With the Rays all but officially eliminated from play off contention this year. I would like to present my preliminary predictions to this years playoffs. Below the image I will explain them.
The American League teams I have making the playoffs are the Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers. Here's what I predict for each round.
American League Division Series
For the ALDS round, I think the BoSox will be pitted against the Rangers and the Yankees will face the Tigers. Boston has a potent lineup, but so does the Rangers so I think this match-up will come down to pitching, and as such I predict that Boston will take the series 3 games to 2. As for the Yankees/Tigers match up. Yankees are getting old but are still quite good, the Tigers are younger but not as good. The Central division has been limping this year. So I think the potent Yankees will sweep their opening round.
American League Championship Series
For the ALCS, I have the Red Sox verses the Yankees. Baseball's most well known rivalry, I wouldn't call it heated anymore. Anyway, as I said the Red Sox have a potent line up and so do the Yankees. Both teams have good bullpens, but as for starting pitching, this is where Boston has the edge. Yankees starting pitching has been spotty all year. I have no reason to think this will change in the postseason. With pitchers like A.J. Burnett struggling, I predict the Red Sox to will the 2011 American League Championship in 5 games.
The National League teams I have making the postseason are the D-Backs, Braves, Brewers and Phillies. Here's my breakdown of this leagues playoffs.
National League Division Series
For the first NLDS game, I have the Phillies facing the Brewers. The Brew Crew have been potent at home but the fighting Phills have been downright dominate all year. As such I think the Phillies will take this one is 4 games. On the other hand, I have the Braves and D-Backs. With powerful lineups on both sides and pretty good pitching on both sides as well this one is hard for me to predict. But I will take the Braves in 5.
National League Championship Series
For the NLCS, I have the Phillies and Braves. As you now see I think the postseason will again be eastern division dominated in both leagues. As for this match up, as I said the Phills are D-O-M-I-N-A-T-E. But make no mistake the Braves have been able to hang in there, this is sure to be a money series. Entertaining and breath taking. I will take the Phillies in 6 but not without a fight from the Braves.
Finally, we have the World Series predictions. As you now know, I think it will be the AL Champion Red Sox versus the NL Champion Phillies. This is the match-up that was predicted during Spring Training in April, and it seems to be falling in to place. The Red Sox had a rough start while the Phillies sprinted out of the gates and haven't looked back. Both teams have incredible pitching (save for Lackey). Both teams also have line-ups that can get the job D-O-N-E. The more I think about, the more entertaining I think this match-up can be. Again, the north east dominates though and it's getting old, but nonetheless, I think this particular year has a chance to be fun to watch. I will take the Phillies in 6. Say hello the World Champion Phillies. Just please give us a fresh World Series match-up next year.
In short, I think the playoffs this year will be entertaining and fun to watch. I wish I was able to cheer the Rays on but July and that bipolar offense killed them. Remember these are preliminary predictions. If anything changes I will post a new one at the end of the season, but I don't think it will. I think the postseason is all but set it stone. Thanks for reading. Now what do you think? Do you agree? Tell me below.