NLDS: Nationals v. Cardinals 3:07 PM TBS
The #1 seed Nationals are in unfamiliar territory, and they have no time to get used to it because they are headed to the home of the defending champs.
It’s been a great season for Washington, but now it’s all about the next hurdle. Can this team prove that they are ready for championship baseball in spite of their lack of experience?
Their starting lineup showcases just two players with playoff experience, Jayson Werth with Philadelphia and Adam LaRoche with the 04/05 Braves.
I’ve always felt like their offense could have a serious problem in a playoff series because they always seem so hot or cold. When they are clicking, they can compete with AL lineups though.
While the media will beg you to focus on the loss of Strasburg, he’s not going to be the reason they may lose this series. Their rotation is good enough to win a playoff series, Gio Gonzalez has proven to be a legitimate ace, while Zimmerman and Edwin Jackson are solid 2/3 starters.
For St. Louis, I think we all know what happened in Atlanta by now. I don’t like it, but the rule is the rule. At first I thought, they will carry some bad karma with them – but after seeing Harold Reynolds explain the rule, I will let it go.
The defending champions will get to hand the ball to Adam Wainwright in Game 1, Wainwright is a big game pitcher for sure and you know he hated sitting on the sidelines last season. The Cardinals will also hand the ball to Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse and probably Chris Carpenter at some point.
St. Louis is a team that always seems to get the timely hit, their never said die attitude is what won them a World Series and what I believe will win them this series.
I think the Nationals are very talented, but I am worried their lack of a playoff race, paired with extra rest will cool off this young team. Make no mistake about it though, they are in it for the long haul.
NLDS Staff Picks
Washington: Jim Mancari, Greg Hopps, Clare Lafferty, Jessica DeMattia, Tie Dyed, Joe D, Clayton Collier
St. Louis: Ed Leyro, Jessep
ALDS: Yankees v. Orioles 6:07 PM TBS
I’d love to play a drinking game every time a facebook friend or tv announcer mentions Jeffrey Maier during this series. The Yankees represent the only team in this year’s playoffs that I’d really love to see lose. That’s pretty rare for me lately to only have 1 team fit that category actually.
These two teams couldn’t be any more opposites. The Orioles to me showcase everything Buck Showalter is about, and the Yankees always seem to win in spite of Joe Girardi managing.
The fact this series begins in Baltimore is a real big deal for me, but not for the reasons you may think. I think it may actually favor the Yankees.
This Orioles team is young, and is sharing a Cinderella story with Oakland. They couldn’t slay the monster in 162 games, now they get 5 more chances. A hometown crowd with expectations for a turn around for this franchise may be a lot to handle in Game 1.
I don’t trust the rotation of Baltimore in a series. You can’t show me Hammel, Chen, and Tillman or Gonzalez and tell me they should out pitch Sabathia, Pettitte, and Kuroda.
Texas surprised me because they seemed to play like they weren’t afraid of Baltimore, as though they went into the game knowing they’d win no matter what. Darvish had a great game and showed the weaknesses of a young and aggressive Orioles lineup. I expect Sabathia and Pettitte to do the same.
The Yankees won’t take Baltimore lightly. They dealt with them all year nipping at their heels and they know this Cinderella story could have more chapters written if they aren’t careful.
Moving forward, I worry about the Yankees bullpen. I think Rafael Soriano is a playoff implosion waiting to happen, but I think he will have a little cushion in this series.
I’ll be rooting my heart out for Baltimore, but I just don’t feel they can out slug and out pitch the Yankees in a 5 game series.
ALDS Staff Picks
NY Yankees: Clare Lafferty, Jessica DeMattia, Jessep, Tie Dyed, Xtreemicon
Baltimore: Jim Mancari, Greg Hopps, Clayton Collier, Ed Leyro
World Series Pick
This year’s MLB playoff showcase 8 teams that would surprise nobody if they won it all. That makes for a great postseason for fans around the country!
I think this will be Detroit’s year. In 2006, it looked like they’d be squaring off against the Mets and we all know how that ended. The Tigers haven’t won the World Series since 1984.
For their opponent, I’m taking the Giants. This is a team that I feel many wrote off and forget that just 2 years ago they were the champions. They have the best playoff rotation in baseball, and I think they matchup well against anybody in the NL.
World Series Staff Picks
Jim Mancari – Oakland over Cincinnati
Greg Hopps – Washington over Baltimore
Clare Lafferty – Washington over Oakland
Jessica DeMattia – Oakland over Washington
Michael Barrett – Cincinatti over Detroit
Tie Dyed – Detroit over washington
Joe D – Texas over Washington (you need a new pick!)
Xtreemicon – New York over Atlanta
Mitch Petanick – Detroit over Atlanta
Clayton Collier – Washington over Detroit
Ed Leyro – St. Louis over Detroit
Jessep – Detroit over San Francisco
So there are our picks, who you got?