AL and NL Divisional Series Predictions

2009PostseasonAs an aside, I had the privilege of reading a recent post by our Yankees writer Lisa Swan over at The Faster Times


concerning Hot teams going into the playoffs and this is what she had to say after looking at the September/October records of the 72 playoff teams from 2000-2008…

Of the ten teams to have a winning percentage above .700 in the last month of the regular season, firing on all cylinders, only one of them – the 2007 Rockies – even made it to the World Series, where they were swept by the Red Sox. And just four of the hottest teams down the stretch even advanced past the first round of the playoffs in those years:

Year Team Win Loss Pct. Result
2001 Athletics 23 4 .852 ALDS Loss
2002 Cardinals 21 6 .778 NLCS Loss
2004 Astros 23 7 .767 NLCS Loss
2000 Athletics 22 7 .759 ALDS Loss
2003 Twins 19 7 .731 ALDS Loss
2007 Rockies 21 8 .724 WS Loss
2001 Cardinals 20 8 .714 NLDS Loss
2002 Yankees 19 8 .704 ALDS Loss
2007 Yankees 19 8 .704 ALDS Loss
2003 Cubs 19 8 .704 NLCS Los


Six playoff teams had sub-.500 records down the stretch, stumbling into October. Yet four of them made it to the World Series, and two won it:

Year Team Win Loss Pct. Result
2008 Brewers 10 16 .385 NLDS Loss
2006 Cardinals 12 17 .414 WS Win
2000 Yankees 13 18 .419 WS Win
2006 Tigers 12 16 .429 WS Loss
2008 White Sox 12 15 .444 NLDS Loss
2008 Rays 13 14 .481 WS Loss



To read the rest of her article click on the article’s title, “
MLB Teams That Sizzle in September Often Fizzle in October“.

Now onto my predictions:

ALDS

Twins vs. Yankees: Despite being one of the hottest teams in baseball down the stretch, the Twins, in my humble opinion, just don’t have the starting pitching to compete with the Yankees ferocious offense and without former MVP Justin Morneau at 1B and more importantly, in the offense, I just don’t see them giving the Yankkes much trouble at all. Yankees in 4 (out of 5). Although the Yankees may sweep.

Angels vs. Red Sox: Despite being the best hitting team in baseball as far as batting average goes, the Angels, like the Twins, just don’t have the pitching to out duel the Red Sox. Sure they have a lot of base stealers on this team, but a power pitching team like the Red Sox might be able to keep them off the bases for the most part. The Angels also have home field advantage and the intangibles that are the Nick Adenhart tragedy and their past history of falling to the Red Sox in the post season to motivate them, but I still see them falling to the Red Sox. Red Sox in 4.

NLDS

Dodgers vs. Cardinals: A clash of the managerial titans! Torre vs. LaRussa, pitching vs. pitching, Manny vs. Pujols, etc. As much as I’d like to see LaRussa’s team get eliminated, I think they are just stronger and healthier especially in the starting rotation as the Dodgers’ Kuroda is not slated to start games 1, 2 or 3 and Billingsley hasn’t looked like his old self since his return from injury and neither has Kershaw, but they’re both young enough to surprise. Still, I’ll take the Cardinals in 5.

Rockies vs. Phillies: I honestly do not see the Rockies giving the Phillies much of a run in this one even though the Phillies pitching is in question. The Rockies just don’t seem to have enough power to compete especially in games played in these two stadiums! The Rockies also do not impress me with their rotation. I’ll take the Phillies in 4. Although the Phillies may also sweep.

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