Ninety feet between bases, it has been said, is the closest man has ever come to perfection. Obviously, such a measurement is based on divine intervention, so God must obviously be a baseball fan. Furthermore, 60 feet, 6 inches from the pitching rubber to home plate is a nearly perfect measurement as well. Close enough to give the pitcher the edge, but far enough to give the hitter a chance. Again, God was obviously involved.
Tongue-in-cheek comments aside, here are my predictions for the Division Series…not that anyone should care or give any credence to what my opinions are. : )
Reds vs. Phillies: I have been waiting all my adult life for the Reds to make the playoffs and have a chance at a World Series title; I was in 8th grade the last time they won it all. So, they’re in, but they play the best team in the National League, the Phillies. Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt form the best 1-2-3 punch of staring pitching in all of baseball, making this 5-game series particularly difficult for the Reds. Even if Cincinnati’s pitching holds the Philadelphia offense in check, the Reds’ hitters have a nearly impossible task against the three pitchers mentioned above. My prediction: Phillies in 4 games. Now, this is a realistic, but painful prediction. Since God is a Reds fan, I’m praying I’m wrong. : )
Braves vs. Giants: This series feels like one of unknown teams. The Braves have none of the pieces they used to win years ago, and the Giants’ leading hitter is Aubrey Huff (exactly, few of you have heard of him). Atlanta, though, has been The Little Engine that Could, just plugging away and finding a way to win (particularly in comeback fashion). San Francisco is pitching-heavy, boasting solid starters and perhaps the best closer in the NL (Brian Wilson). This series will likely be boring to many fans (given so many relatively unknown players), but could prove to be the most exciting in the long run. My prediction: Giants in 5 games.
Rays vs. Rangers: The pitching match-up in Game 1 of this series is must-see TV: the Rays send young phenom David Price against the best lefty in the Big Leagues over the past two-three years, the Rangers’ Cliff Lee. After Game 1, this series could be a slugfest. Neither team has reason to be very confident in the back of their pitching rotations; both, however, have good closers and decent bullpens. Depending upon the health and production of Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton, I would give the Rangers a shot to out-hit the Rays. However, I’m not counting on that. My prediction: Rays in 4 games. They just have too much talent.
Twins vs. Yankees: Here’s my disclaimer up front: my kids know that if you’re a Yankees fan in our house, you have to sleep outside; I despise the Yankees. Always have. Always will. Therefore, it pains me to see them in the playoffs again, as they typically are every year. Yet, I, as proven by my Reds/Phillies prediction, have the ability to be objective despite my fanhood. In this series, the Twins have the upper hand on pitching and the Yankees have the potential to score runs like crazy. The Yankees rotation is, at best, unpredictable. CC Sabathia is an ace, but it’s a toss-up after him. The Twins don’t have big-name guys, but their rotation has been much more consistent than New York’s this year. New York’s Mariano Rivera is a postseason legend, but don’t count out the arms in Minnesota’s bullpen. The Yankees have owned the Twins in recent playoff history. Owned them big time. However, their pitching woes perhaps give the Twins a chance to reverse things this year. My prediction: Twins in 5 games. This one could go either way.