Figured I'd make this now with the Game 163/Tiebreaker Game going on tomorrow night. I don't really like making predictions every year since the playoffs can be so random but it does add to the fun of actually creating the thread, so, without further adieu:
Rays over Rangers: I'll take David Price over Martin Perez in a lose-or-go-home game.
AL Wild Card Game
Indians over Rays: best young pitcher nobody has heard of yet: Danny Salazar.
NL Wild Card Game
Pirates over Reds: First playoff game in Pittsburgh since 1992, back when Barry Bonds looked liked this
. Yeah, it's been awhile; you think the fans will be fired up? Also, Liriano vs lefties this season: .130/.175/.146. The Reds' top 3 hitters are left-handed.
Red Sox over Indians: While all my other preseason predicitions pretty much sucked, I did at least call the Indians my AL sleeper. I didn't project them to make the playoffs, but I thought a wild card push was very possible with bounceback seasons from Justin Masterson (3.48 ERA, 3.35 FIP as Cleveland's rotation anchor), Ubaldo Jimenez (1.86 ERA, 2.39 FIP in the 2nd half), and Scott Kazmir (3.51 FIP). As evidence to those numbers in paranthesis, that all happened, and then some. Kudos to Terry Francona and his Indians for a fun season in Cleveland... but I think their magical run ends here, against a pretty damn good team that is simply better than them across the board.
Tigers over A's: This was a fun series last October, so let's do it again. I'll be pulling for the A's but damn, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Anibal Sanchez in a short series is tough top, and three of the five possible games could take place in a pitcher's park.
Pirates over Cardinals: Tough one. I would say the Cards are hurt with Allen Craig looking doubtful for this series but that would be disingenuous: Matt Adams has equaled him in wRC+ this season, so they probably aren't losing much there. Both teams are pretty even position player wise, each having their stars (Molina, McCutchen) and underrated heroes (Carpenter, Marte, Martin). AJ Burnett is no Adam Wainwright, but he's had a fantastic year, and I like Pittsburgh's remaining rotation more. Gerrit Cole is really damn good and people will find that out during this series. I will say I'm probably a tad biased towards Pittsburgh because of the underdog story here.
Dodgers over Braves: The Dodgers went 69-38 since Yasiel Puig debuted, including a 42-8 stretch from late-June to mid-August. Yeah, you read that right, they had a stretch where they won 42 of 50 games. Remarkably, Hanley Ramirez has been even more of an amazing story than Puig. They have the best pitcher on the planet (Kershaw) and the Braves might see him twice.
Tigers over Red Sox: Boston can hit. Want evidence? Their team 115 wRC+ led MLB. The Tigers can pitch. Want evidence? This is where I introduce the fact that the Tigers' 4th starter is Doug Fister, who is quietly better than the #1's on most teams. Detroit can really hit too (114 wRC+, 2nd in MLB) and Boston can boast a deep playoff rotation as well. Bullpens carry more significance now, and Boston has the best weapon of anyone there (Koji Uehara). This is a real toss-up for me, but I'm going with the rotation I trust a little bit more.
Dodgers over Pirates: Matt Kemp was shutdown for the playoffs. That sounds bad until you realize the Dodgers have been Kemp-less for more than half of their games this season and when he has played, he hasn't been any good. The biggest question mark is will Kemp's typical replacement, Andre Ethier, be healthy enough to play in this series. After injuring his ankle last Tuesday, he was shut down for the remainder of the season and may be left off the NLDS roster. Score a small victory for Pittsburgh, if they make this far, and Ethier is merely a pinch hitter, but I have to take the team who has beat the living hell out of teams since June.
Tigers over Dodgers: Dodgers boast the best pitcher in the game but Max Scherzer isn't terribly far behind himself. Neither is Anibal Sanchez. Neither is Justin Verlander. Neither is Doug Fister. Oh, and again, those last four are on the Tigers. I like Greinke and Ryu, but nobody is touching Detroit's rotation. Detroit's position player crop stacks up against the Dodgers' as well, and it might be better. I say the Tigers finally get over the hump and win the World Series.
The action all begins tomorrow night at 8pm ET, Rays (David Price) @ Rangers (Martin Perez) on TBS. The entire playoff schedule can be found here
I'll be pulling for the Bucs. Enjoy the postseason!
Edited by nmigliore, 29 September 2013 - 10:49 PM.