I dug up my second-half predictions from July 23. Not bad (but it wasn’t that hard). I correctly predicted that the Padres would hold on and take the NL West, the Tigers would drop into the AL Wild Card, the Yankees, despite injuries, would take the AL East and the Red Sox would not make the playoffs. I was wrong about the NL Wild Card as the Reds faded and the streaky Dodgers came out of nowhere, while in the AL the White Sox failed to make the post season.
The matchups are now as follows:
A’s at Twins
Tigers at Yankees
Cardinals at Padres
Dodgers at Mets
The Twins are 6-4 vs. the A’s this year, so the record indicates that they should win over the A’s. Five of the six wins were in the Metrodome and the Twins have the homefield advantage. The only thing the A’s have going for them is that they’re a better team now than they were when the Twins swept them in April.
The Yankees have a 5-2 record against the Tigers. The two losses were both games in which Mariano Rivera was not available, so their record should’ve been 7-0. The Tigers limped to the finish line, getting swept by the lowly Royals this weekend and ending up in second place in a division they led all season. The Yankees should win this series, but the Yankees’ pitching outside of Wang and Rivera gives every team a fighting chance. And the Yankees will make errors at 1st and 3rd. I expect A-Rod to be a butcher in the field and hit about .250 with 2 RBI.
The Cardinals did their best to hand the NL Central to the Astros this week, and if not for the Braves and John Smoltz, they’d be looking at a one-game playoff with the Giants on Monday. They suck. They’ve got Pujols and… Pujols. And Pujols can’t pitch. The Padres are 4-2 this year vs. the Cards and that’s before they acquired David Wells. The Padres should win this easily. They might sweep.
The Mets hold a 4-3 record over the Dodgers, but with Pedro gone, their pitching isn’t scary. They need Glavine to be the 1995 Glavine and El Duque needs to summon up that post-season mojo one more time. Maddox can beat the Mets, but he’s not pitching three times.
The League Championship series should shape up like this:
Twins vs. Yankees
Padres vs. Mets