Thursday, October 4, 2012

0 MLB Playoff predictions

By Kenny Howell

I don't like the new playoff format. Really just the Wild Card weird one game deal. That makes this predicting who is going to win the World Series all the more difficult because a team can win a series much easier than one game. It all depends on who the matchups are on the mound, and which way the breaks go. But, it has to be predicted, so I will give it a shot.

My biggest problem is that the two teams I think will be in the World Series, the Orioles and the Braves, are playing in those play-in Wild Card games. So my predictions can go up in smoke Friday. But I do believe that both those teams will get it done if they can get past the first game.

American League

The Orioles have been on a tear lately, leading the AL in OPS, and second in the AL in WHIP and defensive efficiency. The Rangers can, of course, hit with anyone, but their pitching and defense has been middle of the road. So, I think the Orioles can get out of Arlington with a win.

They would then face the hated Yankees, who have also slipped a tad in September. They are still the Yankees and very good, but I think the Orioles have enough spunk to get through five games and win the series, 3-2.

In the other series, Detroit and Miguel Cabrera tries to slow down the red hot Oakland A's, but I don't think they will be able to. Athletics win easily in four games, 3-1.

That will set up the two great stories of 2012, the Orioles and Athletics. I just think the Orioles are too sound all around right now, and take advantage of the Athletics pitching , which hasn't been stellar in September. Orioles win 4-2, and head to the World Series for the first time since 1983.

National League

The Braves have the pitching and defense thing down right now. They led the majors in WHIP and defensive efficiency in September. Their hitting hasn't been spectacular to say the least, but it has been enough. I think they get past the defending champion Cardinals, and move on to face the Nationals.

The Nationals aren't quite the same without Stephen Strasburg in there, finishing September in the bottom half of WHIP. However, they have been hitting the ball well, and playing pretty good defense. But the playoffs are about pitching, which the Braves are doing extremely well right now. Atlanta takes the series, 3-2, and the question whether they should have let Strasburg keep pitching comes back up again.

The Cincinnati Reds didn't hit the ball very well in September, but the pitching was stellar, and their fielding was serviceable. The Giants haven't been very good at either pitching or fielding lately, and that will cost them. Giants' bats will give them two wins, but the Reds take the series, 3-2.

That leaves the Braves and Reds standing. The Braves pitching and fielding so well, and the Reds not hitting is not a good combination for the Reds. Braves keep rolling, take an easy series, 4-1, and move onto the World Series.

World Series

Buck Showalter is finally going to get his due this year. The Yankees and Diamondbacks both got World Series titles the year after Showalter was fired, with the teams he helped build. Though the Braves will take the series deep, I think that the Orioles are the more complete team and get their first World Series title since that 1983 season. Orioles in seven games, 4-3.


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