Even though I am an avid Red Sox fan, let’s try and analyze as objectively as possible the division series. As October Gonzo says, we’re down to the “final four” and he’s made some predictions, but I have plenty of my own.
ALCS: Red Sox vs Rays
Lots of people have been talking about experience, and if you’re talking about that, then the Red Sox have it, but not necessarily in the best of ways. We’ve won the world series seven times, but think about all the times that we didn’t win. It’s a lot. Then again, the Sox did make the biggest comeback in major league history in the ’04 ALCS. But we’re not talking about the past, we’re talking about the present, and the future. The Rays have ultimately represented the “Cinderella Story” of baseball, they were dead last in 2007 and they won the division in 2008. What a turnaround. The question is, when do they run out of gas? As for the Red Sox, well, we have continually been plagued by injuries (as you can see in my first entry). Now we’re playing with an injured JD Drew and an injured Beckett (and his Game 3 ALDS performance was not satisfactory). Mike Lowell isn’t even eligible for play until the World Series, but as of now, he has no range of motion and his hitting is anything but stellar. Regardless of the injuries (which were evident in the ALDS), we just beat the best team in major league baseball, the Angels (100-62). The Rays have a lot to do.
My prediction: Red Sox in 6 or 7 (just because we like to make it difficult for ourselves in the ALCS)
Dodgers vs Philles
To be honest, I don’t really keep up with the national league as much, but I’ll give you what I can. It is clear that the Dodgers have a renewed sense of spirit since their acquisition of Manny Ramirez, a future hall-of-fame man and a menace in the post season. It’s not much to say that they beat the Cubs in the ALDS because the Cubs just looked horrendous. Unfortunately, that’s just about all I can give you. The Philles on the other hand have been consistent throughout the season in a tough division. They have a scary offense too, look at Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell. I am no expert on predictions but I’m still going to make one.
My prediction: Dodgers in 6
Let’s take a look at the other teams who are no longer in the post season and what made them crumble.
Brewers: C.C. Sabbathia did not come through, and if he can’t come through, then I honestly don’t know who can. Against a strong Philadelphia pitching staff (assuming there…) their offense could only produce one win. They did have a nice run going for them though.
Cubs: It now marks 100 long years that the Cubs have not won a World Series, and watching that series, I wondered where the goat was. Their pitching was actually decent but their offense was just horrendous. Alfonso Soriano going 0-5? There’s definitely something off right there. They were so consistent throughout the year too, Cubs fans must be devastated.
Angels: They had the best record in baseball, and last year, the team with the best record (the Red Sox) won it all. So the question is, how could they not win it? They have Vladmir Guerrero, Torii Hunter (SEVEN gold gloves), Chone Figgins, and the infamous K-Rod. On the one hand, they snapped a long drought of losses against the Red Sox in post season play, but they still failed to pick up more than one game. Virtually every game was close though since both teams are so strong. People like Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, JD Drew and of course, Jed Lowrie really did come through. Games 3 and 4 were undoubtedly the best. Game 3 lasted 12 long innings and Game 4 quite literally, went to the bottom of the ninth. This series, truly represented the beauty of baseball. Numbers don’t really matter, anyone can do it.
White Sox: Their record was not as good as Tampa Bay (or the Red Sox for that matter) and the White Sox only won one game against the Rays… THE RAYS. What a crazy story that is. It’s not that they played horribly like their fellow Chicago team, they just could not matchup against the Rays.