bill-swift - October 6, 2012
The MLB postseason begins tonight with two wild card teams from each league facing off in a one-game playoff. Come October 24 there will only be two teams left, one from each league, ready to battle it out for the right to be called World Champions.
Now the question that everyone is wondering and trying to predict is who will be there in the end. Can the Yankees make it back to the World Series for the first time since 2009? Can Texas get it together and make it back to the World Series for a third straight season?
We'll find out for certain in a few weeks. Till then here's what I'm predicting is going to happen:
Wild Card: Baltimore at Texas; winner—Texas
Division Series: Yankees vs. Rangers; Rangers in 6
Division Series: Oakland vs. Detroit; Detroit in 7
Championship Series: Texas vs. Detroit; Texas in 7
As great a story as it would be for the Orioles to move on to the next round, the Texas Rangers are one of the most talented teams in baseball. With the postseason now on the line look for the Rangers to wake up and get the job done.
The Yankees are starting to age and are lucky to have made it this far. A lot of their stars are older and their pitching can be lights out one game, then keep the other team in it the next. Look for them to be like the Red Sox next year.
Oakland has the hot hand right now, but I don't think it will last. Detroit will be too much for them to handle offensively and with their pitching. It will be a close, exciting series, but the Tigers will win in seven.
The ALCS between the Tigers and Rangers will be one for the ages. It will have great pitching from guys like Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish along with awesome hitting from Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Josh Hamilton, and Adrian Beltre. In the end it will come down to who can make the big plays and not fold under pressure. Texas will be determined to mess it up this time.
Wildcard: St. Louis at Atlanta; winner—Atlanta
Division Series: Cincinnati vs. San Francisco; Giants in 7
Division Series: Washington vs. Atlanta; Nationals in 4
Championship Series: Washington vs. San Francisco; Giants in 7
The Cardinals have been poor on the road all season and it will continue in the wild card. Kris Medlin has been lights out when he's been on the mound (10-1, 1.57 ERA, 120 Ks, 23 walks). Look for the Cardinals to go home after getting shut out by Medlin.
Atlanta will be facing too tough a pitching staff in the division series against the Nationals. Their own staff will keep each game interesting, but the bats on Washington's side will be the difference. It will be a shame to see Chipper Jones go out like this, but the Braves will not win a single game; their offense will not be good enough.
The Giants have made it back to the promise land off the strength of solid batting and pitching. The Reds have made it there primarily thanks to their pitching. Johnny Cuetto, Matt Latos, Homer Bailey, and Bronson Arroyo will be tough. They will be good enough to make this a great series, but in the end the superior hitting along with quality pitching in San Francisco will decide it.
When it comes to the Giants and Nationals in the NLCS the game is likely to be won over who can get hot and which manager can make the key moves. Both teams are talented and chock full of quality players. The key will be which manager can handle them the best. My money is on Bruce Bochy and the Giants in seven.
World Series: San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers
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