This week I will give my predictions for all the AL and NL divisional series.
Red Sox vs. Angels:
The Angels should be able to win this series based on the regular season, having beaten the Red Sox 8 games to 1 this year. But the Angels have struggled against the Sox in the playoffs, as the Red Sox swept the Angels in the ALDS last season. The Red Sox also have a rotation of Jon Lester, Dice-K, and Josh Beckett to lead off the series, while the Angels have two inexperienced playoff pitchers in Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana. The Red Sox will win the series 3-1.
White Sox vs. Rays:
If the White Sox beat the Tigers today and then beat the Twins on Tuesday, which is unlikely, then they will play the Rays. I think that the White Sox would lose this series due to their pitchers of Jon Danks, Javier Vazquez, Mark Buerhle, and Gavin Floyd. The Rays have Scott Kazmir, James Shields, Matt Garza, and Edwin Jackson if necessary. You can make a case that the Rays aren’t experienced enough, or that the White Sox are too old, with the exception of John Danks. Even though the Rays are so young, I think that they’re a better team even without Carl Crawford because the White Sox have lost their best player, Carlos Quentin. The Rays will win 3-1 if they play the White Sox.
Twins vs. Rays:
If the White Sox either lose to the Tigers or lose to the Twins, then the Twins will play the Rays. I think the Rays will beat the Twins because the Twins’ starting pitching is lacking. Their rotation is Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, and Scott Baker. They are all young guys. Also, maybe more importantly, the Twins’ two big offensive weapons (Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer) are both cold, while Carlos Pena is hot. The Rays should win the series 3-1 if they play the Twins.
Dodgers vs. Cubs:
Although the Dodgers are hot and they have Manny Ramirez, I still think that the Cubs will win the series, just because they’re the better team. The Cubs will be able to throw Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, and Ted Lilly out on the mound this series, and the Dodgers will only be able to throw Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux, and Chad Billingsley on the mound. The Cubs have much better pitching than the Dodgers, especially with Brad Penny out with an injury. Also, the Cubs have no weak spot in the line-up, with the exception of the pitcher. Even Carlos Zambrano can hit well. The Cubs should be able to win this series 3 games to 2.
Brewers vs. Phillies:
The Phillies should be able to win this series, even with CC Sabathia pitching against them. Ben Sheets is pitching through an injury and I think that’s why the Phillies will win the series. The Phillies have Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Joe Blanton, and Jamie Moyer. The Phillies were in the playoffs last year, so they have some playoff experience, while Milwaukee hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1982, and have no playoff experience. The Phillies also have a hot Ryan Howard, who hit double-digit homers in September and has raised his batting average a lot lately. CC should win all the games he pitches, but the Phillies should win all the others, so I think the Phillies will win the series 3 games to 2.
Results of last week’s poll:
What do you think the Rangers have done best this year?
Hitting – 88%
Pitching – 12%
Fielding – 0%
Coaching – 0%
Come back next week for a summary of the playoffs along with more predictions.