October 8, 2008

CS Madness

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Picks

The MLB division series went by without much opposition from the eventual losing sides and we even saw the two top seeds in all of baseball get dethroned — one was swept. It just goes to show you that baseball isn’t just about amassing a great regular season record, it’s about coming through when it counts and now fans of both Chicago sides, the Angels of Anaheim and the Brewers will spend their winter what could have been if their teams were the ones to put it all together when the leaves started falling.

All the teams that were bounced also have huge questions marks hovering around them in the off-season. Milwaukee now has to figure out what to with CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets becoming free agents and being worthy of huge deals. The White Sox have to figure out a way to stay ahead in the AL Central where they needed a Game 163 to make the post-season and will have to hold off the Twins again next year, along with the Indians and Tigers who will surely bounce back. The Cubs have to continue wondering how much longer this curse will last them and what their answer will be. As for the Angels, well they have to wonder what the heck that Reggie Willits was doing getting caught in that rundown and what their manager was thinking for calling for it.

In an all-AL East matchup, the Rays get to take on their rivals, the defending champion Red Sox. This will go down as the biggest series in Rays history and will truly tell us if they’re as good as their strong season has led us to believe. The biggest factor here may be the BoSox health. With Mike Lowell still hurting and Josh Beckett not exactly on his game, can the Red Sox beat this good, young, healthy and hungry Rays squad? I mean, if any team has something to prove it’s the Rays and they have the right mix of guys throughout the roster to make it happen. I don’t think they could steal more than one game in the October cold of Fenway but at home depending on how the starting matchups come up. In the end, can you really go against the Red Sox and their big game experience? Top-to-bottom, it’s a team of guys who really just went out last year and won it all. Even newcomer Jason Bay is doing as well as Manny did for them (well at least 85% of Manny). After honestly flipping back-and-forth between the teams, I’ll make my pick, stick with it and expect one amazing ALCS.
Pick: Red Sox in 7.

In the National League, we’re treated to two teams of very differing styles. The Dodgers, a relaxed team from the west coast that really came on late and is hitting their stride when it matters, faces off against the Phillies, an east coast team with a rabid fan base that lives and dies with every pitch. While the Dodgers have Manny Ramirez, one of the best right-handed hitters this century, the Phillies are stocked with two of the best left-handed bats in the game, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Throw in Jimmy Rollins and that’s one heck of a lineup. L.A. has better depth in starting pitching but both teams are well-stocked in the bullpen. I can see the Phillies middle-of-the-order guys doing some damage against the righty-dominant Dodgers starters and home-field advantage will help out. Manny being Manny could win one or two games by himself and I also see Rafael Furcal having an impact on the series, but in the end, Cole Hamels will shut down L.A. twice on route to securing a World Series berth for the city of Philadelphia.
Pick: Phillies in 6.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for writing this.

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