If there's one thing bloggers love more than an election year, it's making playoff predictions. If you're right, you can rub your superior
So with that in mind, I've got a guest here with me today to get my MLB playoff predictions started. It's a Magic 8 Ball. It's magic because it can give me answers from the cosmos, not because it's 3.5 grams of cocaine. Don't ask how I know that. I don't want to get in trouble. Buzanis runs a tight ship.
But enough about my 23rd birthday...on to the picks!
Phillies over Brewers, 3-1
To be honest with you, I think I'm giving the Brewers a lot of credit thinking they'll take 1 game. The Brewers just don't scare me anymore. Ben Sheets is gone, they can't pitch Sabathia every time out (Can they?). And they suck balls at hitting with men in scoring position. Oh, and they strike out way too much. And they don't play defense. Wait...how did they get here? They really are nothing but Braun, Fielder, Sabathia and 22 other guys.
Magic 8 Ball, do the Phillies come out on top in this series? Answer: YES
Cubs over Dodgers, 3-1
With this series, I almost went with the Cubs in 5. But the more I think about it, they should be able to get it done in 4. Sure, they've got Manny, but Cubs pitchers had to face Albert Pujols all year and still did a pretty good job against the Cards. Derek Lowe does scare me a bit, but I like the Cubs 2-4 pitchers much more than the LA playoff rotation. Dempster + Wrigley = Money.
Magic 8 Ball, will the Cubs dispose of the Dodgers in the NLDS? Answer: ABSOLUTELY!
Red Sox over Angels, 3-2
Yeah, the Angels won 100 games, but honestly, does anyone in their lineup scare you? The presence of John Lackey helps out the Halos a bit, but when you're staring down Lester, Dice-K and Josh Beckett v.Playoffs, you're in for a loooong week.
Magic 8 Ball, will the Red Sox continue to annoy 90% of sports fans by moving on to the ALCS? Answer: My Sources Say No
Rays over Twins/White Sox
At the time of this writing, the Tigers and White Sox are still playing. At the time of you reading this, the White Sox and Twins may still be slugging it out for the AL Central. It doesn't matter. I like the Rays over both. They can pitch like the Twins and mash like the Sox. They have a spectacular bullpen and a fantastic manager. Done deal.
Magic 8 Ball, will the Rays win their first ever playoff series in franchise history? Answer: ABSOLUTELY!
So there you have it. If the 8 Ball is correct, I may just bring it back for the next round. If it's wrong (especially about the Cubs), I'll most likely smash it on the ground and drink its insides. I assume it tastes much like the blue liquid inside the comb jar at the barbershop.
Speaking of the Cubs, I'd just like to go on record and say that I'm not afraid of a repeat performance of last year's playoff pile of crap. A lot of the same guys are here, but somehow this year is different. Instead of getting owned by the Brandon Webbs of the world, the 2008 Cubs actually showed some life against the better pitchers in the NL. Hell, they got the unknown rookie/soft-tossing lefty monkey off their back toward the end of the season too!
But this Cubs team has everything that you would want in a World Series winning team. Not only does a team have to be good, but they have to have "those guys" that you remember years later looking back. The 2004 Red Sox had Manny and Papi, Schilling and Pedro (and Pedro's weird midget). the 2003 Marlins had a team full of guys that didn't seem old enough to drink and a manager that seemed like he didn't give a crap what you did as long as you went out there and played. This 2008 team is loaded with players that I'll tell my kids about one day. We've got Kerry Wood as the elder statesman who finally got his ring. We've got Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds as the improbable scrap-heap guys that will inevitibly come up big in the late innings of these playoff games. We've got Rich Harden, the prize pickup at the deadline that really jump-started the team. And who wouldn't pick up Mike Fontenot and Ryan Theriot and squeeze the ever loving crap out of them because they're so darn cute? What about Mark DeRosa? Derrek Lee? Aramis? Ted Lilly? Hell, the Cubs roster is full of guys who, if they win the World Series, you'd look at and say "I'm really glad that guy got to win one." There are no Jeff Kent's or Sammy Sosa's on this team. No selfish players. Just a bunch of dudes that will steamroll you if you cross them.