How will I do with the LCS?
Well, I predicted three of the four division series winners and predicted one series completely right – of course, the odds of randomly guessing at least one series outcome (winner and # of games) are about the same as the Colorado Rockies winning a given game last year. And I completely whiffed on the Twins-Yankees series. Oh well…let’s see how I do with the LCS…and again, see if you can beat me (recent memory suggests it’s not that tough!)
ALCS: New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers
Prediction: Rangers in 7
Why: Seriously John, why do you hate the Yankees? Oh I dunno. Push comes to shove, I think the Rangers’ rotation and bullpen depth will pay off. The Yankees have the best starter and reliever in this series, but after that, the Ranger staff is decisively better. Offensively, the edge is with the Yankees who led the league in scoring despite off-years from their three highest paid position players. Remember, I’m predicting this one to go 7, and I think the Yankees will have a 2-1, or possibly even a 3-2 lead in the series – but I think the Rangers and their superior staff will carry the day if the series goes home to Texas – and yes, despite winning five fewer games, the Rangers have home-field advantage for being division champs. However, the Yankees could take the series in 5 if Josh Hamilton has a repeat of his .111/.200/.111 performance because there’s almost no way Nelson Cruz or Ian Kinsler repeats theirs.
Bold Prediction: Tim McCarver will utter the following words in the following order: “To win this series, Sabathia at his very best, the Yankees must have, in order to be pennant winners for the second time in as many years.”
NLCS: San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Prediction: Phillies in 6
Why: This match-up faces some of the very best pitching match-ups you can ask for; game 1, Lincecum vs. Halladay. This year’s likely Cy Young winner vs. the two-time reigning winner. Game 1 could be a duel for the ages, and with the likes of Oswalt, Hamels, Sanchez, Cain, and Baumgarner coming up, look for at least a couple 2-1 affairs. On paper, the Phillies offense has a very clear advantage in this series – but I think the difference in bullpen strength between the two clubs will snatch a pair of late-game victories for the Giants. Still, the Phillies have the players and the experience to come away with a third consecutive NL pennant – and I think they will.
Bold Prediction: In the 1986 World Series, everyone was looking forward to seeing Roger Clemens and Dwight Gooden face off in an epic duel, much the same way that people are really going to be looking forward to Halladay-Lincecum. In that series, the Bruce Hurst-Ron Darling match-up turned out to be the 1-0 thriller – and I’m predicting the same out of the Oswalt-Sanchez match-up in game 2.