Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baseball Playoff Predictions - ALCS and NLCS

Save for picking the Sox in 5 (oops), and suspecting the Cards could eke out at least one win against the Dodgers, the LDS worked out about how I expected (and I really had the least amount of conviction on the Sox-Angels series). That said, here are my quick picks:

Yankees (in 6) over Angels: I hate doing this. I really really really really really hate doing this. I spent five minutes sitting here, trying to convince myself maybe the Angels could pull it off. They certainly looked good against the Sox, even getting help from aging, semi-unlikely sources (why hello, Vlad Guerrero!). That offense is still good; the defense above average; and the pitching...

...hell, I can't do it. The Yankees just look better overall. I really do think the Angels' defense is better. But that bullpen. And the Yankees just have too much offensive power (fuck you, Mark Teixeira), too deep a pitching lineup. And in spite of my hopes that age would some day catch up with him (and it eventually will), there's still Mariano Rivera. I know the Angels have a recent history of being Yankee-killers in the playoffs, and words don't express how badly I want it to happen again. I think they'll get a couple wins, but I just don't see it happening, as much as I want it to.

Phillies (in 6) over Dodgers. On paper, these two teams stack up really well. The offenses are equally potent. The Dodgers' bullpen may have been more steady in the regular season, but Charlie Manuel's sticking with Brad Lidge and not undermining his confidence seems to be paying off, at least for the LDS. The Dodgers have a slight advantage in the bullpen still, I think, but the Phillies hold the edge in starting pitching. Cliff Lee is still a workhorse, and with a few days rest here and a good setup for pitching in games 2-4, I just like the Phillies a bit better here. I know I'm being redundant in picking two 6-game series' here, but I don't think any of the teams is so bad to get swept, and even if one of the two series only goes 5 games, it will be a close 5 games.