ALCS & NLCS Predictions
The 2011 LDS’ are over and there were some surprising outcomes both leagues. In the ALDS’, the Detroit Tigers upset the New York Yankees in five games, winning game five on the road at Yankee Stadium and the Texas Rangers took care of the upstart Tampa Bay Rays in four games, clinching on the road just like Detroit. Should be interesting to see Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander pitch in game 1 and possibly game 5 against the high powered Rangers offense. This means that Detroit and Texas will meet in the ALCS and try to earn a spot in the World Series.
In the NLDS’, the Milwaukee Brewers took a 2-0 lead on the Arizona Diamondbacks before losing two straight on the road in Arizona, but Milwaukee held on to win game five at home in extra innings on a Nyger Morgan walk off rbi single. In the other NLDS match up, the almighty Philadelphia Phillies had home field advantage over the upstart St.Louis Cardinals. The Phillies finished the regular season with the best record in the MLB at 102-60 and have three Cy Young candidates in the rotation. Well, that didn’t matter to the Cardinals as they pulled off a huge upset by beating Philadelphia in five games winning game five on the road at Citizens Bank Park as ace Chris Carpenter threw a complete game shutout as St.Louis won 1-0 and the series 3-2. That means division rivals Milwaukee and St.Louis will meet in the NLCS and slug it out for a spot in the World Series. Now it’s time for me to make my predictions for each LCS’ match up.
ALCS: Detroit Tigers @ Texas Rangers – This is the second straight year that the Rangers have made the ALCS and last year they made the World Series, where they fell short against the San Francisco Giants. This time though, Texas is without Cliff Lee, who was a force in the ALDS and ALCS last year before getting hit around in the World Series. Texas will now rely on a rotation of CJ Wilson,Colby Lewis,Derek Holland, and Matt Harrison. Not exactly a scary staff but a staff that got by and helped the Rangers to a 96-66 record and second best record in the AL. The strong part about this Texas team is the lineup. In my opinion, the Rangers have the best lineup in the MLB. When you have a lineup that consists of Ian Kinsler,Elvis Andrus,Josh Hamilton,Michael Young,Adrian Beltre,Mike Napoli, and Nelson Cruz, you can give opposing pitchers nightmares the night before they have to face that lineup. Thankfully, for Detroit, the Tigers boast a solid rotation that consists of and is being lead by the AL Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander. The rotation also consists of young guns Max Scherzer,Rick Porcello, and Doug Fister, who pitched a great game 5 against the Yankees in the ALDS. MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez lead the offense. This Tigers rotation isn’t quite like the Giants rotation we saw tame the Rangers in the World Series last year, but it should be interesting to see how the Detroit rotation pitches the Texas offense. They said pitching wins championships, and I think Detroit has the better rotation and bullpen, but the Rangers offense is just so scary, its made me think long and hard about just quickly picking Detroit to win this series, but the Tigers offense isn’t too far behind the Rangers offense, and with the pitching edge, I got to go with Detroit representing the AL in the World Series.
My Prediction: Detroit Tigers over Texas Rangers in 7 games, 4-3.
NLCS: St.Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers – Both teams went to game fives in their NLDS match ups. Both are coming off one day of rest each, Milwaukee is the home team and was already home after knocking out Arizona. St.Louis is flying in from Philadelphia after beating the Phillies in five games. Milwaukee has Zack Greinke (who is 11-0 at Miller Park this year) starting Game 1 at home vs Jaime Garcia. They get Shaun Marcum in game two and ace Yovani Gallardo in game three on the road in St.Louis. The offense is a top 10 offense to me being lead by Prince Fielder,Ryan Braun, and Rickie Weeks. The bullpen is very good too with Latroy Hawkins,Frankie Rodriguez, and John Axford. St.Louis has a scary 3-4-5 in the lineup of Albert Pujols,Lance Berkman, and Matt Holliday. They will be without ace Christ Carpenter until game three at home since he pitched game five of the NLDS. I honestly don’t think that will bode well for the Cardinals in their quest for a second World Series title in six years (2006). The bullpen can at times, look suspect. They did a great job against Philadelphia, working deep counts against the four aces the Phillies contain. If they can do that again against the Brewers two and a half aces, they can make this series even more exciting being that these two teams are division rivals. On September 7th, in a game at Busch Stadium in St.Louis, Nyger Morgan struck out during the eighth inning against Carpenter and jawed with Carpenter as he made his way back to the dugout, but Morgan threw his chewing tobacco towards Carpenter and exchanged words with Albert Pujols
My Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers over St.Louis Cardinals in 6 games , 4-2.
My World Series prediction was Milwaukee vs Detroit before the playoffs started and I’m sticking with it.