2014 MLB Playoff Preview: ALCS and NLCS

mlbThe championship series is here, and needless to say there were some surprises.

First of all, I should have known better but the St. Louis Cardinals, aka “Team Cockroach”, got me AGAIN.  The Cardinals simply out-played, out-hustled, and more importantly out-managed the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Speaking of the latter, manager Don Mattingly almost single-handedly lost Game 1 when he left Clayton Kershaw on there too long.

Secondly, the two best teams in baseball were unceremoniously bounced out of the playoffs.  The Washington Nationals were out-toughed by the San Francisco Giants, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim near El Segundo were swept – SWEPT – by the young and inexperienced Kansas City Royals.

All of that makes for an old-school “Final Four” in Major League Baseball’s championship round.  Let’s go…

American League

Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals.  It’s nice to see the Royals competing for the AL pennant again.  Shades of George Brett and the 1980s are back and are likely here to stay.  However, the Orioles are simply better.  As long as Baltimore keeps Kansas City off the base pads where it could do some major damage with its running game, it will advance to the World Series.  Don’t forget that the Orioles can mash a helluva lot better than the Royals as well.  Orioles in 6.

National League

St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants.  Old-school matchup on all levels here in terms of style and personnel.  Both teams are grinders that look to wear opposing teams down.  This should be a classic, competitive series.  That said, I’m not going to pick against the Cardinals again.  Cardinals in 7.

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