MLB Playoffs 2008

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AchillesHeel
9/25/08 11:11:18AM
With a handful of regular-season games remaining, baseball's post-season is drawing near. The likely matchups...


ALDS: Los Angeles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox.

I think LA will have the home-field advantage in the 5-game series, and both teams have had time to line up their starting rotation and rest some key position players. The Sox are trying to get Mike Lowell (right hip) back into the lineup without surgery, and JD Drew (lower back) was in the lineup last night, although he looked a little rusty and was replaced after 2 ABs. Vlad Guerrero (right knee), Chone Figgins (elbow), Juan Rivera (hip), Howie Kendrick (hamstrings), and Joe Saunders (kidney stones) have all returned to Angels games over the past week.

My pick: Boston in 5 games.


ALDS: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Chicago White Sox or Minnesota Twins.

The White Sox and Twins started the playoffs early, and Chicago has dropped 2 in a row in Minneapolis, pulling the Twinkies to within ½ game. Tonight, Gavin Floyd (16-8, 3.84) takes the mound for the Sox against Kevin Slowey (12-11, 3.85). Chicago finishes the season over the weekend with 3 at home against Cleveland, and Minnesota hosts Kansas City. At this point, I'm picking the Twins to take the division by a game. Jermaine Dye "tweaked" his left calf last weekend, and has gone 0-for-8 against the Twins in the 2 games. Carlos Quentin (wrist) is listed as day-to-day, but probably won't be able to hit until after the regular season is over.

Tampa got B.J. Upton back, but Carl Crawford (finger) is not being penciled in for the first playoff series. Troy Percival (back) had an epidural shot but hasn't pitched in almost a week.

My pick: Tampa over Minnesota in 3 games.


NLDS: Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets or Milwaukee Brewers or Philadelphia Phillies.

The Cubs are finishing the season with 7 games against the two teams they could face in the Division Series. They've won 2-of-3 at Shea Stadium and play a fourth tonight, then travel to Milwaukee for 3 games over the weekend. The Cubs clinched their division a while ago, but they don't appear to have taken their foot off the pedal over much, going 13-9 in September.

New York finishes the season with 3 games at home against Florida, so if they can get a win out of Pedro Martinez tonight, the Brewers are probably up a creek. Dale Sveum is rumored to be starting C.C. Sabathia (10-2, 1.78, in 16 GS for MIL) on short rest tonight against Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia has a 1½-game lead on the Mets in the NL East, and dropped 2-out-of-3 to Atlanta. They take tonight off to gather their thoughts and then finish the season at home against Washington, who are fighting with Seattle to avoid being the worst team in the majors. The Phils have gone 14-8 in September thus far, so it would require a disastrous collapse for them to get swept by Florida.

My pick: Chicago over New York in 4.


NLDS: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia or New York.

The Dodgers have clinched a tie for the Division, but with 1 more game against San Diego and then 3 against San Francisco, I don't see them flopping so badly. Arizona has lost 2-of-3 to St. Louis, with a 4th tonight, then hosts Colorado.

My pick: Philadelphia over Los Angeles in 5.


Boston has a rough road, but I see a Red Sox-Cubs World Series.
emfleek
9/25/08 11:13:57AM

Posted by AchillesHeel
Boston has a rough road, but I see a Red Sox-Cubs World Series.



I hope you're right.

GO CUBS!
bullettdodger
9/25/08 11:24:44AM
GO DODYORS (thats how we say it when we get riled up..really saying Go Dodgers)
D0wnUnd6e6r
9/25/08 11:25:44AM
bosox arent making it all the way this year i dont think so
Shawn91111
9/25/08 11:35:59AM

Posted by D0wnUnd6e6r

bosox arent making it all the way this year i dont think so



Agreed, but I think they got lucky drawing LA for the 5 game, they dont have the pitching depth (Red Sox) for a 7 game series vs LA. Beckett hasnt been great this year but comes around in the playoffs and one of the main reasons they beat Cleveland last year was CC and Carmona hitting a wall pitching so many innings.
TWITA
9/25/08 12:48:08PM
FYI - If the Brewers get the Wild Card, they cannot play the Cubs since they are in the same division. The Cubs would play (most likely) the Dodgers and the Brewers would play the Mets/Phillies.
Twenty20Dollars
9/25/08 2:27:24PM
I would rather see the Brewers in the playoffs because the brewers have more than one pitcher that can pitch unlike the mets with johan.

So I say it will be phillies,brewers,cubs,dodgers and AL will be twins,redsox,rays,angels.

Cubs vs Angels or Red Sox. World series
SpiderSilva
9/25/08 5:48:35PM
Officaily coming down from the Rockies great run last year and will have nothing left as our team will be picked apart in Free Agency ahhh the memories



GO CUBS
AchillesHeel
9/26/08 9:57:27AM

Posted by Shawn91111


Posted by D0wnUnd6e6r

bosox arent making it all the way this year i dont think so



Agreed, but I think they got lucky drawing LA for the 5 game, they dont have the pitching depth (Red Sox) for a 7 game series vs LA. Beckett hasnt been great this year but comes around in the playoffs


The series is a bit of a tossup, but I don't think it's because of Boston's pitching, per se. The Red Sox scored more Runs and allowed fewer this season, and did it against tougher competition than the Angels faced. Matsuzaka and Lester had better seasons than Santana, Lackey and Saunders. Beckett was merely above-average, but he's always been a post-season monster, as you pointed out. Wakefield, Byrd and Weaver were all solidly average, so that's a wash. Jon Garland and Clay Buchholz were both terrible, but neither is likely to matter.

There's basically no contest between the two lineups. Los Angeles has two good hitters, Guerrero and Teixeira. Garrett Anderson has been mediocre for five years. Torri Hunter had a career year last season, the Angels obligingly overpaid (they did Gary Matthews the same favor the year before), and he's gone back to being above-average. Boston has four top-quality hitters, and that's not counting David Ortiz, who's had a crummy season by his standards and is still better than every Angels hitter except Vladi and Tex.

However... and it's a darned big however... Los Angeles won 8 of 9 regular-season games against Boston, and the Sox were disastrous on the road all year long. So Boston has to hope that Francona can out-manage Scioscia and show that the playoffs really are a (somewhat-)different ballgame. Beckett (6-0, 1.73) and Big Papi (1.005 OPS, 42 RBI) have always been huge in the postseason, so there's something to suggest that things could be different.


Posted by Shawn91111

and one of the main reasons they beat Cleveland last year was CC and Carmona hitting a wall pitching so many innings.


That, and the fact that Carmona is a "AAAA" pitcher who never throws strikes.
Ben_Hutch
9/26/08 8:13:47PM
DELGADO GRAND-SLAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-1 Mets, watchin this live from London baby
AchillesHeel
9/27/08 10:00:23AM
So with the playoffs on the line, the Mets get schooled by Florida and the Twinkies get clubbed by Kansas City, both at home. This is why I never bet on baseball...
Ben_Hutch
9/27/08 10:17:11AM
For ***** sake, Mets were 5-1 up to, it's like last year.

******* hate baseball
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