Yeah I know I’m late as hell with this Major League Baseball playoff series, so sue me. I’m a slacker and dammit I’m proud of it.
That said, I love the fact that the American League Divisional Series are matchups featuring experience (Tigers and Angels) vs. youth (Orioles and Royals). And how cool is it to see the Royals back in the postseason?
On the other hand, all of the playoff participants in the National League Divisional Series are experienced. In short, this should be one October to remember.
Oh and by the way, I know the ALCS started last night – and I am STILL sticking with my picks. So without further ado…
Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers. This is the first of two classic “youth vs. experience” matchups in the ALDS. The Orioles are a young team that has been on a tear for most of the regular season, roaring past the Toronto Blue Jays and my beloved New York Yankees around the All-Star break and remaining in cruise control the rest of the way. They are the favorites to advance to the World Series – maybe a “Beltway Series” with the Nationals (more on them later).
The Tigers on the other hand are old faithful. Sure they didn’t completely “wow” us this season despite the talent they have. Sure, Justin Verlander underachieved a bit. Sure David Price struggled a bit when he was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays. Sure, Miguel Cabrera is probably not in the best shape. But man are those boys seasoned, especially come playoff time.
It is normally a good idea to go with experience over youth – except in this case because, well, the Orioles are just better. Orioles in 5.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Near El Segundo vs. Kansas City Royals. Just as with the Orioles-Tigers series, this series is youth vs. experience. Hell in Royals haven’t tasted the postseason since I was a little kid in the mid 1980s. I for one am excited over the Royals making their first postseason appearance in almost 30 years. Unfortunately for the Royals, the Angels are a juggernaut who will run roughshod over the Royals.
The Royals are a good, feel-good story that will not be around for us to digest for long. Angels in 4.
Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants. This is an interesting matchup. Will the Nationals’ pitching staff propel them past the veteran wild-card Giants? Washington has the best pitching staff statistically in baseball with a 3.04 ERA. The Nats are hot right now, and have been since the All-Star break. Between ace Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, and Doug Fister (and maybe Tanner Roark ot of the bullpen), I do not see San Francisco’s bats getting over Washington’s pitching. Nationals in 4.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals. Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke vs. “Team Cockroach”. The Dodgers are much better on paper than the Cardinals, but that didn’t stop the Cardinals from beating them last postseason. The Cardinals are hard to figure. They are not among the most talented teams on paper, yet those cats keep winning – hence the name “Team Cockroach”. Again, the Dodgers are better than the Cardinals. Yasiel Puig and Co. should be able to do work on St. Louis. But until I see St. Louis underachieve in a playoff series, I will not pick against them.
Oh what the hell, I’ll pick against St. Louis (and I’ll probably get burned AGAIN). Dodgers in 5.