Real LCS predictions trump silly "Weekend Predictions" today.
It's not my nature to brag, not at all, but since I correctly picked all four Division Series winners - I gave the Twins a win they didn't get, and I should've given the Rays two games rather than zero - I'm just going to reiterate what I stated last week.
AL: Yankees over Texas in 6. For my column today, I wrote about the Yankees' offense, since I think people are actually overlooking it due to the Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett story lines We saw in the ALDS just how good it can be.
The Rangers' lineup? Not anywhere as imposing, in my mind. They're not going to work counts in the same way - Elvis Andrus has little discipline, Vladimir Guerrero has made a Hall of Fame career with his "chase anything" approach and when Jeff Francoeur and/or Bengie Molina start _ Francoeur will likely start tonight, but not Molina _ that will just make the Yankees' pitchers' job easier.
Yup, the Rangers have Lee, and so let's say they win Game 3 with him at the Stadium. And then let's say, in a deja vu of the Mets in Houston, in 1986 - when Davey Johns'on's group worked 16 innings in Game 6 to avoid Mike Scott in Game 7 - the Yankees clinch on the road a game early to ensure that Lee pitches just once.
It's also worth noting that the ballparks - both hitter-friendly - could influence the results of this series. Maybe we'll see some slugfests, and we'll see Joe Girardi go to some of those extra relievers he didn't use in the LDS. Like that Chamberlain fellow.
NL: Philadelphia over San Francisco in 6. I admittedly haven't thought about this one as much, since I'm not covering it. So it's pretty much as simple as, "The Phillies are better."
You saw the way the Giants lived on the edge even in their NLDS victory over a DOA Braves team. They get spectacular pitching, but they sure don't put a lot of runs on the board. For crying out loud, they won the series with a .288 OBP and .295 SLG.
The Phillies, with their combination of lineup depth and rotation depth, won't give the Giants anything approaching the room for error San Francisco had in its first series.
The Phillies' one area of vulnerability? Their bullpen? And the Giants have seemed to enjoy some late-inning magic with people like Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross delivering big hits.
So maybe there'll be a surprise here. I wouldn't bet on it, though.
I asked this question back during the regular season, but now that we've narrowed the field, what would be the most enjoyable World Series?
I know what the easiest would be to cover _ Yankees-Phillies. The travel would be cake. Journalistically, there'd be something to say about the first World Series rematch since Yankees-Dodgers in 1978.
In terms of cool stories, though, Yankees-Giants would be more fun, with all of the history there. Or the Rangers against either club, just because the Rangers have become one of the season's great stories. And one of those great stories is GM and Queens native Jon Daniels, with whom I spoke yesterday.
Among the many stories we have advancing this series, I especially liked Anthony Rieber's recall of Mariano Rivera's first postseason save and Jim Baumbach's profile on Robinson Cano, whose reputation as a minor-leaguer and young major-leaguer was pretty darn terrible and who has worked to put that behind him.
Also Rieber's story on Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod playing his old team seems like a quaint storyline compared to some of the others in this series. But we're still talking about A-Rod here, so it'll be big.
--Sandy Alderson finally interviewed for the Mets' GM opening yesterday, and as David Lennon wrote, the concerns lie more in Alderson's potential fit with the Mets ownership group than in Alderson's abilitiy to do the job. If the Mets and Alderson can't figure out a way to make it work, then that's the Mets' loss, not Alderson's.
--All right, so a busy day on tap here. We've got the live chat at 1. We've got a book giveaway contest coming shortly after that. And then we'll check in from the ballpark.
Clear your schedules, in other words. It's the LCS, for goodness' sake.