Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Quick n' Dirty Division Series Predictions
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Myth: The Angels are the best team in the American League.
Fact: Notwithstanding their 100-win season, the Angels finished 10th in the AL in runs scored, 11th in on-base percentage and 9th in slugging. Boston played in an infinitely more difficult division, finished 2nd, 1st and 3rd in runs, OBP and SLG in the AL and features a pitching staff that can match-up arm-for-arm with Los Angeles. Should we ignore the Angels' 8-1 record vs. the Red Sox this season? You bet'cha.
Prediction: Red Sox in 4.
Chicago White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Myth: Three games in three days against three different opponents have sapped the White Sox dry.
Fact: Chicago is a much more challenging match-up for the Rays than Minnesota would've been. While the Twins success was based on putting the ball in play and doing just enough to eke out 'W's, the White Sox swing for the fences (1st in AL home runs – 234) and bludgeon opponents into submission. Tampa has a couple of starters who don't miss many bats and a couple of relievers prone to the long ball. Sorry, Cinderella.
Prediction: White Sox in 5.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Myth: The Brewers have a puncher's chance with CC Sabathia potentially pitching twice in this series.
Fact: Milwaukee isn't starting one dependable arm in any other game of this series. Game one starter Yovani Gallardo has thrown 24 innings this year and just four since May 1st. Who does that leave? Jeff Suppan? David Bush? Ted Higuera? Now, dig that Phillies line-up and commence with the bed wetting, Brewers.
Prediction: Phillies in 4.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs
Myth: THIS is "next year", Cubs fans!
Fact: The Dodgers finished near the bottom in runs scored, home runs and slugging percentage, but I think they can get to this Cubs rotation. Carlos Zambrano hasn't looked at all impressive since his September 14 no-hitter and Rich Harden is reportedly enduring the same drop-off in velocity that plagued him during a brief ineffective stretch in Oakland earlier this season. "Good pitching beats good hitting" is one of the most tired (and inaccurate) clichés in baseball, but what the hell…
Prediction: Dodgers in 4.