Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MLB Postseason

I didn't get a chance to write a preview for the MLB Postseason, but it's a good thing since I probably would have picked the Phillies to win it all and not get ousted in the first round. In all honesty, I would have picked the winners of the Cardinals/Phillies and Rays/Rangers series to meet in the World Series. Of course, the Cardinals are my favorite team, so it would have been difficult to keep my bias out of the choice when considering their potential. The Rays, on the other hand, aren't my favorite team, but I've always liked them and wanted to ride their momentum despite not fully believing in their lineup.

Now? I'm going with my Cards all the way after seeing them consistently battle this past month. Simply put, Chris Carpenter is the man, throwing a 3-hit shutout in the deciding Game 5 in Philadelphia after a 2-hit shutout on the last day of the season to claim a playoff berth. The rest of the pitching staff was solidified by the Rasmus trade, as I described here, and the lineup led the league in runs, hits, AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS. Albert Pujols is the anchor of the lineup, of course, and he has been outstanding.

The Brewers lineup is obviously explosive in its own right, headlined by Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. I wouldn't say it's as deep as the Cardinals, however, and their pitching is inconsistent despite their considerable talent. They simply lack the experience of the St. Louis players and even on the managerial side. La Russa has his quirks, but his considerable edge here, along with the teams' defenses, gives me confidence in my Cards.

I'm not a huge fan of the Rangers, but I believe they can make their second consecutive World Series. The Tigers, on the other hand, have a good team, but they were never serious contenders. They feasted on a pitiful AL Central and rode an MVP caliber season from Justin Verlander to this point. I do like the Detroit pitchers, but I don't think they can make up for the difference between the two clubs. Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Alex Avila give the lineup some hope, but that's about it.
The Texas starters certainly leave a lot to be desired, but they can do enough to get the ball to their excellent bullpen that was bolstered by mid-season trades, and the defense around them help a considerable amount. The lineup, of course, is stacked throughout the order and should provide enough leads for the 'pen to hold. That is, until they run into St. Louis.

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