As we discussed yesterday, I am terrible at predictions. I may be bloodied, but I remain unbowed. My slavedriver editor at The Outside Corner forced us all to make playoff predictions for today, so I fearlessly took on that endeavor despite my poor track record. I really am a hero and an inspiration to all for such a display of fortitude. So, after literally thinking for minutes about these ultimately inconsequential predictions, they have been cast. TOC has just the quick breakdown but I figure I should explain myself in this space for the sake of posterity.
Rays over Red Sox in 4 – I'd like to say that I don't like the way the Red Sox rotation is set up. Lackey seems like he is ready to implode and Buchholz may not be all the way back yet. I also think that he Rays have to be feeling invincible after winning three straight sudden death games. And, let's be honest, I really don't want to see Mike Napoli or John Lackey enjoy any further post-season glory.
Tigers over A's in 5 – I am really tempted to pick the A's but it feels like their rotation is starting to come apart. They don't have Griffin, Parker is going to have to start on the road and I'm not sure I buy what Sonny Gray and Dan Straily can really do right now. Their lineups versatility should serve them well, especially with Detroit's depleted bullpen, but I don't see it working out in their favor.
Cardinals over Pirates in 4 – The Pirates had their nice moment, the Cardinals are just deeper in the lineup, even without Craig, and rotation.
Dodgers over Braves in 5 – A tight series for sure, but I just can't bring myself to pick against a team that will have Clayton Kershaw pitching in 40% of the games.
Rays over Tigers in 7 – The Tigers are shaky defensively and their bullpen is kind of a mess and with Miguel Cabrera not fully healthy, I feel like they are ripe to be exploited by Joe Maddon, especially if Jim Leyland starts getting all smallball happy and playing for one run.
Cardinals over Dodgers in 5 – In a longer series, the Cardinals will benefit from having a deeper lineup whereas I can see Don Mattingly just micro-managing the bajeezus out of this thing to try and prove his worth and it won't go well.
Rays over Cardinals in 6 – I'm pretty sure the Cardinals are better than Rays. In fact, I'm almost certain of it. That's exactly why I am picking the Rays. Because this is baseball and baseball is weird, man. You know what else is weird? The Rays. Weird on top of weird equals a World Series win for Tampa.
I fully realize I will likely be wildly wrong with these predictions because there is so much randomness in the post-season, but I still reserve the right to gloat to no end if I assume get this all right.