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Posts Tagged ‘2010 World Series’

Ramble On’s 2010 MLB postseason guide

Posted by Bill Koch on October 6, 2010

It feels a little strange to be starting postseason baseball without the Boston Red Sox involved, but that doesn’t mean that Ramble On is going to be any less interested in what goes on. We’ll be watching night after night as Tim McCarver continues to make a jackass of himself on FOX and new heroes are born on the way to the 2010 World Series. Here’s a brief breakdown of each of the Division Series matchups.

Tampa Bay Rays-Texas Rangers
We wish that Josh Hamilton, our American League MVP choice this season, had never jumped into that wall at Target Field and cracked his ribs. He won’t be anywhere close to the absolute force he was during the regular season and the Rangers will suffer because of it. Elvis Andrus ended the season in a terrible slump, Vladimir Guerrero’s resurgence will end now that it’s the postseason (just two home runs in 29 career playoff games) and the Texas pitching staff is largely untested on the big stage. Cliff Lee can’t win all three games for the Rangers in this best-of-5 series.

The Rays are simply tough to beat. David Price is in our top-3 for the AL Cy Young Award, fronting a young rotation loaded with power arms. Tampa’s lineup is pesky enough to give the Rangers fits and the Rays are so athletic that they’ll run wild on the bases and play great defense. Even with a gutless fan base that has no idea how to appreciate what it’s seeing right now, we like Tampa to advance.
Prediction: Rays in 4 games

Philadelphia Phillies-Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are one of the feel-good stories of the 2010 season. They were picked anywhere from fourth to dead last in the National League Central and surged to win the division behind an MVP effort from first baseman Joey Votto, a rare healthy season from third baseman Scott Rolen and a pitching staff that has one of the brightest futures in all of baseball. The problem for Cincinnati is that manager Dusty Baker has a way of making sure that any young arms – think Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, Cubs fans – have a habit of not making it to old age. Edinson Volquez has already had Tommy John surgery, Mike Leake is shut down for the playoffs and Aroldis Chapman is a couple of 40-pitch appearances from exploding in the center of the diamond.

The Phillies will likely be our pick to win the World Series when the time comes. They have the best 1-2-3 punch in recent memory with Cy Young winner Roy Halladay and rejuvenated studs Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Philadelphia’s lineup also seems to be getting healthy at exactly the right time, with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard all coming off the DL late in the season to give the Phillies their trademark punch. There might be no stopping these guys on their way to late October.
Prediction: Phillies in 3 games

New York Yankees-Minnesota Twins
Is this finally going to be the year that the Twins get past the Yankees? Minnesota seems to run into New York every year in the postseason and comes up short, and the Yankees usually don’t need the help that bogus umpires like Phil Cuzzi tend to provide in key spots. The Twins are celebrating the opening of Target Field with a postseason berth, a reborn Francisco Liriano, an emerging ace in lefty Brian Duensing and maybe one last chance at a ring for aging slugger Jim Thome.

We’re not sure if Minnesota will have enough offense without first baseman Justin Morneau (concussion), but this series will be all about pitching – or a lack of it. The Twins have the deeper bullpen and New York’s starting rotation is in shambles after C.C. Sabathia. How many more postseason bullets does Andy Pettitte have in that shoulder? His achy groin might be the bigger question mark this time around. Phil Hughes hit the wall sometime in July (11-2, 3.65 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 8.1 Ks/9, 3.14 K/BB ratio before the All-Star break; 7-6, 4.90 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 6.6 Ks/9, 1.9 K/BB ratio after the All-Star break) and seems like a guy begging to be lit up. A.J. Burnett and his $82.5-million deal didn’t even make the rotation.
Prediction: Twins in 5 games

San Francisco Giants-Atlanta Braves
We’re glad to see Bobby Cox back in the postseason in what’s set to be his final season in Atlanta’s dugout. The Braves’ longtime manager is making his 16th postseason appearance, a Major League record that is just about impossible to duplicate while staying with one franchise the entire time. This season marks one of one of his best managerial jobs and he will be missed.

The problem for Cox is that he might have more energy left than his players. The Braves had to sell out in the season’s final week just to qualify for the postseason, using Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe on three days rest and trying to force some runs out a lineup that is missing NL MVP dark horse Martin Prado due to an oblique injury. The Giants seem to be coming on at the right time behind trade Tampa Bay bust Pat Burrell, electric rookie catcher Buster Posey and a young rotation that is as good as any in baseball. Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner will be a tough out for any club, especially one with the Braves’ limited offensive firepower.
Prediction: Giants in 4 games

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