dodgers.
NL Championships: New York and Chicago.
NL Series: Chicago. (Biased ain’t I?)
4 (or 5) out of 8 isn’t too bad. Considering that, the Yankees finally played to their talent and payroll, after trailing by as much as 14 1/2 games in late May. Detroit suffered tons of pitching injuries and gave up. The New York Mets were up 7 games with 17 to go, only to collapse monumentally down the stretch, allowing the Philadelphia Phillies to utilize their 13 for 17 stretch run. Colorado has won 13 of 14 games to force the 1-game playoff with the San Diego Padres tonight.
But that’s old baseball. Now we look at the series coming up.
Season stats tell you something, but it is the playoffs, and anything can happen…as history usually tells us.
Boston v. Los Angels – Boston still puts plenty of guys on base. They have David Ortiz, who is the hero for the Beantowners. Boston has the best pitching in the American League, though it struggle in the bullpen area the last two months, even with Eric Gagne added.
The Angels are a well-balanced group. They pitch decent, have some good hitters (Vlad, Figgins, Cabrera) and can run top starters (Lackey, Escobar) and K-Rod out to stop the Boston attack. Experienced lineups on both sides, plenty of post season salt and savvy. Lackey though is 0-2 in 2007 versus Boston with an 8.38 ERA. But he also pitched well in September (3-1, 2.32ERA).
This series could be a real close battle. 3-2 Boston, but the Angels might surprise folks.
Yankees and Cleveland. I really like Cleveland – Sizemore, Martinez, Garko, Sabathia and Carmona – are guys I’d love to root for on a daily basis. However, I just think the Yankees will be a match for them. I could be wrong – the youngsters might topple the Yankee vets – but to look at the comeback the Yanks accomplished in August and September, I have my doubts.
The TV Gods are praying for Yankees v. Boston.
Boston in 7.
Chicago v. Arizona. I love Chicago to go all the way and win.
Here’s why, with unimportant history and trivia:
Boston: For years, these two franchises were connected by their ineptitude in winning big games and choking. In 2004, the BoSox broke that with a trade flurry and smart money ball. In 1918, the Cubs gave them their last taste of joy before becoming the AL laughing stock for 15 years. During 2004, SS Nomar Garciaparra became a Cub, to the eventual delight of the Sox…
Yankees: From 1929-1938, these two franchise were the tops in wins in their leagues. They met twice in the World Series, with the Cubs getting stomped twice. Babe Ruth hit the called shot in the 1932 World Series. Babe Ruth from Boston way….
Cleveland: In the 1940’s, Bill Veeck Jr. took the Indians to their only WS title. Bill Veeck’s dad ran the Cubs in the 1920’s and into the 1930’s before dying suddenly. Veeck Jr. planted the Ivy at Wrigley.
Los Angeles: The 1st Wrigley Field was in LA, not Chicago. In their first season, the Los Angeles angels played in Wrigley Field, marking the only time 2 Wrigleys existed. Before that, the Angels were owned by P.K. Wrigley in the mighty Pacific Coast League.
Phillies: The real most inept franchise lost 10,000 games before the Cubs. In 1984, the Cubs were Phillies West as they had nearly a dozen men on their roster that played for the Phils.
San Diego: 1984 Playoff heartbreak. Nuff Said.
Arizona: For years, Hohokam Park has hosted the Chicago Cubs in the Spring. The Cubs are beloved in Arizona, making this matchup a home away from home contest.
Chicago v. Phillies. Chicago in 7 games.
Chicago v. Boston. Boston in 6 games. Sorry, Chicago.