Figured I would take a crack at the playoffs prediction thing in baseball because my uneducated guess is as good as an educated one. Yankee fans rejoice: I'm not picking you to win the world series (so keep reading). Let's get this madness started.
Texas Rangers def. Baltimore Orioles 5-1: Pitching is paramount to any playoff run, and the Orioles are starting Joe Saunders (9-13, 4.07) vs. Texas' Yu Darvish (16-9, 3.90). Advantage: Texas. Therefore, the win goes to Texas. Oh yeah, look for Josh Hamilton to shut some people up after dropping a crucial fly ball against the A's.
St. Louis Cardinals def. Atlanta Braves 3-2: The pitching matchup in this one is significantly better, seeing St. Louis right-hander Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86) pitted against Atlanta's wunderkind Kris Medlen (10-1, 1.57). Medlen's one loss came as a reliever, he has yet to lose as a starter. Why pick against such a great record? Because Medlen is not going to get the loss. And neither will the Braves' stud closer Craig Kimbrel. Rather, St. Louis will scrap its third run from a meddling middle reliever and send the Braves home.
Detroit Tigers def. Oakland A's in 4 Games: I think I'm being generous by giving the A's one victory against the Tigers. The Tigers arguably have the best pitcher (Justin Verlander) and hitter (Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera) in the playoffs, and they are tough to beat. Oakland is a great story, but not a great competitor on the big stage. Detroit has been, and will continue to play big-boy baseball and crush the A's to advance.
Texas Rangers def. New York Yankees in 5 Games: Texas has been woken up by not winning the AL West. Call it a hunch, but I think the Yankees pitching will be extremely disappointing, especially in the bullpen. Mariano Rivera's postseason MVP votes should increase after seeing the Yankees blow a couple of leads in this series.
San Francisco Giants def. Cincinnati Reds in 4 Games: There are three reasons why the Giants will be very tough to beat in the playoffs: Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Tim Lincecum (the fact that he is the least scary of these three to face speaks volumes). Throw in Hunter Pence and a healthy (ish) Pablo Sandoval and the Giants can go a long way. The Reds have not played a meaningful game in a month. The Giants will lose Lincecum's game, but will win Cain (x2) and Bumgarner's games.
St. Louis Cardinals def. Washington Nationals in 4 Games: Like Oakland, the Nationals are not ready for big-boy baseball. The reigning World Series champs are. It's that simple. By the way, how's that 10-year contract for Pujols looking today, Angels?
Detroit Rangers def. Texas Rangers in 5 Games: The keys to this series will be the pitching performances of Max Scherzer and Doug Fister in support of Justin Verlander. If they get solid performances, the Tigers will roll. If not, it'll be more difficult. Not going to try to overcomplicate this.
San Francisco Giants def. St. Louis Cardinals in 6 Games: Once again, the starting pitching for the Giants continues to roll. Simply too much for the Cardinals offense who will really wish that Albert Pujols was still in the middle of the lineup.