Lets start with the National League...
To start I believe the Reds and Phillies is an easy choice. The Phillies will win the series in five games. Yes I believe it will take the Phillies five games to defeat the surprise from the National League but the Phillies have a much stronger team and come from a much stronger division. The Phillies spent most of the year in second to the Alanta Braves and kicked it into gear during the second half of the season to post the best win percentage in the Major League. Let's be honest this is the first time the Reds have been in the playoffs since 1995 and overall have a young team. The Phillies have made the playoffs for the past four years winning in 2008 and losing to the Yankees in the series last season. The team is experienced in the playoffs and looking strong again this year.
P.S. It doesn't hurt that Halladay pitched a no hitter the first game of the series, (only the second time in the history of Major League Baseball) I was tempted to change the amount of games it takes the Phillie's to take out the Reds.
The Alanta Braves and the San Fransico Gaints series is one of the harder picks in the playoffs. Both teams were in strong races to make the playoffs, the Gaints against the surprise Padres and the Braves against the very strong Phillies. Baseball is very much a momentum sport and right
now the Gaints have more momenteum then the Braves. The Braves lead the NL East most of the year but lost control of the east after a bad stretch of baseball towards the end of the season. On the contrary the Gaints spent most of the year in second and turned it on during the end of the year to take control of the NL west and making it into the playoffs convincingly.
The bottom line here is that the Giants will win the series in five games. It was a great year for Braves fans but the Giants have the momentum.
Now it is time to analyze the first round for American League. I am starting with the Rangers and Rays because this series holds very little to no value for Major League baseball. Tampa Bay, despite having the best record most of the year and winning arguably the hardest division in baseball were lucky if they could get 10,000 fans in the stands. The Texas Rangers, despite being a surprise team this year have not been talked about and even though they convincingly bet the Rays tonight, they will be making a silent exit. The Rays will win this series in four games after tonight's wake up call.
This is the hardest article for me to write because I am such a devoted New York Yankee fan and have loved the Yankees since I was born. The odds are stacked against the Yankees this year though because the Twins have a very strong line up including names such as Mauer, Thome, and Pavano. The Yankees having an even more impressive line-up but have not had the same production as in the previous year and frankly are starting to get older. A-Rod, Jeter, and Rivera are all getting older in baseball years and their numbers are starting to fall. If the Yankees are to win more championships they will have to do so in the next three to four years. After that they will have to start cutting the large salaries of older players to pick up younger and more productive players.
The bottom line: The Twins, despite losing the first game, will come through and win this series much to my dismay, although the Yankees will take it to five.
Because of the shear volume of information here I am going to continue the playoff predictions over the next couple of days. To make my stance clear though I would like to say that the Twins will beat the Rays and the Phillies will beat the Giants. In the end the Twins will be the World Series Champions. Come back and find out my reasoning over the next couple of days. Mean while, enjoy the best time of the year for sports!
The Marris Minute