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2009 Playoff Predictions

by: Brian F. Logush

Well, it's that time of year: where anybody can make bold predictions on the playoffs. It's exactly like March Madness, except your entire office doesn't have a pool and Dick Vitale is not going to be seen on ESPN gushing over Jonathon Papelbon's fastball. They have enough of those types in Bristol as it is.

But this year's match-ups have the potential for truly fascinating October baseball. Let's take a look around the 2009 MLB Playoffs...


New York Yankees v. Minnesota Twins
Congratulations on your thrilling victory over the Tigers, Minnesota. You were able to mount an incredible comeback in September, and, much like the 2007 Colorado Rockies, win your way into the playoffs. It was a brilliant game that went back and forth. A tip o' the cap to you.

Now remember this feeling. Because it sure as hell isn't going to last. What is your reward for winning the AL Central? A date in New York to play the #1 seed. The New York team that is 7-0 against you this season. The team you are allowing to hit .300 against. We all know the Metrodome will see at least one more baseball game. But we all know it will not see any more than one series. Sorry about that.


Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v. Boston Red Sox
When it comes to the Angels playing the Red Sox in the postseason, I understand how disgruntled Cubs fans are. You know you should win. You have the better team, and your opponent really shouldn't have a chance. Yet, every postseason, you sit in the dugout while the inferior team your ballpark.

Boston is 9-1 against the Angels when they meet in the postseason since 2004. Why, Halos? You are a great team. I want to pick you to win because you should. But the 2006 Cardinals showed us that the favorite doesn't always win. But in this case, this year, you have to. Please. For all of us who hate Boston. Beat them.

ANGELS IN 5. (Because Boston will get a call to force Game 5)

Los Angeles Dodgers v. St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright have the ball for the first two games. This is a huge chance to set the tone for the series. Throw in a surprise in Skip Schumaker, the best player in the game, a great mid-season addition, and a catcher who is on his way to consecutive Gold Gloves.

Joe Torre pulled a brilliant move with starting two lefties out of the gate, which the Cards have trouble hitting. Los Angeles has better power off the bench (read: Thome, Jim) and Jonathon Broxton, who can be a beast. But they are also starting Vincente Padilla in Game 3. So, there's that. I guess. Los Angeles may be the higher seed, but the Cards are favored by the majority of baseball writers, including Peter Gammons. Count me in.


Philadelphia Phillies v. Colorado Rockies
I am terrified of the Phillies. Left handed pitching. A strong, strong lineup that has no weaknesses until the pitcher's spot. One concern is their bullpen. Lidge is in trouble, and if Charlie Manuel wants to win, he has to pick his spots with Lidge. Last season is over. The Brad Lidge that Pujols destroyed is back.

The Rockies played out-of-their-minds baseball to win the Wild Card, but lost 2 of their last 3 to get it. With Jorge De la Rosa out for the DS, how good is their starting pitching? Aaron Cook is starting Game 2 after spending the better part of the last months on the DL. But I like that Rockies offense, led by Helton and Tulowitzki. Who wins? Give me a coin.



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