Home > Uncategorized > 2009 MLB Playoff Predictions: Dodging Los Angeles

2009 MLB Playoff Predictions: Dodging Los Angeles

The Dodgers are where I expected them to be. I also expected them to reach the World Series. That's not going to happen

The Dodgers are where I expected them to be. I also expected them to reach the World Series. That's not going to happen

Way back on the morning of April 1, I posted my 2009 MLB playoff predictions on a friend’s wall in Facebook (because I am a pop culture sellout), and here is what I put down:

NL Playoffs: Dodgers over Mets, Cardinals over Phillies; Dodgers over Cardinals

AL Playoffs: Rays over Angels, Yankees over Twins; Yankees over Rays

World Series: Dodgers over Yankees

OK, so you’ve got the Mets and the Rays in there and that didn’t turn out too well. But as we enter the playoffs, I take pride that each team I predicted to be in the World Series have the best record in its perspective league. More than five months later and the two teams that I thought would be the best in baseball still are, according to the records.

Now, as I present an updated version of my 2009 playoff predictions, I will sacrifice preseason pride for postseason correctness.

National League:

National League Divisional Series: Cardinals over Dodgers in 4, Phillies over Rockies in 5

And just like that, I mercilessly flip-flop on my World Series winner! Simply, the Cardinals starting pitching is just too good in this series. Carpenter and Wainwright start the first two games and with the way the Dodgers have been hitting (or have not been hitting) lately, I have no doubt that they will dominate.

And it’s the same thing with the Phillies. Yeah, their bullpen stinks and that will come into play later, but you have got to like Cliff Lee and a playoff-tested Cole Hamels more than Ubaldo Jimenez and Aaron Cook. Also, the loss of Jorge De La Rose for this series with a groin strain will have a big impact on the Rockies. The Phillies have a more dangerous lineup as well.

National League Championship Series: Cardinals over Phillies in 7

Tony LaRussa will find a way to shut down Howard and Ibanez. And in such a close series, there are going to be close games. Who are you going to trust: Ryan Franklin or Brad Lidge? That should be an easy answer.

NLCS MVP: Joel Pineiro. That’s called the Matt Garza Effect. If this series goes seven, he is going to get two starts. I think he wins both and earns the award in a series that is heavily highlighted by great pitching.

American League:

The Angels get so frustrated when they play the Red Sox, Mike Scioscia turns into a blowfish

The Angels get so frustrated when they play the Red Sox, Mike Scioscia turns into a blowfish

I don’t have many such worries about my predicted top AL team.

American League Divisional Series: Yankees over Twins in 4, Red Sox over Angels in 4

Just give game one right now to the Yankees. It’s going to be a clear hangover game for the partying Twins. And as well they should party. They really have nothing to lose now. No one expected them to be here. But they haven’t won on the road against the Yankees in 2007 and they are basically overwhelmed — albeit on paper — in nearly all facets of the game.

The Angels are probably a better team. I would give them advantage in batting and starting rotation. But you can’t deny the dominance that the Sawx have had against the Angels in the playoffs. Since 2004, they have faced off 10 times in the postseason. Boston has won nine of those 10 games. I’m really just going by history here, but some teams have another team’s number. Likewise, if the Yankees were playing the Angels in these playoffs, I would probably pick the Angels. The Yankees are a better team this year, but some teams just know how to beat certain opponents.

American League Championship Series: Yankees over Red Sox in 6

Network and cable stations rejoice! You get another helping of Yankees-Red Sox. But I just feel that this go-around will lack a bit of the previous drama (2004, anyone?). The Yankees have straightened out their bullpen since when the Red Sox were beating them up early in the season. Their lineup has fewer weak spots and even without a solid playoff record (C.C. Sabathia) or any at all (A.J. Burnett), I still trust they Yankees’ starting staff more than Boston’s.

ALCS MVP: Mark Teixeira. He has been a Boston strangler this season. He is hitting .351 against the Sox with six home runs, his most against any team. I expect more of that in a series that will not meet the pregame build-up.

Another crowning moment is coming for Derek Jeter. That's nice. Not enough good things happen to this guy

Another crowning moment is coming for Derek Jeter. That's nice. Not enough good things happen to this guy

World Series: Yankees over Cardinals in 7

Pujols and Holliday versus Teixeira and Rodriguez. Carpenter vs. Sabathia. Joe DiMaggio vs. Stan Musial. We’ve got some pretty good stars and matchups in this one. The Cardinals will always be a scrappy team that is extremely well-managed and won’t hurt themselves with a lot of mistakes. But right now, I just have to go on talent and the Yankees just have too much of it. Lugo or Jeter? Schumaker or Cano? Rodriguez or DeRosa? It’s not close. This series will be because of the Cards’ bullpen, which has the fifth-best ERA in the seventh inning or later, will keep it within reach. But if the likes of Burnett and Sabathia can pitch up to their dollar value, the Yankees will be hoisting their 27th World Series title sometime in late October or early November.

World Series MVP: Derek Jeter. Because it’s Derek Jeter. The media loves him and unless he falls on his face in this series, he’ll receive serious consideration. Of course, if he falls flat on his face in this series, the Yankees may not even win the series.

So there are my predictions, solid as a rock. You know you can trust me. I picked the Mets to win the NL East.

  1. October 8, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    The Yankees are really, really good this year, and I think that they should really have no problem getting to and winning the World Series.

    Also, I like the Dodgers, but the Cards are another kind of monster.

    I don’t think any of the other teams in the playoffs are as good as those two.

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