2011 MLB Playoffs Predictions


2011 MLB Playoffs Predictions 

M.D. Wright

9.30.2011

 

The Major League Baseball playoffs are here. All the fair-weather “fans” who never watch baseball come out in droves and speak about players and teams that they never watch.

 

Oh yes, the other most annoying part of playoff season — FAKE/BANDWAGON YANKEE FANS REARING THEIR UGLY HEADS WITH EACH ADVANCE THROUGH THE PLAYOFFS.

 

At any rate, this has been a wonderful season and I enjoyed every single day of it. Six months of pure bliss, all for this. The way the season ended was all-time cinema. The fact that Boston Red Sox fans (i.e. ESPN and people who weren’t fans of the team before 2004) feel like crap because their team of overpaid hacks not only didn’t make the World Series that they etched their names in for, but MISSED THE PLAYOFFS COMPLETELY.

 

… and the way they did it was all too sweet for THIS Yankee fan.

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

National League Division Series

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies

People like to predict what they think will happen in a series based upon regular season records (head to head, especially) and pitching staffs. Fine logic, because if a staff holds up over a 162-game season and consistently puts up numbers, then it would be foolish to bet against them.

 

Call me foolish.

 

Call:

CARDS IN 4.

——————————–

 

National League Division Series

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers

The Snakes have been a cardiac team for the second half of the season. Kirk Gibson is almost guaranteed Manager of the Year. Ian Kennedy has been a surprise find in their pitching staff. Justin Upton hits moon shots seemingly twice per week.

 

However, the Brewers appear to be a team of destiny in my mind. They have the good mixture of pitching, timely and big hitting and a closer in “The Ax Man”, John Axford who has been getting it done after a shaky start to the season.

 

Call:

BREWERS IN 4.

—————————–

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Classic NL Central matchup. The Brewers own the Cards, the end.

 

And I know I just said that regular season doesn’t matter, but in this case, it portends what will come.

 

Call:

BREWERS IN 5.

———————————

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

American League Division Series

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers

The Rangers do not feature a front-line starer (despite what their 13-month tenured fans like to claim). They can rake, but playoffs is more about pitching than the bats, which routinely get shut down for long stretches, regardless of the team.

 

Ask the 2001 Mariners.

 

The Rays have new life and know they can beat anyone, after whipping the Red Sox in their final two series and getting the gift of the Yankees handing the final series to them to end the season and secure their playoff berth.

 

Call:

RAYS IN 4.

 

American League Division Series

Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees

The Tigers have Cy Young Justin Verlander and young Doug Fister (who has been more dominant of late than Verlander), but feature a couple of very shaky starters in Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer.

 

They have been raking offensively for the past two months of the season, at a pace that the Tigers’ faithful haven’t seen in nearly 20 years.

 

The Yankees’ tone is set by the way CC Sabathia pitches. Sabathia was (Marv Albert Voice) “… WAY OFF” most of the second half of the season; finishing with 19 wins, when he realistically should have had 25-27. The six-man rotation fancied by manager Joe Girardi has done more harm than good to the pitching rhythm of guys like Sabathia and Colon.

 

For all the good things that can be said about Girardi, there are three things that could kill the Yankees and it would be mostly Girardi’s fault.

 

1. Taking Sabathia and Nova out far too early in starts and wearing out the bullpen needlessly.

2. Reluctance of moving Canó up to 3rd in the lineup until late in the season, and not moving Swisher up to 5th, so that Alex Rodriguez could serve as a second “Clean Up Hitter”, with guys like slugger Russell Martin behind Rodriguez.

3. Overuse and general mismanagement of the bullpen. He stays with certain guys too long, some should never come out at all to pitch and his moves in general are as predictable as Kevin Gilbride’s play-calling for the Giants most Sundays.

 

Bottom line is, if the Yankees avoid their 5-6 inning droughts of poor discipline at the plate, no one is beating this team with such a deep pitching staff (bullpen led by All-World Mariano Rivera and Dave “Houdini” Robertson and his 1.08 ERA/100 Ks in 67 IP/League-high 34 Holds resume).

 

If you see a lot of Brett Gardner flailing weakly at pitches, attempting to imitate a slugger, Granderson striking out swinging, Teixeira popping out relentlessly and grounding into back-breaking/rally-killing double plays, Robinson Canó expanding the strike zone (which he has done of late), Rodriguez inexplicably swinging through three batting practice strikes down the heart of the plate and Nick Swisher attempting to win the game every time there are 2-3 guys on, only to over-swing and ground out directly to 2B or 1B for more than one at-bat apiece, IT WILL NOT BODE WELL FOR THE YANKS.

 

Call:

YANKEES IN 4.

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Tampa Bay Ray vs. New York Yankees

The Rays owe the Yankees for throwing their last three games and enabling them to make the playoffs. The Rays are grateful, but they are not going to lie down. This is the only series that will go 7, because the Rays’ staff has given the Yankees problems all season — ESPECIALLY James Shields and of late, young Matt Moore, who could become a series MVP.

 

Call:

YANKEES IN 7.

 

WORLD SERIES.

New York Yankees vs. Milwaukee Brewers

The stupid home-field format instituted by Clueless Bud Selig (determined by the outcome of the AL vs. NL All-Star Game, often played by 4/5 of the players who won’t be in the World Series) means that the Yankees would have a better record and still not have home-field advantage in the World Series.

 

The Brewers are nearly unbeatable at home. It will show, and it will be a thrilling World Series, which the Brewers will win.

 

Call:

BREWERS IN 7.

 

 

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