Fitz Robling’s Playoff Preview and Predictions

Now that the playoffs are in full swing, it is time to analyze each series, and predict possible winners.  The Cincinnati Reds are playing in their first play-off series in 15 years. The Texas Rangers who were just bought by former ranger great Nolan Ryan are looking for their first playoff series win ever. The Giants barely beat the San Diego Padres to win the west, and the Braves made the playoffs in Bobby Cox’s last season. These are just some of the underlying stories that should make this year playoffs one to remember.

Reds v. Phillies: The Reds came out of the weak NL Central where the St. Louis Cardinals were the only competition since the All Star Break. This is also the first time the Reds have been in the playoffs since 1995.  Mean while the Philadelphia Phillies are not only the favorite to win the series, but they are also a favorite to win the World Series.

In the first game, the Phillies showed why they are the favorite to win the National League. Roy Halladay made his playoff debut special by throwing the second no-hitter in playoff history.  He also contributed to his own cause by hitting a RBI single.  As for the Reds who ended up on the wrong side of history, they are looking to rebound with a game two win on Friday in Philadelphia.

Prediction: Cole Hammels shuts down the Reds on Friday, followed by a win by Oswalt to complete the sweep of the Reds. Phillies win series 3-0.

Braves v. Giants:  This is Bobby Cox’s last season as a manager.  He has only one World Series ring with the Braves, and is looking to make his last year special. In the other dugout the Giants are looking for a repeat of 2005 when they went to the World Series. 

Two time CY Young award winner Tim “The Freak” Lincecum, is making his playoff debut in Game one against the Giants.  The Braves are playing behind the leadership of old timer Tim Hudson, and the bat of rookie Jason Heyward. It looks like this series could go down to the line, and either team could win.

Prediction: Even though the Giants have “The Freak” on their side, I still think that the Braves offense will be able to carry this team threw the first round. Braves win 3-2.

Texas Rangers v. Tampa Bay Rays:  This series in practically over. The Rangers came in looking for their first ever series win in the playoffs, and it looks like they are going to get it.  In two games they have limited the Rays to 1 run on 8 hits.  The Rangers offense is running on all cylinders, with home runs from Ian Kinsler and Michael Young, and Nelson Cruz.   Now the series goes back to Texas where the Rangers will attempt to sweep.

Prediction:  The Rangers are heading home to play in front of over 57,000 screaming fans. The Rays are going to have to pull of a miracle if they want to salvage this series.  Any thing can happen in baseball, but the Rangers have too much momentum to loose game three. Rangers win series 3-0.

New York Yankees v. Minnesota Twins: Heading into this series it looked pretty balanced. The Yankees have the high power offense with a struggling pitching staff, while the Twins had a decent offense and a great set of Pitchers.  Now that the Yankees hold a two games to none lead, it’s obvious that the experience and coolness of the Yankees is what is defeating the Twins.  In both games the Twins managed to lose early leads.  Last night Andy Pettite looked like his old self allowing only two runs over seven innings.  Now the series head to the Bronx where the Yankees hope to end the series in front of their fans.

Prediction: The Twins have enough talent to win at least one game against the Yankees. The key player in game three will be Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes. The Hughes along with the rest of the Yankees pitching struggled down the stretch, and ended up loosing the division to the Rays.  If Hughes can stay composed, the Yankees should be able to take care of business.  I however think that the Twins will win game three and push the series to four games. In game four Sabathia will be on the mound, and that’s when they Yankees take care of business. Yankees win the series 3-1.