I wouldn't call these "playoff predictions," but rather "thoughts about the first round." I wasn't going to post anything like this in the first place, and then I saw the format Tony Gwynn of Yahoo Sports is using for playoff previews, and I got thoroughly confused. Angels get three check marks to the Red Sox' two, and the Sox are picked to win? Yankees get two check marks to the Indians' three, and neither are picked to win? And the best one, Rockies get three check marks and the Phillies get four marks (suddenly, the checks are not mutually exclusive to one team), and neither team is picked to win? I don't know what Gwynn is smoking here, but if he's going to give random musings pell-mell, then so the heck will I.
And I encourage the other Sons to post about their thoughts. But since Game 1 of the Colorado/Philadelphia series starts in two hours' time, here's my thoughts on the four series (in order of start times):
Phillies/Rockies: Both teams ended the season furiously so they both are coming in "hot." I'm pulling for the Rockies, though, given their rags-to-riches story and limited expansion era history. The Astros had the "Killer Bs", so I suppose the Rockies have "Preparation H" (Hawpe, Helton, Holliday). And as we've seen from Monday's game, they don't even need to touch home plate to win. Edge to the Rockies, though the Phillies are a nice story as well.
Angels/Red Sox: I am rooting for the Angels, despite the ribbing that frequent commenter Forever Blue is giving me in the threads. I like Mike Scioscia and I think he should have been the Dodgers' manager rather than the revolving door of lessers that we've seen. I enjoyed rooting for the Angels in their 2002 title run, about which I posted here. And above all, the whole "Red Sox nation" thing grates on me like fingernails on a chalkboard. One title in 86 years, and suddenly they're a nation--when in 2003, they could barely even be considered a leper colony. The fact that JD Drew and Julio Lugo sit on their roster only makes it worse (not that I want either back, but still). Having said all that, Boston does look pretty unstoppable, and the Angels will be hard-pressed to pull this off...but I'm pulling for the Halos.
Cubs/Diamondbacks: I suppose I should root for the Cubs, right? A strong second half in a weak division, coupled with a bloated payroll and incredibly loyal fans...sounds a lot like the Dodgers, except for that "strong second half" part. Snakes have the arms, but watching them choke down the stretch doesn't give me a lot of confidence that the youngsters can pull of a first-round win. I can go either way on this series, but am leaning Cubs.
Indians/Yankees: Like my disdain for the other AL East team in the playoffs, I am not fond of the Yankees and their omnipresent media coverage. Plus, an early exit would give even more rationale for the city to want to jettison ARod from pinstripes...and I can think of no better signing for the Dodgers (should Ned Colletti get up the nerve to talk with Boras again). Let's go, Tribe--bring the Dodgers Alex Rodriguez.
As an aside, I want to note that I've seen games in all eight of these teams' stadiums, but none of them were visited in this season.
All right, other Sons, whatchoo got?