OK, so I posted my thoughts on the divisional series. But, my boss, Rick Sandella, loves the sports predictions from my little brother, Nick.
Most of the time, Nick gets more right than me, which is impressive, don't you think? So I decided to give him a forum on these playoffs. Here it is:
Yanks vs. Tigers — Yankees in 3
The Tigers are a tailor-made matchup for the Yanks. They strikeout so much that it helps the Yankees in the two areas which they are most flawed: It allows the Yanks' old pitchers to go deeper into games and they don't have to worry as much about their awful defense. This doesn't even take into account the fact that the Tigers have been terrible the last 50 games of the season; all their young pitching is exhausted. Would you want to depend on Kenny Rogers in a big spot?
Padres vs. Cardinals — Padres in 4
I just don't like the Cards at all. If the season was a week longer, they wouldn't have even made the playoffs. They have no starting pitching besides Carpenter and no bullpen at all, with or without Izzy. Pujols should get walked every time he comes to the plate until someone else in that lineup proves they can hit. The Padres have enough solid pitching with Peavy, Young and Wells along with a solid pen to easily beat the Cards.
Twins vs. A's — Twins in 4
Santana can pitch twice, which is basically two guaranteed wins. I don't think Oakland's lineup is good enough to take advantage of the other starters the Twins will throw out there. Just pitch around Frank Thomas (terrible in previous playoffs) and who else scares you in that lineup? Minnesota has the best bullpen in the league, making it tough for the A's to score runs after the sixth inning. Oakland always plays terrible in the Metrodome.
Dodgers vs. Mets — Dodgers in 5
The Mets clearly have the best lineup in the NL, but their starting pitching is terrible. They don't have an ace-shutdown starter. El Duque is so overrated, and at 50-years-old, he will be lucky to pitch five innings. Glavine is decent, but not an ace; and who knows what you get with either Trachsel or Maine? L.A., I think, has enough starting pitching to shut down the Mets long enough for their lineup to put up a decent amount of runs.