October 03, 2006

Playoff Preview

Even though the Phillies weren't able to pull off the NL Wild Card, this still looks to me like the most fascinating baseball postseason in recent memory. Even though the four best of the eight teams are all in the AL, and it'll be absolutely shocking if the NL team wins even a single game in the World Series.

My prediction before the season was an A's-Mets World Series, which could still technically happen, though I'm not about to stick by it. I also correctly guesssed that the Mets, Dodgers, Cardinals, A's, and Twins would make it, though I wiffed on the White Sox, Red Sox, and Phillies.

The Twins take on the A's in round one, in a rematch of their 2002 ALDS that the Twins win, although neither team has more than a handful of players remaining from back then (I count only Hunter, Cuddyer, Santana, Radke, and Rincon on "Minny," and Ellis, Chavez, and Zito from Oakland.) In fact, it has the potential to be a season of rematches- if they win, the Twins could then take on their '03 and '04 ALDS rival the Yankees, or their '87 ALCS rival Detroit. Then, they could re-enact the 1965 World Series- three weeks after Yom Kippur- against the Dodgers.

Other intriguing potential World Series, along with who should throw out the first pitch at Game 1: Subway Series (Yankees-Mets, Rudy Giuliani); Here We Go Again (Yankees-Dodgers, Steve Sax); Spirit of '64 (Yankees-Cardinals, Whitey Ford); Spirit of '67 (Tigers-Cardinals, Denny McLain and Bob Gibson); Spirit of '84 (Tigers-Padres, Willie Hernandez); Back to '87 (Twins-Cardinals, Tommy Herr and Tom Brunansky); Back to '88 (A's-Dodgers, Bob Welch and Alfredo Griffin); I Don't Believe What I Just Saw (Tigers-Dodgers, Kirk Gibson) and my personal favorite, Construction Site Blues (Yankees-Padres, Finn DiTrolio and Vito Spatafore).

As for predictions, the Twins will beat out the A's without much trouble, while the Yanks will overcome A-Rod's annual playoff slump to beat the Tigers in five. The Dodgers will stay hot and get by the Mets, setting up an all-West Coast NLCS with San Diego, who will reverse last year's sweep and easily beat back St. Louis.

The Twins will beat the Yankees in 7 games to win the AL pennant, but it'll be 1965 all over again, as the Dodgers win the World Series, once again in 7 games. I'm not wishing for it, just predicting it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at October 3, 2006 12:36 AM

It'll be "absolutely shocking" if the NL team wins even 1 WS game? WTF? Regardless of the current quality gap between the leagues, the odds against an AL sweep are very, very high. In fact, what we have just seen--2 straight AL sweeps--is the statistical outlier. It is something we'll probably not see again for decades, in fact.

Posted by: Gene at October 3, 2006 09:24 AM

I am predicting subway series all the way! And someone should like play a prank on A-Rod to shake him up. Maybe a pie in the face or tomatoes being thrown at him. Better yet...plantains.

Posted by: A at October 3, 2006 12:41 PM

How could you say that all 4 AL teams are better than any of the NL teams?
And predicting an AL WS sweep?
I'd like some of what you're smoking. It seems like its pretty good stuff.

Posted by: Dan at October 3, 2006 02:54 PM

Construction Site Blues ... heheheheh

Posted by: LilB at October 3, 2006 04:44 PM
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