Baseball 2012: Playoffs!

30 Mar

The playoffs this year are confusing. Well, the playoffs are always confusing. Postseasons, what with the short series and weird off times and tired players and Joe Bucks and Tim McCarvers, don’t lend themselves to predictability. They’re just extra-confusing this year.

It’s like adding mint chocolate chip to neapolitan – all awesome, but at what point does it get to be too much of a good thing? I don’t even know how to forecast these playoffs, because picking a team to win one game is like guessing who’ll run the best between miles 15 and 16 of a marathon. It’s meaningless in the grand scheme, and doesn’t tell you a thing overall.

Yes, that was two warring similes in the same paragraph. I don’t follow your silly writing rules. I’m a maverick!

Anyway, guessing who is going to win seven- or five-game series is an exercise in futility. Predicting who wins a one-game play-in? Ha ha ha. Also, ha.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t try. I’m totally willing to be wrong for the entertainment of you, the reader. So read on. Save it for October, when you make jokes at my expense.

 

Tiebreaker round:

Ooooh, the stupidest thing in the world to predict. 162 games, and I think two teams comes down to a 163rd, for no reason at all over than that it’d be fun? Yup.

 

Toronto Blue Jays over Los Angeles Angels

I have no justification for this pick. Like I said, picking these is gibberish. But I think the Blue Jays are better than the Angels. The only reason their records project to the same is because the Angels get to play the A’s and Mariners a billion times a year, while the Blue Jays have to run into the Rays and Red Sox. The Jays are the better team.

 

Wild Card round:

Tampa Bay Rays over Toronto Blue Jays

This game, meanwhile, is easier to predict. The Rays are clearly a better team, and the Jays will have burned through whoever is best (Romero? Morrow? Whatever) beating the Angels. If there’s any justice in the world, the Rays win this.

 

Washington Nationals over Philadelphia Phillies

How much do I want to see Strasburg mow through a run-down Phillies lineup en route to a dominant playoff win? So much. That is how much. So much.

 

Division Series:

Tampa Bay Rays over Texas Rangers in 4

Sad. Daniel so sad. But, while the Rangers are the best-structured team for a regular season, with pitching depth, a rotation balanced top-to-bottom, all that jazz, the Rays are more ready for a short series. While the Texas pitchers are, like, fourth- through ninth-best in the series, the Rays have the top two, and maybe three starters overall, and they should be able to ride that strength to the League Championship Series.

 

New York Yankees over Detroit Tigers in 3

I project the Tigers for 88 wins. In the American League East, that number would be more like 82 or 83. They really aren’t that good a team. The Yankees, meanwhile, are as complete as anyone, and should have no trouble in this series.

 

Miami Marlins over Washington Nationals in 4

This might turn on its head if Josh Johnson isn’t Josh Johnson all year. Then again, if he isn’t him, they might not be in this position to begin with. Oh well. The Marlins are better than the Nationals.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks over St. Louis Cardinals in 5

I don’t care. These teams are the winners of awful divisions, beating each other on the way to getting blown out by the Marlins. (Guess what I’ll have to say in the next round!) Anyway, I figure Wainwright and/or Carpenter will be running on fumes by that point, and the Arizona guys are healthier and younger, so might be in better shape to last.

 

League Championship Series:

Tampa Bay Rays over New York Yankees in 5

So, CC Sabathia might beat David Price once out of two times, yeah? Okay, I’ll accept that as a possibility. But you show me some way for Hiroki Kuroda, Michael Pineda, Andy freaking Pettitte to beat the Shields-Moore duo, and I’ll give you a big hug. On the plus side, I’m a great hugger. On the downside, you won’t actually get this hug, because it won’t happen.

MVP: Matt Moore

 

Miami Marlins over Arizona Diamondbacks in 5

That was foreshadowing! I mean, do the Diamondbacks have any positional advantages over the Marlins? Maybe right field, with Upton, but I could see Giancarlo Stanton winning the MVP this year, so…maybe not. The Marlins are the best team in the National League by so freaking much.

MVP: Giancarlo Stanton

 

World Series:

Tampa Bay Rays over Miami Marlins in 7

I really was going to pick the Marlins until I started to type this bit. Like, I thought I was going to type “Miami,” and it came out “Tampa.” But it makes sense, right? The Rays have been in strong competition longer, and though their players are younger, they’re more acquainted with the pressure. Evan Longoria is the best player in the series, and even if Josh Johnson is Josh Johnson, the Rays probably have the best two starters in it. It’ll be fun to hear all about the Florida series, though, even if no one shows up to the Rays’ home games.

MVP: Evan Longoria

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