Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 4, 2005
BASEBALL: 2005 Playoff Predictions

Somehow, like clockwork, I always wind up being swamped at work just as the playoffs start, and thus unable to offer a proper playoff preview. This year being no exception, I'll just offer a few quick picks:

*ALDS: Hated Yankees over Angels. Yes, I know the Angels match up well with the Yanks and give them fits, but this Yankees team has too much firepower to go down this quiclkly.

*ALDS: White Sox over Red Sox. The Pale Hose finished with a rush after an extended slump, and are hot again at just the right time. They have better pitching than the champs, and while they're not as good a team all around, I don't see a Red Sox-Yankees replay in the cards. So, I pick the White Sox to win their first postseason series since throwing the 1919 World Series.

*ALCS: Yankees over White Sox. If this is indeed the matchup, I predict a sweep.

*NLDS: Braves over Astros. On paper, the Astros are a better team with better frontline pitching, but there's a history here - the Astros have drawn Atlanta in the first round in their last four playoff appearances and five of six playoff appearances since 1997. Last year, when Beltran went bonkers, was the only time they won. Of course, the health and stamina of Clemens and Smoltz is key. Maybe it's my superstitious awe of Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone, but I go with the Braves.

*NLDS: Cardinals over Padres. St. Louis' pitching has unraveled in the last few weeks, but the Padres give them the chance to get healthy again. Probably a 3-1 series.

*NLCS: Cards over Braves. Pujols & Co. are on a mission; the Braves by this point will be firmly in over their heads.

*World Series: Cards over Yankees. All bets could be off if Carpenter and Mulder can't get straightened out, but otherwise this St. Louis team is the class of the field, and so I'll predict them to win it all. I'm not counting out the Yankees, but they are definitely vulnerable with their pitching.

Of the other six teams, probably the best bet to stage a surprise run would be Houston, with the Big Three. But I'll go with my picks.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:12 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (19) | TrackBack (1)
Comments

White Sox over Red: Boston's just not the same team they were last year. Contreras is downright nasty right now, and the Sox don't have any starter even close. And the White Sox are stronger with 2 and 3 staters as well. I love Timlin, but he's in over his head. The BoSox will beat up Chicago pitching once, but lose in four.

Angels over Yankees: Mostly because I can't pick the Yanks if I have the Sox lose, but I believe in the Angels matchup factor, and that the Yanks, like the Sox, aren't as good as they seem. So what if Unit is 4-0 down the stretch—he only struck out 31 guys in those six starts. He is not that dominating anymore. If Giambi and Bernie are forced to make plays in the field (and they will be) that alone might cost the Yankees the series.

Astros over Braves: I like the pitching. End of story. Three great starters and a dominant closer. The 'stros rewrite history of this matchup and advance.

Cards over Pads: St Louis is a great team, no question, but I think it takes five for them to put away the Padres. And an upset in this series would be the least surprising to me. Don't know why, just a hunch...

Angels / White Sox Flip a coin.

Astros over Cards Tight series goes seven.

Astros win World Series. In five.

Posted by: Mr Furious at October 4, 2005 11:36 AM

I've got to say that you both are dismissing the Red Sox a little out of hand. Chicago simply is not a very good team right now. They won a ton of games early and have basically been .500 for a long time in a division that was very mediocre until Cleveland got hot for awhile.

Check out Jose Contreras' lifetime ERA against the Red Sox. It's 11.30 in many starts. Garland has clearly run out of either gas or luck winning only 2 times in his last 10 starts. The back of their bullpen is a rookie who blew 2 saves in 4 games while entrusted to the closer role in September and old-timey Dustin Hermanson who has 34 saves and a bad back. Their offense is pedestrian and they have little to no post-season experience.

The Red Sox tied for the division lead and had nearly the same record as last year. No they do not have Pedro but at this time last year Pedro was running on fumes and was relatively suspect. He only pitched on Pedro like game in the playoffs and that was against the Cardinals. I think Schilling will be better than most people think. He had really good stuff against the Yankees Sunday and was throwing hard. David Wells is a big game guy and was 15-7 this year. Matt Clement is suspect but has a career winning record against the White Sox. They have the best offense in baseball.

Bottom line: The White Sox pitching is not as good as people think (padded by playing 57 games against the light hitting teams in their division) and will get overpowered by an offense that is very good, battle tested and maybe the best clutch hitting team in MLB. Red Sox in 4.

Posted by: jim at October 4, 2005 12:00 PM

Crank,

Hate to say it but I think you may possibly get each of the first round wrong. Cardinals seem like the biggest lock. However, Carpenter slumped down the stretch. His ERA for last 4 starts was 9.14. If Peavy has a couple good starts this could be an upset pick.
Boston only played six games against Chicago this year but they smacked around Buehrle and Garland. I just don't think Chicago is that good.
Yankees pitching is hanging by a thread. If Angels can knock out Mussina early today that can affect the rest of the series.
Braves/Houston is toughest one to get a feel for. Both teams have poor post-season histories. I have to root for Julio Franco.

Posted by: LargeBill at October 4, 2005 12:21 PM

Sorry LargeBill, the Yankees starters have been doing well of late. Moose is a mystery, but Chacon and Wang have been lifesavers, not intimidated by a powerfully Red Sox lineup. Randy is rounding into a nice nasty form. They can quiet LAA's bats more than the Angels' rotation will quiet NY's.

Posted by: rbj at October 4, 2005 1:16 PM

Interesting take on the Angels by Matt Welch at Hardball Times.

Five Untrue Things Youll Learn About the Angels this Week

and a good breakdown of the Battle of Hosiery.

Posted by: Mr Furious at October 4, 2005 2:29 PM

AL
Red over White
White Sox pitching is over rated. IF teh Royals had played them .500, the White Sox would have been 10 games back.
Angels over Yanks
Angels have pitching as well as an everday lineup that matches the Yanks.

Angels over Red Sox
See Angels over Yanks

NL
Cards over Pads
Pitching, offense and defense...'nuff said.

Houston over Atlanta
Houston has better everyday lineup and better pitching, plus Lidge and the back of the pen.

Cards over Houston
See Card over Pads

Series
Cards over Angels
This could be one for the ages. Pitching will decide the series.

Posted by: maddirishman at October 4, 2005 2:47 PM

The Angels have an everyday line-up that matches the Yankees and Red Sox??? Are you kidding?? Take Vlad aside and who would start from the Angels for the Yankees? Even with the Yankees crappy centerfield situation Williams is better than Finley and that is the only spot that is even close. Ditto the Red Sox with Garrett "Gimpy" Anderson maybe getting the nod over also oft injured Nixon.

The Angels do have the best pitching in the AL although I think they have some guys who go soft (Lackey, Washburn, Donnelly) when it really gets sticky. I think that series could go either way, will likely go 5 and is a coin flip.

Red over White in 4
Angels over Yanks in 5

Houston over Atlanta in 4
Cards over Pads in 3

Sox over Angels in 6
Cards over Houston in 7

Sox over Cards in 5

Posted by: jim at October 4, 2005 3:53 PM

Whatever was written earlier about Padres being an upset pick must have been written by someone using my nickname. Carpenter is fine.

Posted by: LargeBill at October 4, 2005 7:10 PM

14-2. I wish we would have scored another TD.

Posted by: the wolf at October 5, 2005 10:54 AM

Hey wolf, awful cocky for a fan of team that has done nothing since...Funny, the Yankees beat the Red Sox by 12 runs in Game 3 last year and MLB would not let them use any of those excess runs the next 4 games.

Posted by: jim at October 5, 2005 12:35 PM

REDBIRDS WIN IT ALL AGAINST WHITE SOX IN 6!

Posted by: dale at October 8, 2005 1:46 PM

time to do something for the braves
this year the braves had 8 rookies, and still won the div camp for 14th time
the astros on the other hand have vetrans, and still lose to the braves
if the astros do make it past the braves, they will not have a chance against the red soxs, yankees, and even the white soxs

Posted by: atljoe at October 9, 2005 2:16 PM

white over red
halos over fags

cards over pads
stros over braves

white over halos
stros over cards

white over stros in 6 Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Champions

Posted by: yo yo at October 12, 2005 2:26 PM

Division series are over so....
Cards will beat Houston is 5, taking both of the first 2 games in Busch, lose one, then take the last 2 in Houston.

Angels beat the Sox in 7, but after last nights call anything could happen in that series

Cardinals beat the Angels in six and Reggie Sanders will continue his hot streak to win World Series MVP!

Enjoy the series guys.

Posted by: SH drummer at October 13, 2005 2:43 PM

White Sox over Red Sox in 4
Angels over Yanks in 5

Cards over Pads in 3
Astros over Braves in 4

Angels over White Sox in 6
Cards over Astros in 6

Cards over Angels in 6 or 7
One gentleman was right. Pitching will decide the series.
Both offense are good, Is till think the Cards have the upper hand on Offense, but pitching is evenly matched.

Posted by: Daj at October 14, 2005 4:14 PM

Well, so much for the madirishman's take on White Sox pitching. Most of the other picks from everyone else were also very dismissive of the Pale Hose. Perhaps if you had been paying attention to this team in 2005, you would've been as offbase with your predictions. Sox fans are NOT surprised. The Red Sox and Angels were not only defeated by Chicago's team, but EMBARRASED.

Posted by: BB at October 17, 2005 1:21 PM

Well, most of these coments were wrong. Chicago has the greatest pitching in the A.L.- they go to the World Series. The Astros have the greatest pitching in the N.L. they go to the World Series. Proving once again that pitching wins in the playoffs. I am an Astros fan and I do beleive the Astros will win the World Series. They have too much veteran leadership: Clemensk, Pettite, Biggio and Bagwell probably have more experience in the playoffs than at least half of the White Sox team. Also, you know who had more runs in the Astros-Cards Series? Answer: The Astros. The Cards were pathetic besides Foolujs. The Astros may have had times when they had problems scoring runs during the season, but they have made up for it in the playoffs. And you know what, hardly anybody picked the Astros to even be in the World Series. People counted them out after 15-30. I said "Hello! there's still 117 games left!" Astros should win it all and Phil Garner should be Coach of the Year.

Posted by: Andy New at October 21, 2005 12:37 PM

hey. hey ,hey lets hear it for the real deal, Bobby its 1,2,3 your out, for it Bobby pitch em a 114 fast ball and break all records

Posted by: myrongercken at October 26, 2005 12:47 PM

So much for the Astros experience huh? Say Hello the the World Champion Chicago White Sox!

White over Red in 3
White over Angels in 4
White over Astros in 4

Who wouda thunk it?

Posted by: Fab_5_Sox at April 26, 2006 3:08 AM
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