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MLB Playoff Predictions

ALDS Series 1: Rangers vs. Rays
Series Begins Friday, September 30
4:07 pm on TBS

It’s deja vu all over again between these two teams. The Rays and Rangers matched up last season in the ALDS where the Rangers, on the arm of Cliff Lee dominated the Rays, taking the series 3-2 and ultimately getting to the World Series, only to come up short against Lincecum and the pitching of the Giants.  Joe Maddon has elected to start Matt Moore in game 1 of this series.  This will be Moore’s second start as a Major Leaguer.  Yes, I said SECOND career start.  In his first start he sparkled against the Yankees, winning the game.  The rookie will face off against C.J. Wilson who has the number of the big hitters for the Rays.  Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton are a combined 3-27 against him with 13 strikeouts.  This first match-up could prove to be a big momentum booster for the Rangers.  After Moore/Wilson, we will see James Shield for the Rays and Derek Holland for the Rangers.  Holland went 1-0 against the Rays this season, but the Rays did hit him well, bringing his ERA up to a 5.84 this season against the Rays.  After Saturdays’ games neither team has established a for sure starter.  One would assume that the Rays will throw David Price off short rest, or Jeremy Hellickson off even shorter rest.  Either of these guys is a good option for them to face off against what should be Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison who respectively have had solid seasons.  The Rangers have Alexi Ogando on reserve here as well to come in if needed, but Ron Washington could limit Ogando’s work in the postseason, because Ogando is not used to throwing this many innings, as he only threw 72 1/3 innings last season compared to his 169 2/3.  The series will come down to which teams hitting can perform better.  The scale tends to tip towards the Rangers in the hitting categories, because of the way they are able to drive in runs and consistently hit for average, as well as power, but the Rays can also be extremely potent and should be able to manufacture runs against Texas.  This series could fly under the radar as one of the better match-ups in the playoffs this season, but that isn’t anything new to these two teams.  They are used to nobody talking about them, but look who’s talking now.

By Tyler Tjelmeland

Predictions:
Jordan Kabialis: Rays in 5 games
Tyler Tjelmeland: Rangers in 5 games
Adam Gassensmith (Sport’s  Squawk Expert): Rangers in 5 games
Stepehen McDonald (Sports Squawk Expert/Apprentice): Rangers in 5 games

ALDS Series 2: Yankees vs. Tigers
Series Begins Friday, September 30
7:37 pm on TBS

This match-up is one of the more intriguing match-ups in recent memory in playoff baseball.  The Detroit Tigers have a great 1-2 pitching punch with Verlander and Valverde.  The Yankees grabbed home field advantage so this game will feature “new” Yankees Stadium and should be a fun one for those left handed bats.  It was extremely important for the Yanks to lock up the advantage for Granderson, Tex, and Nick Swisher to showcase that left-handed power on the Yankees side.  The Tigers will throw ace Justin Verlander and the Yankees will throw C.C. Sabathia in game one, in what should prove to be an awesome match-up.  The rotation is set-up very nicely for the Tigers, throwing Verlander against C.C. could be the best method, because beating Sabathia is the game you absolutely need.  They need to dictate the tempo of the series, and getting an early win in game 1, in New York would give the Tigers the best chance to succeed in these playoffs.  The Yankees not surprisingly dropped two starters in A.J Burnett and Bartolo Colon (completely off the postseason roster) and will throw a 3 man rotation with Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Freddy Garcia, with 8 pitchers in the bullpen, including Burnett and Phil Hughes.  The Tigers will throw Verlander in game 1 and then red-hot Doug Fister is the projected starter in game 2.  Fister went 7-0 in his last 8 starts with an unprecedented 0.65 ERA.  After Fister, the slider chucking Max Scherzer will be slated against Garcia in game 3.  The pitching match-ups favor the Tigers and that could prove to be a tough obstacle for the Yankees to overcome, but hey, it’s the Bronx Bombers, with home-field advantage. Should be an awesome series!

-By Tyler Tjelmeland

Predictions:
Jordan Kabialis: Yankees in 4 games
Tyler Tjelmeland: Tigers in 5 games
Adam Gassensmith: Yankees in 5 games
Stephen McDonald: Yankees in 4

NLDS Series 1: Brewers vs. Diamondbacks
Series Begins Saturday, October 1st
1:07 pm on TBS

Both the Brewers and Diamondbacks went to the wire in a fight for home field advantage in the first round. The Brewers won
that battle and will now host Arizona at Miller Park for games one and two. The Brewers had to use Zach Greinke to secure home field, so Yovani Gallardo will start game one on Saturday. The D-Backs have announced that their Cy Young Award candidate, Ian Kennedy, will be on the mound in the opener. The Brewers will send Zach Greinke to the mound on short rest in game two and Shaun Marcum has game three. The Diamondbacks have yet to announce the rest of their rotation. Arizona is a young team with little postseason experience while the Brewers are determined to win before they likely lose slugger Price Fielder to free agency. The Diamondbacks won the season series with the Brewers four games to three, getting two of those wins at Miller Park. However, October baseball in Milwaukee is a whole different atmosphere when the Brewers close the roof and pack the place with over 41,000 fans. This should play out to be an exciting series and has a good chance of going all five games.   –By Jordan Kabialis

Predictions:
Jordan Kabialis: Brewers in 5 games
Tyler Tjelmeland: Brewers in 4 games
Adam Gassensmith: Brewers in 3 games
Stephen McDonald: Brewers in 5 games

NLDS Series 2: Phillies vs. Cardinals
Series Begins Saturday, October 1st
4:07 pm on TBS

After dramatic finishes to each of their seasons, the Phillies and Cardinals will face each other in the NLDS. The Phillies finished the regular season with a Major League best record of 102-60, setting a franchise record for most wins in a season. The Cardinals are flying high after a dramatic comeback in the final month of the season, erasing an 8.5 game deficit to take the final playoff spot from the Braves on the final day of the regular season. The Phillies possess the best pitching staff in baseball while the Cards have likely the best hitter in the game. In addition, the Cardinals are one of just two teams to boast a winning record against the Phillies, taking the season series six games to three. Roy Hallady will be on the mound for Philadelphia in game one, followed by Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. The Cardinals postseason rotation has Kyle Lohse getting the nod in game one, followed by Edwin Jackson and Chris Carpenter. Although this is a match-up of two very good teams, the edge likely goes to Philadelphia due to dominance of their pitching staff and overall playoff experience. St. Louis should be able to salvage at least one game in the series but it won’t go all five games.   –By Jordan Kabialis
Predictions:
Jordan Kabialis: Phillies in 4 games
Tyler Tjelmeland: Phillies in 4 games
Adam Gassensmith: Phillies in 4 games
Stephen McDonald: Phillies in 3 games

Predictions:
Jordan Kabialis: Yankees vs. Rays, Yankees in 6
Tyler Tjelmeland: Rangers vs. Tigers, Rangers in 7
Adam Gassensmith: Yankees vs. Rangers, Yankees in 5
Stephen McDonald: Yankees vs. Rangers, Rangers in 5
Predictions:
Jordan Kabialis: Phillies vs. Brewers, Phillies in 6
Tyler Tjelmeland: Phillies vs. Brewers, Phillies in 6
Adam Gassensmith: Phillies vs. Brewers, Brewers in 7
Stephen McDonald: Phillies vs. Brewers, Phillies in 6
Predictions:
Jordan Kabialis: Phillies vs. Yankees- In a rematch of the 2009 World Series, the Phillies will have revenge on their minds and this time they have the weapons to follow through. The Phillies will be hoisting the trophy at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia following a series clinching Game 6 win. (Phillies in 6)
Tyler Tjelmeland: Phillies vs. Rangers- The Rangers will have a chance to prove Cliff Lee and his new home that they are in fact, better off without him.  The Phillies will be able to use their newly acquired weapons in Lee and Hunter Pence to try and keep up with the hitting of the Rangers.  Hamilton, Beltre, Kinsler, Young, Andrus, Cruz, Wilson, Felix, Oswalt, Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Howard, Utley, Pence, Victorino, Rollins, Ruiz will be on the menu for the World Series and it could be an unbelievable one!  The Phillies prove to be just too much for the Rangers, and their heart-felt story of reappearing in the World Series will come to another heartbreaking close with the Phillies claiming that glorious piece of hardware in Philly in game 6. (Phillies in 6)
Adam Gasssensmith: Yankees vs. Brewers- Yankees in 6 games, (I reserve the right to adjust all of my predictions once my picks lose out in the first round)
Stephen McDonald: Rangers vs. Phillies- Rangers in 7 games, Rangers defeat Phillies in a classic 7 game series.  Michale Young is World Series MVP  realizes that this is probably his last chance at a ring and plays out of his mind
For more coverage on the MLB Postseason, Tyler Tjelmeland and Jordan Kabialis have you covered with both the  American and National League Playoff Pictures

 

– National League Playoff Picture

American League Playoff Picture

 

ALDS, NLDS, ALCS, NLCS, WorldSeries photos courtesy of MLB.com


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