Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Show Must Go On

The Yankees are no longer part of the postseason but there are still four teams with a chance to win the big prize. I managed to predict the winners of all the first round series', so flush with success I'm now going to plow ahead to the League Championships. The Rockies and Diamondbacks series starts on Thursday. The Rockies are the hottest team in baseball having won 17 of their last 18 games. The problem that the Rockies have is that the layoff between games is probably going to effect them the most. When a team is hot, the last thing they want is time off. Unfortunately, the Rockies have had a week off. The Diamondbacks are dealing with the same layoff as the Rockies, but my feeling is that it won't affect them as much. The Rockies depend on their offense to lead the way and a hitters timing can suffer greatly by not seeing live pitching for a week. While the Rockies were on a roll last week, I'm not sure if they will be able to rekindle their momentum given the long rest between games. I'm thinking that the difference in this series is going to be pitching and defense. The Diamondbacks have the best pitcher left in NL playoffs in Brandon Webb and their defense has been great all year. I'm picking the Diamondbacks in 5 with Webb winning games 1 and 5.

The Red Sox and the Indians are a little trickier. The Red Sox have playoff proven pitchers in Beckett and Schilling, but the Indians have the two best pitchers in the AL in the second half in Sabthia and Carmona. All four have had stellar starts in the playoffs so far with Beckett and Carmona putting forth dominating efforts. The question is whether Schilling, who has been inconsistent this year, can put together two great starts in this series. The Red Sox offense, with a now healthy Manny, has a potent middle of the lineup. Ortiz, Ramirez and Lowell are the most dangerous threesome left in the playoffs. This series is really going to come down to whether the Indians two great starters can handle the Red Sox three best hitters. The Red Sox also have a huge advantage at the end of the game with Papelbon. So, how does this one turn out? As I started writing this, I was leaning toward the Red Sox. In the middle of writing it, I was leaning toward the Indians. However, I'm going to have to call this one for the Red Sox in six. At the end of the day, I just think that the Red Sox pitching at the end of the game will make the difference. Thinking about Joe Borowski facing Ortiz and Manny at the end of a game should fill every Tribe fan with dread.

That's it on the playoffs for now. I'll be back to pick a winner when the World Series rolls around.

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