Wednesday, October 03, 2007

MLB Playoffs: Random First-Round Pre-Game Thoughts

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?

7 comments:

Alex Cora said...

All I dread is watching those damn TBS commercials with Dane Cook - I can't get that "Its OCTOBER" out of my head. Help me.

Delino DeShields said...

Phillies vs Rockies = Rudy vs Cinderella. Or Rocky vs. Daniel Larusso. Or Hilary Swank vs. Al Gore.

Lasorda said...

OK. I'm up for the challenge! With the usual caveat that "anything can happen in a short series," here's what Uncle Tommy thinks will transpire:

1) Rockies/Phils. Should be a lot of fireworks in this one, as both teams have good offenses, extreme hitter-friendly ballparks, and combustible middle relievers (raise your hand if you knew that the Phillies had both "El Pulpo" Alfonseca AND Jose "Gasolina" Mesa in the 'pen). However, the Phils have the edge with Cole Hamels. That plus the moderate "home field" advantage = Phils in 5.

2) Angels/Red Sox. The Sox have been setting themselves up for this position since, oh, August. Slight edge to the Sox in the starting rotation (especially if Escobar's shoulder is balky), definite edge to the Sox in the bullpen (Delcarmen, Okajima, Papelbon), plus the Sox have a better offense than Vlad and the Vladettes. The Halos may manage to take one at home, but not enough firepower to take 3. Red Sox in 4.

Cubs/D'backs. While I think that Webb is the best pitcher in this series, unless the D'backs manage to steal another game from one of the other pitchers, it's not going to go well for Arizona. Hill and Lilly are decidedly better than anyone the Diamondbacks elect to start. Both bullpens are solid (except that Valverde is a better option than Dempster). As everyone knows by now, Arizona just does not have any hitters, besides Byrnes (who has managed to play over his head all season long) and just can't score runs. The Cubs has good power throughout the lineup (Soriano, Lee, Aramis, heck, even Floyd). Plus, I'll give the Cubs an added edge with having Sweet Lou at the helm. Cubs in 4.

Yankees/Indians. Could be a classic, given the matchup of the Indians' starting pitching vs. the potent Yankee offense. On the other hand, the Yankee pitching is mediocre, while the Tribe has a nice, balanced, above-average offense. Personally, I'm waiting for A-Rod to go 3 for 14 and get run out of town for not being "clutch" like Jeets. While I think Borowski has one "Wild Thing" implosion in him this series, the Tribe has just enough of an edge. Cleveland in 5.

Orel said...

Who I want to win:

Phillies
Angels
Cubs
Indians

Who I think will win:

Phillies
Red Sox
Cubs
Yankees

Delino DeShields said...

My official picks - all of which are locks which can make you MAD cash.

Rockies will suck the magic dust right out of the Phils in four games. Angels will fold their Sox in five.

Another goat will try to enter Wrigley just as the Cubs lose in three.

And for a pick based solely on desire instead of logic - A-Rod shoots blanks again as the Yanks fall in four.

Eric Karros said...

My want to win's and think will win's are identical to Orel's.

Pedro Guerrero said...

I'm with Orel's format...
Who I want to win...
Angels
Indians
Cubs
Phillies

Who I think will win...
Red Sox
Yankees
Snakes (on a plane?)
Phillies