It’s that time of year. Prior to the start of the season, I predicted a San Francisco Giants/New York Yankees World Series. Barry Bonds didn’t make it back in time to rally the Giants, so only one of those teams even made the playoffs. Let’s take a look at the matchups.
American League Division Series
New York Yankees vs. LA Angels of Anaheim – This won’t be a repeat of 2002 as this time the Angels have home field, but can’t get the job done. Vladimir Guerrero is an exceptional player, but the Yankees offense is just too much for the Angels pitching staff. The Angels take game 2, and that’s it. Yankees win series 3-1.
Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox – It’s the first ever playoff meeting for these two teams. Anytime Boston is involved, home field is important, but it’s not enough to stop last year’s champions. I thought all season that the White Sox overachieved, and their mediocre second half kind of proves that. The series will be close, but the Red Sox will take it. Red Sox win series 3-2.
American League Championship Series
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox – This will be the third season in a row these two teams have gone head to head in the ALCS. The bitter rivalry will continue, and each team will take one road game. But the Yankees offense is a little bit better in my mind then the Red Sox, and having Randy Johnson in a seven game series really helps the Yankees out. Yankees win series 4-3.
National League Division Series
Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros – This is a tough one to call because while I’d like to see the Braves win another one just because they’ve been there so often, I’d also like to see Roger Clemens in the World Series one more time. I think the Pettite/Clemens/Oswalt triumvirate is just a little too much for the Braves to handle, so I think the Astros come out on top. Astros win series 3-2.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres – We have the best team in the majors against a team that probably doesn’t even deserve to be in the playoffs. Cardinals win easily with a sweep. Cardinals win series 3-0.
National League Championship Series
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Houston Astros – I didn’t intend for this to happen, but I have a repeat in the NLCS as well as in the ALCS. Both teams deserve to be there, so I don’t really care. Again, the Astros pitching comes through and carries them over the Cardinals. Pujols and company make the series close. Astros win series 4-3.
New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros – It’s the Astros first World Series, and the Yankees 40th. Roger Clemens goes against his former team, and if things work out right, he goes head to head with Randy Johnson. Seeing two of the best pitchers in my lifetime in the World Series would be a real treat. The Astros hitting is just enough to get them by with their awesome staff. Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell rise to the occasion (as does Roger Clemens) as they all know this could be their last chance. Astros win series 4-3.
I know I picked a lot of seven game series, but I think a lot of the teams are pretty evenly matched. Plus I like the drama and I want to see as many games as I can before the season closes out.