Who could possibly be interested in my predictions for the LCS-es and World Series at this point? I wouldn’t even bother, except my track record for the LDS-es was no worse than that of most of the "experts" out there:
- Yankees-Tigers: I picked the Yankees, Tigers won (0-1)
- A’s-Twins: I picked the Twins, the A’s won (0-2)
- Mets-Dodgers: I picked the Mets, and they beat LA (1-2)
- Cards-Padres: I picked the Padres (to advance to the WS no less) and the Cards won (1-3)
I think I was with most of the major experts/analysts out there, and we went a collective 1-3. Not good…but it underscores that the postseason, in the immortal words of Billy Beane, are "a crapshoot." In a short series, one team can get hot and play with confidence, another team can press and look terrible, and next thing you know you have an upset (see Detroit over Yankees, A’s over Twins).
Despite these lousy prognostications, here are my going-forward picks, for the record:
ALCS – Detroit in 6
IF Detroit plays with the same aggressiveness, focus and intensity with which it played the Yankees, and with which they played during the season, I think they prevail. They have more balance in the pitching staff and the lineup, and as the wildcard they are taking on the "team of destiny" aura. Of course, I picked the A’s to win it all in the preseason, so it would certainly make me look smart to see them go to the World Series. And it’s certainly possible the Tigers will have a letdown after their big win over the Yankees. Still, after game 2 of the LDS, I’m a believer in Detroit’s pitching, which I think will take them to the World Series.
NLCS – Mets in 5
Willie Randolph has done a tremendous job fashioning 9 innings per game out of his ragtag pitching staff. I can’t tell you how great it is to see a guy I’ve rooted for throughout his playing and coaching career flourish in his first shot as a manager. Couldn’t happen to a better guy. Of course, he walked into a situation created by Omar Minaya, who has done a terrific job of assembling a talented, deep roster, even if he might wish he still had Mr. Anna Benson around to pitch game 4. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals have come about as far as they can, I think – Carpenter can only pitch 2 games in this series, and after him their pitching is too weak to handle the best lineup in the NL (and maybe in all of baseball). The Cards might steal a game, particularly one of Carpenter’s starts, but I think the Mets dominate and go to the World Series.
World Series – too close to call!
I’ll make a World Series prediction after the LCS-es are over. There doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to pick who would win a Mets-Tigers matchup, as a) it might not happen, and b) if it did, it’s too close too call at this point. Gun to my head, I’d say Detroit is the team this year, and they go all the way…but you’ve seen how my picks usually turn out…