Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My prediction: Sox over the Phillies

I think it's going to end up being a positive that the Red Sox frittered away a 14 game lead over the Yankees, making them play meaningful games up until the penultimate game of the season when they clinched the number one overall seed. Again and again people are surprised when teams that barely make the playoffs win it all: St. Louis had the worst record in the playoffs last year, and four wild card teams have won since 1997. But when teams cruise into the playoffs, like the 116 win 2001 Mariners, they can't just turn it on when the games count again.

Boston is healthy, recently getting Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis back. And despite the recent struggles of Hideki Okajima and Eric Gagne, you'd take their bullpen over any team in the postseason. Boston will inevitably play the Yankees in the ALCS, where the Yankees will live and die with ARod. But I'm picking Boston because although the Yankees have no shot if ARod doesn't put up big numbers, it is possible for the Red Sox to win without shutting him down.

I thought about picking the Cubs to come out of the NL, but Philly's number one starter can match up with Zambrano or Webb, plus they've got arguable the best three position players of the NL playoff teams.

AL Division Series: Red Sox over Angels, Yankees over Indians
NL Division Series: Phillies over Rockies, Cubs over Diamondbacks
Championship Series: Red Sox over Yankees, Phillies over Cubs
World Series: Red Sox over Phillies

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