Before the playoffs begin let me give you my thoughts:
I smell and upset. The Cubs have red flags all over the field. They haven't played a meaningful game all of September thanks to the total tank job of the Brewers. Big Z has also struggled his past two starts and, if you throw out the no hitter which was against a ravaged Houston team worrying about their city and homes disappearing while playing a "home" game in Milwaukee, he hasn't had a quality start since August 14th and that was against the Reds. Ryan Dumpster takes the ball in game one and any long-time Reds fan knows he is not as good as advertised. Call me a skeptic but how does a pitcher have far better numbers then he has ever put up at age 31 in a hitter's ballpark. His WHIP is .300 lower then his career average(that is a big number) and his ERA+ is 152, 32 points higher then his previous best season which was when he was 23 and in his prime. Something doesn't look right. 31 year-olds don't do that naturally-er-normally.
I think LA will steal one in Chicago then win both at home to take the series 3-1. I am mostly picking it because I hate these fans. And they will be coming out of the woodwork this week. Look out.
CC is a monster. I think he can win two games by himself. No questions asked. Just goes to show you how much of a difference there is in the two leagues. While he was good in the AL, he is untouchable in the NL. That leaves the Brewers only needing one more win. I think Ryan Braun will get one big hit and win that game for them, as long it isn't needed today(Rosh Hashanah) or next Wednesday (Yom Kippur). You probably didn't even know he was Jewish. See, you learn something new every day when you read the blog. So keep doing it. Or else.....
I will take the Brewers in 5. Good series but Ryan Howard can't hit lefties and that will come back to haunt them against CC. But, if Gagne pitches, all bets are off. He is like 3 Corey Pattersons rolled into one.
One team is the defending world champs and the other hasn't played a meaningful game since before the all-star break. Got to take the Red Sox. As much as I hate them, they have the best team. That is what you get when you spend 9 figures every year for a decade, and not just on their major league team, they fill their minors with best talent money can buy. Good for them and bad for everyone else. They will be loaded for a long time thanks to no cap and a ridiculous international system where any good player will be snatched up by who spends the most, not through the draft. Why isn't there a seperate international draft? O yeah, because baseball wants the big market, rich teams to be good and an international draft would hurt that. The rich keep getting richer thanks to good ole Bud.
Boston in a sweep. The Angels are good but the Red Sox get bored in the regular season. They will turn it on now that they are on the big stage. I just wish Boston fans weren't so obnoxious. I'm not the only one.
Love the Rays. They are what the Reds could be if they could draft and develop talent. Almost all of their team is home-grown or acquired in trades for other home-grown talent with a few, low-level fre agents thrown in. They have been winning all year in the toughest division in baseball. Now they get the White Sox who are in "we are just glad we made it" mode after winning three tough games the last three days. The Rays should handle them easily and, although it would be nice to see Griffey make a run at a championship, I think the Sox don't have enough left.
Rays in a sweep. Pitching is too good and wait until you see David Price. He pitched against Louisville in the AAA playoffs and his stuff is filthy. He is better then Joba was last year but without the New York media machine to tout him.
Those are the first round predictions. Here are the rest quickly but I will provide more once the first round ends and my picks inevitablly fail. Brewers over the Dodgers in 6 thanks to CC showcasing for his future employer, Rays over Red Sox in 7 because of the advantage in the giant pinball machine, and Brewers over Rays to win it all. Why not? The Badgers just choked away their season, Brett Farve is gone, what else do they have in Wisconsin? And anyway, anything is better then listening to insufferable Cubs or Red Sox fans talk about how great their team is even though they couldn't name more then 10 players. Go Brew Crew!
16 hours ago