by Ryan Dodson
on October 3, 2007 @ 15:12:17
American League Division Series
When this series is over, we probably won't be talking about the futility of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, but we'll be talking about the dominance of the Indians' starting pitching. Starters C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona have been dominant all season, and their momentum should continue into the playoffs. The Yankees pose a daunting offense, but their pitching staff is clearly one of the most suspect they have had in recent memory. The Yankees should put up a fight, but facing Sabathia in Game 5 will be too much.
Both of these teams have the talent to be World Series champions, but unfortunately they face one another in the first round of the playoffs. The Red Sox narrowly held on to the AL East title when the season ended, and it's obvious they aren't as healthy as they need to be entering the playoffs. Red Sox ace Josh Beckett has the tools to pitch superbly, as he did in the 2003 playoffs for the World Champion Florida Marlins, and he keeps the Red Sox in the series. However, starters Daisuke Matsuzaka and Curt Schilling struggle; the Angels have too much pitching with starters John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar and Jered Weaver, along with Francisco Rodriguez closing the game.
National League Division Series
Colorado won 14 of 15 games to sneak into the playoffs, and their momentum is key. Neither team has much pitching; both play in hitters' parks. If the Rockies can get to Phillies starter Cole Hamels, it should be smooth sailing to the NLCS. Power pitching will ultimately be the demise of the Phils, as rookies Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales are too much. The Rockies proved they are unfazed by the spotlight and can pack a punch in the most stressful moments. Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is the key ingredient in the two-hole for the Rockies as he takes the NLDS MVP and marches to the National League Championship Series.
The Cubs are the far superior team despite the clubs' respective records. Their combination of power, speed and power pitching is tough to match up against in the National League. Outside Brandon Webb, the Diamondbacks' starting pitchers are iffy. Their bullpen is unproven, and closer Jose Valverde has imploded in the past. In the end Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez will provide the production to get the Cubs believing their 99-year drought could be coming to an end in 2007.
American League Championship Series
The first sweep of the postseason comes as the streaking Halos drill the Tribe in the first game to set the tone and never let up. Angels outfielder Garret Anderson comes up huge for the Angels, as the Indians pitch around outfielder Vladimir Guerrero. Key late-inning hits off the Indians' bullpen keep the Indians scuffling, and Escobar has a masterful series on the mound. Angles manager Mike Scioscia comes one step away from his second World Series title in five years.
National League Championship Series
Colorado continues to shock the world as they rally back from a multiple-game deficit to stun the bad-luck Cubs. Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday turns it on after a quiet postseason to lead the young Rockies to their first World Series in their existence. Cubs starters Carlos Zambrano and Ted Lilly get the Cubs off to a 2-0 start before the Rockies get going at home. Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba plays a crucial role in the late games to take NLCS MVP honors, and starter Jeff Francis shuts the door with a strong effort in Game 7.
The Rockies' storybook season falls short after being media darlings while the Angels come into the series as a sleeping giant. The Angels pummel the young Rockies' pitching staff and jump out to a 3-0 lead in the series. Second baseman Howie Kendrick steps up, as teams are still avoiding Guerrero in the middle of the lineup. Anderson is named World Series MVP.
About Ryan Dodson
Dodson is a KFFL Contributor and has been with KFFL since 2002.
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