2011 Playoff Predictions

ALDS: Rangers vs. Rays

The hot new thing is to talk about how dangerous the Rays are in the playoffs, and it is true that they have an attractive starting rotation on paper. But the Rangers have a fantastic offense opposing them, and I think people are overrating the Rays just a little. David Price sure didn’t look very scary Wednesday night. The Rays had a nice run in September, but that was largely aided by the Red Sox just completely falling apart. Factor in a mediocre at best offense, and they look like the weakest team in the playoffs to me, which I guess means they’ll probably win the whole thing. I’ll believe it when I see it though. (Rangers in 4)

NLDS: Phillies vs. Cardinals

What is there to say about this series, really? The Phillies are going to have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels pitching, and though the Cardinals probably shouldn’t be a pushover, I just don’t see them overcoming that sort of firepower, especially with Matt Holliday injured. I wouldn’t be surprised to see St. Louis win a game in this series, but I sure as heck won’t bet on it. (Phillies in 3)

NLDS: Diamondbacks vs. Brewers

This might be the most fun matchup of the entire first round; Cinderella versus the team that went all in to get here. Anytime you can bring two pitchers of the caliber of Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson to a best-of-five series you have a chance, but the Brewers have some good starters of their own, as well the best offense on the N.L. side of the tournament. I’ll go with Milwaukee, but this is one that should be worth watching. (Brewers in 5)

NLCS: Phillies vs. Brewers

I really want to pick the Brewers. They’re fun to watch, they’ve got some of the best fans in baseball, and I want to see them have success this year after the way those fans have supported that team in recent years, and after the resources they put into winning this season. And I also really don’t want to see the Phillies go anywhere. But alas, the pitching in Philly is probably too much for the Brewers. But if Milwaukee’s starters can hold the Phillies’ lineup in check long enough for them to get into Philadelphia’s bullpen, all bets are off. (Phillies in 7)

ALCS: Yankees vs. Rangers

A rematch of last year’s ALCS I’m really looking forward to. The Rangers had no business winning that series after Game 1 last year, especially considering the performance they got from Colby Lewis, and this will be a great chance for the Yankees to get some payback. The Rangers’ three best starting pitchers right now are all left-handed, and the Yankees have mashed southpaws this season. The Rangers’ lineup could do some damage to the Yankees’ starting pitchers, but if this series becomes a shoot out I like the Yankees’ chances, especially considering what’s sitting at the back of the bullpen. I’ll give the Rangers two wins here, but I would really enjoy winning this series in Arlington so the Bombers can celebrate in front of Nolan Ryan. (Yankees in 6)

World Series: Phillies vs. Yankees

This is the matchup of the heavyweights, the best team in each league. The Bronx Bombers vs. Halladay, Lee, and Hamels. The Phillies will be heavy favorites in this series, but I do think it will be more balanced than most people would give it credit for. The Phillies lineup isn’t what it once was, and the Yankees have the sort of hitters that can beat anyone when they’re on. I’m just going to go full-out homer here. The Yankees have already done a bunch of things they weren’t supposed to do this season, what’s one more? (Yankees in 7)

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

32 thoughts on “2011 Playoff Predictions

      • I love your prediction brien. Makes sense to me…only thing I disagree with I think the yanks win in four vs tigers…don't trust Garcia.

    • Detroit has the kind of pitching that could make any opposing team miserable in a short series. That's good enough reason for me!

      • Meh, I don't think fister's really as good as he's looked since coming to Detroit, and Scherzer's kind of a crap shoot. I don't see Detroit having a clear advantage over the Yankees in pitching in any game of the series until a potential Game 5 Verlander-Nova showdown.

          • I'm still a bit puzzled by how well things turned out. To quote "The Producers", where did we go right?

            I don't want to jinx Brien's prediction by agreeing with him. So be happy that the Tigers have me worried.

          • I'll be honest, if I went back in time and told myself that the Yankees wouldn't make any trade deadline moves, that Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia would start all year long, that Hughes and Burnett would have the year they've had, that Posada would get benched in August, and Montero wouldn't come up until September 1st…I wouldn't have picked them to make the playoffs either.

            God I love baseball!

      • verlander is 0-0 vs NY this year, scherzer and porcello combined to go 3-0 vs NY. is that supposed to be relevant now?

  1. Tigers are 16-7 against the other three AL Playoff teams. "Feasting on a weak division," my ass.

    • Well they're what, 4-3 against the Yankees? And that includes an 0-2 mark in games started by Verlander and one game in the first series of the year that Hughes got bombed in. And if memory serves, the series in Detroit was around the time A-Rod was hurt and really struggling. So I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in that.

      • Whereas A-Rod is healthy as a horse, now? Substitute Garcia or Nova in your sentence about Hughes getting bombed – and you might have the script for the Detroit series.

        Just imagine – V and Fister winning the first two, going to Detroit, Garcia getting shelled – and the Yankees have to go to BURNETT out of the pen stay alive.

        SCARY. Just SCARY.

        Tho I would have no problem at all with the Yankees winning it all; if they get thru Detroit, it looks easier to me.

        • @jay: Yeah, I can see that scenario, unfortunately, with Burnett playing the part of Javy Vasquez in '04. I think the Yanks need to win in four, otherwise it's Detroit in five. But if they get through Detroit, I think they'll eradicate either Texas or Tampa, and in the NL, the Phils are the only team that worries me. (Imaging a twitchy Zack Greinke on a chilly October night in the Bronx . . . yum.)

  2. All playoff games are crapshoots anyways. It's all about who is on and who isn't. Verlander isn't impossible to beat, just look at what happened to him against the orioles. We have also beaten him twice this year and the games we lost were crap anyways. Those were the games in which a good portion of our offense was slumping and stupid errors were made.

  3. The Yankees should start Burnett in Game 1, Sabathia in game 2. Start with a split and have Nova and Garcia win it. Who knows Burnett could surprise.

  4. Have a strange feeling the Phillies will get upset this year…. I thought if they faced Milwaukee in a short series they would be in potential trouble as Gallardo/Marcum/Greinke are all capable of shutting down Philly – I think they caught a break with the Braves collapse (though they would have ended up with the DBacks)..

    Not certain the Phils will roll through StL either… if they someone how steal game 1 ot 2, they have Carpenter in game 3 who's capable of matching up with Hammls and I think Oswalt is beatable.in a game 4 – would not be surprised to see that go 5 or an upset.

    I think the winner of the Detroit/NY series wins the WS.

  5. To be clear, I'm not guaranteeing the Yankees win the ALDS or anything, I'm just saying the Tigers don't "scare" me. Once you get to the postseason, anyone can win if they get hot. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think the Tigers are any more difficult an opponent than that baseline. The Phillies? Yeah, that's a scary postseason team. The Tigers? People are building this narrative around one pitcher.

  6. Wait….I thought they handed out the title in April. I haven't been watching for the past 6th months wasn't it Red Sox vs. Phillies in the world series. HAHAHAHQAHAHAAAAHAHAHA