Saturday Baseball Blogging

To commemorate a true rarity in sports, a Carl Pavano start, I thought I’d go out on a limb and make my late August playoff predicitions for baseball.

Starting with the National League, which is more interesting for some reason in my opinion, I think the Dodgers will come out ahead in the West. They’re currently a mere 2 games behind Arizona, but they only play 3 games against a team with a winning record (Arizona) in September, and that series is at home. On the other hand, they play a combined 15 games against San Diego and San Francisco (9 against San Diego), as well as 4 against Pittsburgh and 3 against Colorado. Even if they’re only medicore relative to their abilities, they should be able to romp trough that schedule. Arizona’s isn’t terribly tougher, but they have 7 games with St. Louis (4 on the road), and that 3 game set in Los Angeles.

In the NL Central I like Chicago, who might be the most complete team in the NL, and I think Milwaukee will manage to take the Wild Card. And in the East, maybe the most morbidly interesting division in baseball, I can’t really see either the Mets or Marlins overtaking Philadelphia, and I predict a very hectic offseason in Queens.

Over in the American League, the Angels will pretty clearly win the West, and I think Tampa Bay will manage to hang on in the East. Their lead isn’t huge by any margin, but they play enough games at home, and critical ones at that, that I think they should be able to hang on. Then again, they have a pretty tough run of things with 6 games against both the Yankees and Red Sox (half of them at home), a 4 game set in Detroit to end the year, 4 games in Toronto, and a 4 game set with Minnesota that is fortunately in St. Pete. It’s easy to see the young Rays breaking under the pressure, but somehow I just don’t think they will.

In the central, with Chicago and Minnesota going back and forth almost every day, the White Sox find themselves staring at an absolutely brutal September, including one particularly nasty stretch of 14 games where they play the Angels, Blue Jays, and Tigers at home before heading on the road for 4 in the Bronx. And the only remaining series between the 2 teams is in Minnesota, so I’m going to say Minnesota wins the Central.

That leaves the Wild Card, with the White Sox, Red Sox, and Yankees as contenders. The White Sox schedule is just too brutal for me to think they can pull it off, so in all possibilities the Wild Card could come down to the last series of the year in Boston. Long story short, the Yanks are too fragile and their schedule too rough to make up the ground. Boston wins the wild card, and the Steinbrenners take a much deserved public beating when Joe Torre takes the Dodgers to the playoffs and the Bombers are home in October for the first time since the year before Torre took over the Yanks. At least we’ll have consolation.

As far as the playoffs go; I’ll take Chicago over the Dodgers in a sweep, Milwaukee over Philly in 4, the Angels over Boston in 4, and the Rays over the Twins in 5.

NLCS; Chicago over Milwaukee in 5, ALCS Anaheim over Tampa Bay in a sweep.

And for the World Series I’ll take Anaheim over the damned Cubs in 5.

Sorry Angels.