Re: Playoff predictions?
Cubs over LA. LA has Manny, but I'm pretty skeptical of the Dodgers and the Cubs have lots of guys who seem like those unheralded types who have the great postseason runs to lead their team (a la Billy Hatcher in 1990). I'm guessing the Cubs overcome Manny's heroics with a hot series from some one like Mark Derosa or Mike Fontenot.
Phils over Brewers This should just be a HR derby style contest where only HRs count and the team with the most HR wins, but pitching will come into play. Hamels matches CC and the Phils win because of Brad Lidge.
Cubs over Phils Better pitching, period. Phils have Hamels, but the rest of the rotation match-up favors the Cubs IMO and the other than Lidge, the Cubs have a deeper pen. Guys like Marmol, Howry and Wuertz tip the scale. With all those power bats, the middle of the pen will come into play more than usual in a short series and the Cubs have the goods there.
Rays over White Sox Rays pitching handles the declining stars (Griffey, Konerko) and questionable bats (Wise, Uribe) in Chicago with ease. Thome has a big series, but its not enough.
Angels over Red Sox As flakey as Manny was, and as good as Youkilis and Ortiz have always been, Manny was the backbone of that offense IMO. With Beckett and Lowell in question, the Angels just look like a better all around team. Vald and Tex tee off and nearly tear down the Green Monster.
Rays over Angels Two deep rotations but the Rays have more dominance at the top (Shields, Kazmir, Garza). The Angels superior depth has been their advantage all year, but it may not come into play in a short series.
Cubs over Rays Get your affairs together and get right with your maker. This could signal the end of the world. Rich Harden is series MVP.
"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS