Thursday, October 9, 2008

Quick n' Dirty ALCS/NLCS Predictions

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Myth: Home field advantage will be the deciding factor in this series.

Fact: In baseball's postseason, there really isn't any significant statistical edge to the holders of home field. This one will come down to the talent on the field. The Rays make for a cute, cuddly bunch of base stealing scamps who have a whale of a pitching staff, but an inferior offense to the Red Sox. I'll be the first one to call myself out for eating it with my White Sox/Rays guess, but unlike Chicago, Boston's "O" can run with Tampa's (3rd vs. 1st in team stolen bases) and reaches base better than anyone in the AL. Throw in a comparable allocation of arms on the mound and I see a competitive series, but one that's still easy to call.

Prediction: Red Sox in 6.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Myth: Manny and the Dodgers will Manny their Manny into the World Manny.

Fact: The Phillies didn't hit a lick in the NLDS and now they're facing a Dodgers pitching staff that's deeper and better than the Brewers. Much was made of how the right-handers in Los Angeles negated the Cubs' righty leaning line-up, but the Phils have threats from the left side (Howard, Utley and the switch-hitting Rollins) to put up a few crooked-number innings. Philadelphia's rotation will take their lumps – Jaime Moyer and Fat Joe Blanton should ensure at least a six-game series – but a decisive Game #7 within the confines of the caustic Philly faithful will be the deciding factor in this series. See what I did there?

Prediction: Phillies in 7.

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