Time for some Playoff Baseball!

Well it was another grueling regular season in baseball, a 162 game season still seems a bit much to me.  But, nevertheless, the climax of the season is upon us.  Its that time of the year when the weather starts getting cooler, the best of the best remain in the game, and it just smells like baseball in the air. With everyone weighing in on who they think will be duking it out in the World Series, I thought I would weigh in as well; here goes nothing:

In the American League thinks are seemingly straight forward.  The Rays and White Sox matchup will pair the two unlikely teams to take home the 2008 crown, while the Angels and Red Sox series will showcase the teams who have “been there, done that”.  As for the winners, here’s how I see things: White Sox have gained a huge amount of momentum over the past three games, plus they’ve been there before (oh, how quickly people forget)  The Rays have been arguably the best team in the AL, but they have very little post-season experience.  I give Chicago the slight edge in this ALDS matchup.  The Angels may have had the best record in the regular season, but when it comes to post-season play, Boston tops them all in magic they can produce and ride to the World Series, it’s funny how ridiculous that would have sounded just 5 years ago.  I’ll take Boston due to good pitching and hitting.  A battle of the Sox in the ALCS will be enjoyable only on paper.  I expect the White Sox arms to start wearing down after so many starts on short-rest.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Red Sox sweep, on their way to the series yet again.

In the National League things are a bit fuzzier.  I think any one of the four teams can get hot and ride things all the way to the big dance. The Brewers should make things tough for the Phillies, but only when CC Sabathia is pitching.  If the Bre-crew can make things go 5 games, they have a chance… but they’ll need to rely on shaky pitchers to even get that far.  I’ll favor the Phillies in this one.  As for the remaining first round matchup, I think I’ve saved the best for last.  Cubs vs. Dodgers, two teams rich with baseball tradition, and two teams very capable of winning it all.  The Dodgers have seemed unstoppable since acquiring Manny Ramirez, and the Cubs have been vacationing since the beginning of September.  All in all, it really comes down to the fact that both teams have very capable pitching, and I don’t expect this series to last less than the full 5 games.  I’ll take the Torre magic and pick the Dodgers to add to Cubs fans’ misery.  As for the NLCS, I think the Phillies are vastly overlooked, and will surprise a lot of people with how well they can hit and pitch.  Even a re-energized LA line-up won’t be able to subdue the all around prowess of Philadelphia.

As for the world series, Philly vs. Boston looks to be interesting, because both teams seem to resemble one another (separated by just a few years in baseball’s timeline).  The Phillies organization has gone quite some time without winning a world series, despite fielding impressive teams over the years.  While Philly fans haven’t had to endure an 86 year curse, their fans have stuck by their team through many gut wrenching defeats, and playoff exits.  When the dust settles and skies clear, I expect the Red Sox to repeat as champs, but I keep asking myself one question…. could the Phillies be the ’04 Red Sox of this season?

Summary:

AL:    White Sox vs. Rays   —— Red Sox vs. Angels

White Sox vs. Red Sox

NL: Brewers vs. Phillies ——   Dodgers vs. Cubs

Phillies vs. Dodgers

World Series: Phillies vs. Red Sox

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