Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Marlins are finished (and more MLB prognostication)

Two consecutive one-run losses has left the Florida Marlins 9 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves and 3 back of second place Philadelphia. They're only 6.5 games back of the Wild Card, but there's too many quality teams they would need to pass to reach first.

I see the playoffs pretty much set except for a race or two. In the AL East, New York's set to cruse by possibly double digits. The acquisition of Freddy Garcia cannot offset the White Sox' loss of sluggers Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez. Surprisingly, Cleveland is in second, 3 games back. Still, Minnesota should win this divisional race. The AL West is the most competitive division race in baseball today. I contend that Oakland has the pitching to win in the regular season. Texas and Anaheim follow closely behind, while Seattle is more than 20 games out. I hope that Boston can eek out the wild card. Currently, they are tied with Anaheim for that spot.

My picks for the AL:
First round matchups- New York Yankees (Homefield) vs. Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland Athletics. Incidentally, these would the same matchups as 2003.

The NL is a bit more easy to sort out. Atlanta, St. Louis, and Los Angeles all lead their divisions by at least 6 games. The addition of Nomar makes the Cubs a good bet for the wild card.

Matchups: St. Louis vs. Atlanta, Cubs vs. Dodgers.

Early W.S. predictions- Pitching has shown to be the key in postseason baseball. For all their regular season success, St. Louis doesn't have the ace starters. For that reason, I'll take the Cubs with one caveat. The Kerry Wood and Mark Prior of 2003 should have led the Chicago to their first title since 1908. The Cubs also have Maddux, Zambrano, and Clement to turn to. As much as I hate to pick against my Braves, I have confidence in the Cubs this year.

The American League champions will be none other than the Boston Red Sox. This might seem a little bold considering the Wild Card isn't even a sure thing for this club. Nevertheless, once October comes, Martinez and Schilling will be the difference. And this time, Terry Francona will pull Martinez when need be. With an improved bullpen, there will be no reason for the heartbreak of 2003.

W.S. Champions: For the first time since 1918, the Boston Red Sox. And a few days after the Series ends, Massachusetts' own John Kerry will be elected President of the United States.


Post a Comment

<< Home