- "Really? Freddy Garcia? He is alive? Based on that fact alone, Dodgers will take the series in 4 games."
Well that was pretty awesome. I also stated that no one would really care about the Braves/Dodgers series, and guess what? That was true too.
- "Price has pitched well, but will be facing a team that has seen him several times already. "
And what happened? The Red Sox shelled Price for 7 runs before chasing him off the mound. While I had the Red Sox sweeping the series, no one would have guessed that Jose Lobaton would ruined my prediction by a single game.
- "The Detroit staff is virtually untouchable and I would never, ever, bet against Verlander in the playoffs. "
I might have been off by a game, but Verlander WAS near untouchable last night. Yes he had a down year by his standards, but the guy is incredible.
- "Joe Kelly (who has been pitching WELLLLLL above his xFIP this year) will be starting game 3."
While I had the Pirates winning the series, I did have it going to 5 games and I did have Kelly losing his start. Still, I will take the loss as the Pirates offense looked more like the Astros with Wainie on the mound.
So after getting roughly 98% of my predictions right so far, why not keep the ball rolling?
NLCS: Dodgers vs. Cardinals
While on paper these two teams look to be pretty evenly matched, I actually don't think these games will be that close. Unfortunately for Cardinals fans, Joe Kelly is going game 1, which in Lehman's terms, means that Dodgers already have a 1-0 series lead. Making matters worse for the Cardinals is the fact that their stud rookie Wacha-flaka-flame, is matched up with Kershaw for game 2. So essentially, while the series hasn't started yet, the Cardinals already face a 2-0 deficit. Since both of those first two games actually come at home for St. Louis, and they then have to travel to LA for 3 and 4, things aren't looking good....at all.
I am going to say the Dodgers take this series in 6. LA doesn't really have an effective 3 starter, Greinke will implode game 4, but Kershaw will once again take control with a win in game 5. Dodgers finish the series in game 6.
ALCS: Red Sox vs. Tigers
This series is a lot harder to comprehend. The Red Sox offense is firing on all cylinders, but the Detroit staff has been unhittable.
WARNING: The following game break downs may use statistics that don't have any affect on the games themselves but may somehow be just a little bit relevant. Kind of.
Game 1: Detroit (Sanchez) @ Boston (Lester)
How to choose? Even if it is Lester, who has been terrible this year, he is at home and seems to pitch better in Boston. But still, you have Annibal on the other side of things and has pitched well as of late. WAIT! Important stat alert! Since the All-Star break, the Red Sox are 5-1 on Sunday games that are played at home. That one loss came on a Dempster start, and he should be re-named Dumpster, because he is garbage, so we will scratch that from the record. Essentially, on Sunday home games since the All Star break that terrible pitchers don't start the game, Boston is undefeated! Game 1 goes to Boston.
Game 2: Detroit (Scherzer) vs. Boston (Buchholz)
I had to dig pretty deep to figure out who was going to win this game. Try to follow me here. This is a match up of stud pitchers. So first, I took a look at Scherzer to find reasons not to pick the Tigers. Scherzer actually pitches much better on the road to the tune of a 2.28 ERA in 110 innings this season. No go there. Scherzer also pitches much better to a right handed hitting lineup, which Boston is heavy on. Detroit is looking good.
Buchholz, which is incredibly annoying to spell, was tough to diagnose. He has been stellar all year long. There isn't much to go on by the way of his season splits as he has been very good at home and on the road, great against left and against right, and doesn't care if he pitches during the day or at night. But there was one thing that I saw, a key to game 2! When looking into his line-up trends, his worst stats of the year came against the 6th hitter in the lineup. Who is the 6th hitter for Detroit? JHONNY PERALTA! The steroid man himself. Even though it is a SSS, since coming back from his suspension, Johnny has hit .417. Seeing how he will probably be the 6th batter for game 2, and Scherzer is on the mound, Detroit takes game 2.
Games 3 & 4: A Good Pitcher vs. a Not So Good Pitcher
Game 3 will see John Lackey (pitching WAYYY better than he actually is) against Verlander. Hmmm, it took me about 7 seconds to decide who I will take in this game. Verlander at home. But then game 4 will match up Jake Peavy for the Red Sox against Fister for the Tigers. Fister has been AWFUL so far this post-season and I don't expect it to stop here. Red Sox will romp game 4. SERIES ALL TIED UP 2-2.
So there goes the first four games with a normal playoff pitching rotation. Or in other words, ESPN doesn't have a predicted starter for games 5-7, so why should I speculate? But if I had to guess, this series is going to be incredibly close and most likely come down to game 7, which means only one thing....the team with the better bullpen will win the series. When it comes down to it, bullpens are the backbones of the team. Even if the starter is doing poorly, a bullpen can come in, shut things down, and keep a team in it.
Detroit's bullpen is terrible. Red Sox in 7.