With only two weeks left in the season I could still only get 5 out of 8 right in my predictions. In fact my predictions at the All-Star break were better, I got 7 out of 8 right.
Anyway here are my predictions for the MLB Divisonal Playoffs.
Tampa Bay Rays over Chicago White Sox in 3 games (maybe 5)
The Rays had the better record in a much tougher division and have a strong home record.
Shields and Kazmir are much stronger than Vazquez and Buehrle. I am assuming Garza goes in Game 3 which could be close against Floyd. And Danks could beat the Rays number four pitcher. But in Game 5, if it goes that far, I don’t see Vazquez beating Shields in Tampa Bay.
I am cheering for the Rays to win it all.
Philadelphia Phillies over Milwaukee Brewers in 4 games (or Brewers in 5)
If we assume CC Sabathia will win Game 2 and Hamels will win Games 1 and 4 against Gallardo and Bush then the pivotal game is Game 3, Suppan vs. Moyer. Moyer has been the better pitcher this season so Phillies in 4. Plus the Phillies have a better bullpen and a better lineup. But if somehow the Brewers win one either Games 1, 3, or 4 then they will probably win Game 5 and take the series.
I will be rooting for the Brewers. Philadelphia fans are mean, they don’t deserve a winner. Well so are Boston fans but they’ve won a lot recently so I guess karma doesn’t count.
Los Angeles Dodgers over Chicago Cubs in 4 games
This is really a long shot but I think the Dodgers have a shot.
- Manny Ramirez is amazing. He’s hitting almost .400 for the Dodgers.
- The rest of the Dodgers lineup is better than people expect. I am a fan of Derek Loney and Matt Kemp.
- Derek Lowe has been the best pitcher in the NL in the second half and is a terrific postseason pitcher.
- The Cubs starters are not appearing that healthy. Zambrano, except for his no hitter, has an over 9 ERA and Harden is throwing 85 MPH. I also don’t believe that much in Dempster.
- I see this breakdown for the games.
- Game 1 – Derek Lowe winning against Dempster in a close game.
- Game 2 – Chad Billingsley beating an imploding Carlos Zambrano.
- Game 3 – Kuroda possibly losing to Harden not because Harden pitches well but because the Cubs offense, best in the league, catches fire this game.
- Game 4 – Derek Lowe, pitching on three days rest, beats Lilly in Game 4. Chicago Cubs fans cry again for the 100th straight year.
Of course if Zambrano and Harden are healthy then it’s no contest, Dodgers are dead.
I will be cheering for the Dodgers just to see more of Manny going crazy. And isn’t Chan Ho Park on the Dodgers?
Los Angeles Angels over Boston Red Sox in 5 games
This was the toughest to predict. Right now the Boston Red Sox look a little banged up and Beckett is not pitching until game 3 which means he only pitches once in this series.
On the other hand Lackey has not been pitching well lately and always seems to do poorly against the Red Sox.
However this is not your past Angels, this is the best Angels team I have ever seen. And this is not your past Red Sox, this is not as formidable of a team. The Angels beat the Red Sox eight out of nine times this season and they acquired Mark Teixeira while the Red Sox had to give up Manny.
It could really go either way. I am going to say whoever wins Game 1 wins the series.
My fervent desire for the playoffs is “Anyone but the Red Sox.”