Coming to You This Fall

The best MLB playoffs since 2004? It’s looking that way. On the AL side, Boston and the Yankees seem destined for another epic rematch. Think Beckett-Sabathia, Lester-Nova, Lackey-whoever the Yankees have as a third starter. Ortiz v. Rivera again, the electric Jacoby Ellsbury, the suddenly slugging like a mad man Curtis Granderson. Provided both teams get there — and aside from Detroit, I don’t see a Divisional team in the AL that could beat either Boston or New York — it’ll be at least a six-game ALCS, and looks like an epic one at that.

In the NL, the Phillies might just be one of the greatest teams of all time. David Schoenfield at ESPN’s SweetSpot blog did a very cogent analysis of this yesterday. In a 7-game series, they can throw Halladay-Lee-Hamels-Oswalt at you with the very good Vance Worley in relief, along with their excellent bullpen. Mind you, Halladay’s thrown one of two ever postseason no-hitters, Cliff Lee’s postseason bona fides are unquestionable, Hamels is having a career year, and Oswalt, if he can stay healthy, is one of the game’s best pitchers. All of the above have World Series experience too. I don’t think there’s a team in the NL that can match Philadelphia — only Atlanta looks capable of even posing a challenge. And that is a damn good Atlanta team — Jurrjens, Hudson, Hanson, Beachy can’t match the Philly lineup, but are easily the next best rotation in the NL. If Jason Heyward can get his act together, they could really do some damage in a weak NL. Whether it’s the Giants or the Diamondbacks that come out of the West, they’ll get crushed. Same with the Central, be it St. Louis or Milwaukee. The East is where it’s at this year.

My prediction? Red Sox-Phillies in the World Series, Phillies win in 6. Either way, it’s going to be an epic postseason.

Addendum: It’s been brought to my attention that I neglected to mention the Rangers as far as the AL is concerned, and that is certainly an error on my part. That is a very talented team with postseason experience — still I class them with the Tigers as a good team, but not on Red Sox or Yankees territory, at least in a seven-game series. They can score runs with the best of them, but I still have questions about that young and relatively inexperienced staff.

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~ by Benji on 11 August 2011.

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