Baseball’s regular season is unfortunately coming to an end, but this year’s post-season has the potential to be something extraordinary.
In the AL East, the Yankees are slowly distancing themselves from the second place Red Sox. As of Sept. 14 the Bronx Bombers have a 3.5 game lead over their arch rivals. Other divisions like the AL Central and the NL East seem to be foregone conclusions barring any monumental collapse.
(Ahem. 2007 Mets, which I still have not gotten over).
The Tigers have a commanding 12 game lead and look to be a formidable opponent in the playoffs, with MVP candidate and American League Cy Young Award favorite Justin Verlander commanding their rotation.
The Phillies (who have the best record in baseball as of Sept. 14 at a cool 94-50) have a 10 game edge over the Wild Card leading Braves and continue to show that they are as good as they were advertised at the season’s commencement.
One of my favorite aspects of sports is the speculation. Last year, I accurately predicted that the San Francisco Giants were going to win the World Series. I hope for the same luck this time around. As of right now, the playoff outlooks is as follows: The American League playoff teams would be the Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, and the Red Sox (wild card). The National League teams are the Phillies, Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Braves (wild card).
Out of the American League, the Tigers will win the pennant, and this is why: Justin Verlander. I believe that a Verlander start every three games will be enough to push them through the post-season. Their offense is not something to overlook, considering they have big bats like Miguel Cabrera and other solid role-players like Jhonny Peralta and Ryan Raburn. You may ask: “Why not the Yankees or the Red Sox?”
This is my case.
The Yankees have the high-powered offense, sure, but their pitching is always going to be a question mark in my mind. After C.C. Sabathia, I do not believe that other rotation pitchers like Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova will get the job done. We all know for sure that A.J. Burnett cannot be trusted. I pick the Tigers simply because Verlander is a work-horse and it’s a gut feeling.
On the other hand, I am very confident that the Brewers can take the National League. The off-season acquisition of Zack Greinke and the mid-season trade to acquire Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez were important in shoring up their pitching staff. Their closer John Axford has been a stud in the bullpen converting 42 of 44 saves (as of 9.12.11). Their offense is (to put it quite ineloquently) bananas. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are the best 3-4 combination in the league, bar none. Other players important to their success are All-Star Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart.
The Brewers will win the Fall Classic in six games. Bold prediction, indeed, but it’s the Brew Crew’s time to shine. Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke will prove to be a tough task for opposing lineups. In addition, Braun, Fielder and the rest of the offense will be overpowering and the long ball and extra-base hits will be imperative to their success.
The beauty of the game is its unpredictable nature. October will definitely prove to be a crazy month.