Pete Previews the AL & NL Divisional Series
- Updated: October 1, 2008
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies
I like both teams here, but I have to pick one. I’m not impressed with either team’s bullpen and I have to give the edge to the Brewers with their starting pitching, especially if Gallardo can pitch like he did last year. Catching, 1B, SS and 3B are just about even, but the Phillieshave the edge at 2B and closer. The Brewers have the edge in the OF corners especially if Burrell doesn’t play due to injury. Cameron, Braun & Hart beat out Burrell, Victorino and whoever the Phils put out in RF (Jenkins, Werth, etc.). After the dust settles, this one might just go 5 games. They are both good teams. Whoever gets hot & stays hot will win.
LA Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs
The Cubshave a lot more fire power even with the Dodger’s newest LF, Manny Ramirez. I don’t think he will be enough, but the wild card here is Joe Torre. I’ve seen him enough times to know that you just can’t count one of his teams out too soon. He just gets the most out of his players. LA is a perfect fit for him! This should be another good series, going 4 or 5 games unless the Dodger’s bats go missing, which is a possibility. They do own the worst record of all of the 8 teams in this year’s playoffs. Cubs advance due to an overpowering offense.
Boston Red Sox vs. LA Angels of Anaheim
The Red Sox have dominated the Angels in the past 9 playoff appearences although the Angels had key players hurt last year. What happened in the regular season is almost insignificant. What does matter is the addittion of Teixiera and Hunter in the Angels line up this year. Also a concern is the ability of the Sox injured to play up to par. Lowell‘s hip is a huge concern and Drew‘s back could loose some punch in the line up, but they can survive that and add speed with an OF of Bay, Crisp & Ellsbury (The Human Sparkplug) The Sox youth movement up the middle at 2B and SS (Pedroia and Lowrie) have an advantage over the Angels, but the biggest concern is with Beckett and his oblique. If he is hindered, the Sox could survive this series, but if they were to continue into the ALCS, it would be a major concern against either the White Sox or the Rays. Either way, I like Boston‘s starting pitching over the Angels, but LA has the better bullpen all around. I still like the Sox to advance though.
Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
I think this is Tampa Bay‘s year to shine! I just think that the extra two games played the past two days are going to hurt Chicago although an all Chicago World Series would be great baseball! Just don’t hold your breath. The Rayshas the pitching strength of the 2005 White Sox, and a solid deffense behind them and without Quentin, the Sox have a less firepower than they had in the regular season. The only question that remains is how many Raysfans will turn out in Tampa in these games? I would like to see Griffey Jr. go deep into the playoffs, but I just don’t see it happening this year!
Now, if the games were only on another station. The announcers last year were painfully bad, but I did enjoy Eckersley & Ripken after the Sox and Twins game last night. Eck’s colorful baseball lingo is a breath of fresh air if you can keep up with him, that is.