Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?!!!

It’s that time again.  A chill in the air, leaves changing colors, politicians ramping up the hype.  It’s the fall.  That means playoff baseball.  Ahhhhhhhh.

For the first time that I can remember, I cheered AGAINST the Yanks on Sunday.  If they won and Tampa lost on Sunday, the Bronx Bombers would have had to face one of the best LHP’s in baseball in Cliff Lee twice in a five game series.  By losing on Sunday, the Yanks get to face the Minnesota Twins.  Minnesota used to have the Metrodome where the Yankees dominated.  Now they have Target Field.  It’s an outdoor stadium which is always brilliant considering it’s MINNESOTA and it never gets cold in Minnesota in October.  Genius.

That means Tampa faces the Rangers and Cliff Lee in the other ALDS.  In the NLDS the Cincinnati Reds make the playoffs for the first time in 15 years and will face the back-to-back pennant winning Philadelphia Phillies.  The Phillies have the benefit of home field throughout the NL playoffs and the World Series if they make it thanks to the NL winning the All Star game earlier this year.  The Giants square off against the Braves led by the retiring Bobby Cox, who got his 2,500th win last week.  It should be fun and it all kicks off on Wednesday.  

Predicitions?  I’d be shocked if the Phillies don’t make it with the pitching they have.  Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels is the best top 3 pitching line in baseball.  In the AL, I think it is wide open.  Every team has problems: Yanks don’t know who can be counted on besides CC Sabathia when it comes to pitching, Tampa has had problems hitting all year and Evan Longoria has not played in two weeks with a calf injury, Minnesota lacks their 2nd best hitter in Justin Mourneau as he continues to recover from a concussion and Joe Mauer is less than 100% with a bad back which is never good for a catcher.  Texas comes in with injury questions of their own as their MVP candidate Josh Hamilton comes in after missing almost all of September with broken ribs.

Should be fun.  Speaking of broken ribs, did you see Michael Vick get hit yesterday?  I’m sure PETA has replayed it a few times in joy.  Have a great Monday.

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