Saturday, October 8, 2011

Our League Championship Picks


Here are our predictions for both the National League and American League Championship Series':

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Jimmi's picks:
NLCS
Brewers Logo
Brewers over Cardinals 4-2
-So I completely whiffed on the Cards/Phillies NLDS matchup by picking the mighty Phils to sweep the Redbirds -- that obviously didn't happen. However, I'm going to pick against Tony La Russa's club once again. In a matchup that pits two of the top five scoring offenses in the leauge, runs likely won't be a problem for either squad. Milwaukee continued their homefield dominance against the D'backs in round one, improving their winning percentage at Miller Park to an unprecedented 71.4% this season. I expect that trend to persist into this series, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go to seven games as the two teams split the regular season contests 9-9.

ALCS

Rangers over Tigers 4-3
-I picked neither of these teams to advance beyond the first round, and naturally they both proved me wrong. After great struggle in predicting the winner of this series, I finally settled on the Rangers in seven games. Both teams enter the ALCS well rested with Texas having not played a game in four days and Detroit having not played in two. This allowed both managers to set up their pitching rotation just as they wish. With that said, I think it'll be a non-factor as both team's elite starters will offset each other, making the outcome of this series boil down to offense and baserunning -- two areas the Rangers hold a solid edge in. Like the NLCS pairing, assume a plethora of runs scored in this Championship Series as well.

RedlegsWriter's picks:

At first thought, I was hoping to be able to say that pitching wins in the postseason, then base my picks off that philosophy, then I looked at the postseason stats and three out of the four teams with the lowest ERA so far are no longer in the mix, with St. Louis being the third lowest at 4.09 and one of the teams still vying for the World Series. Then if you take a look at the batting stats, the three lowest scoring teams so far have been St. Louis, Texas, and Detroit, go figure. Let me recap that for you. Basically, the teams who gave up the most runs, and scored the fewest runs are the ones who advanced. So now I'm going to have to make something else up.

NLCS
Brewers Logo
Brewers over Cardinals 4-2
-The Brewers and Cardinals split the season series between them at 9-9. This will be the more exciting of the two match ups if you ask me because you've got NL Central rivals who both went on hot streaks to end the season and are still hot. Plus you've got the added drama of the Cards who will probably whine about the weather getting cold against Nyjer Morgan yelling profanities and going crazy. Oh, then there's the actual baseball part where Yovani Gallardo and Chris Carpenter have been masterful. I'm going with the Brewers though, who went all in this season. I'm expecting Gallardo and Ryan Braun to be excellent through the entire series, with the X factor being Zack Greinke, whom I think will pitch much better and pick up two wins in this series, including game one Sunday.

ALCS

Rangers over Tigers 4-1
-Detroit won the season series over Texas 6-3. Despite his pedestrian numbers in the ALDS, Justin Verlander is a FREAK. Miguel Cabrera will rebound and have a solid series, but don't expect guys like Delmon Young and Don Kelly to be quite as good as they were, and they seemed to come up big in the the ALDS. Look for Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, and Michael Young to lead the way as the Rangers will outhit the Tigers and dominate them all around, coasting into a World Series match up against the Brew Crew.

Will's picks:

I went 2-2 with my picks in the First Round, getting both National League Series right while going 0-2 with in the American League. I attribute this to my knowledge of the NL (and in particular the NL Central) from following the Reds and just being a casual follower of all other teams. 

NLCS
Brewers Logo
Brewers over Cardinals 4-2
-This should be a very close and entertaining series. The teams faced off 18 times during the regular season splitting the games evenly. Both teams also needed dramatic Game 5 wins to make it this far. I correctly picked (what seemed to be) the largest and least likely upset with the Cardinals over the Phillies. However I am not picking them in this series. Torty and The Rally Squirrel will not be able to help the Cardinals this time. La Russa has some major decisions to make about the pitching rotation. Will Carpenter go on regular rest and pitch Game 3 (and 6) or will he go on short rest and pitch earlier in the series? But that would potentially leave him out of the mix for Game 6 or 7 if it goes that far. If the series goes to Game 7 I give the Cardinals the edge based on their team personality and not giving up.

However, it will not get that far. The Brewers led by Superstars, Fielder and Braun, along with key secondary players such as the energetic (polite term) Nyjer Morgan will simply be to much to much and will win in 6.

*Included in my prediction is that there will be 1 bench clearing incident.

ALCS

Rangers over Tigers 4-2
-I picked against both these teams in the first round. So here is my second attempt. There will be no game 7 during this round. While Verlander was impressive and entertaining throwing 100+ miles per hour several times in the 8th inning he cannot pitch in every game. I believe that the Rangers offense will be too much during the series. The Rangers are looking for the franchises first World Series Championship and the couple of days off that they received for their quick win over Tampa Bay, while the Tigers continued to play, will help them get a step closer. Delmon Young injured his left oblique muscle in game 5. If he can’t play, or is limited, it will certainly damper the Tigers spirits. It is also very difficult to root against Josh Hamilton and his story. The Texas Rangers just have too much offense. It is often said that pitching wins championships but not this year. The Tigers will be joining the pitching dominant Philadelphia Phillies on an early vacation.

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