put up my predictions for the first round and got told -- by some -- that they would have gone the other way on all four series picks I made.
I also got the most static from Reds fans who claimed I was overlooking them and they belonged, dammit! They were for reals, yo!
As it turns out, I got 3 out of 4 correct and if the Rays hadn't thrown the baseball around like a drunken Curtis Painter in Game 5, it might have been 4 for 4.
Anyway, your championship series breakdown goes like this.
NLCS: San Francisco Giants versus Philadelphia Phillies
Yes, I know everyone is in love with SF's pitching. However, Philly has Roy Halladay, who is unreal, and then they have Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, both of whom were machines down the stretch. And SF's young guns are a tad overrated. Lincecum is excellent, but Cain's record didn't do much for me. Oh, and then there's this: the Phillies can hit. And hit and hit and hit. And San Fran cannot. That should just about do it. Phillies in 5.
ALCS: New York Yankees versus Texas Rangers
This one is definitely intriguing. The two teams split the regular season series 4-4, but the Rangers swept the Yankees in Arlington a month ago. And they keep bringing that up, because Mariano Rivera hit a batter in one of the games for a walk-off win for the Rangers. Let me explain something: uhhhh, so what? That doesn't matter. Not one bit. Mariano Rivera is a bit different in the playoffs. And if the Yankees have a lead in the later innings, the Rangers will be thinking about him looming.
That said, the Rangers do have weapons and they do have that nonsencial baserunning style. It worked against Tampa because Tampa threw the ball into the outfield. The Yankees probably won't do that, but they're not good at throwing guys out, either.
I think this series is going the Yankees direction, largely because Cliff Lee can only pitch two games, with one being Game 7 (assuming they don't bring him back on short rest earlier). If the series goes 7, the Rangers probably win (again, assuming Lee isn't brought back to pitch Game 6 on short rest, for example). I respect Lee and I respect the Rangers offense. But I think the rest of the pitching favors the Yankees and New York's offense takes a backseat to nobody. Yankees in 6.