Well we have finally made it. The last installment of my 2010 Major League Baseball preview for Camelclutchblog.com will end with the 2010 MLB Postseason Predictions blog. I have built you up to the point the last week previewing every team, every division, in every league. Now who will reign supreme come October? Lets take a look at the teams I see being in the Divisional round come October.
St. Louis Cardinals (NL Central Champions) vs. Atlanta Braves (NL Wild Card Winners)
The St. Louis Cardinals I feel are the most dangerous team in the entire National League. If not for Roy Halladay going to the Phillies in the offseason this team could be the clear cut favorite in the entire NL. They have one of the best 1-2 punches in their starting rotation in all of Baseball, their lineup has created the deepest lineup it’s possibly had while Albert Pujols has been there and they have a good bullpen. These are all intangibles for a team to be contenders in October.
[adinserter block=”1″]I really like the Atlanta Braves this season. Its longtime manager Bobby Cox’s swan song in Atlanta and the team/organization is going to do everything in its power to make sure Bobby Cox goes out in style. Hence that being one of the reasons why Baseball prodigy Jason Heyward was called up this early in his Baseball career; they wanted to win. This team is one season away from becoming a NL East powerhouse again and going head to head with the Phils. This team may be so good that they keep Bobby Cox from retiring.
When you put these two teams head to head to obvious choice is the St. Louis Cardinals. The Braves are a young team and will learn from this playoff loss and use it to their advantage in 2011. The Cards are a force in the National League this season and I can’t see the Atlanta Braves from holding them back in October.
Prediction: Cardinals win series 3-1
Philadelphia Phillies (NL East Champions) vs. Colorado Rockies (NL West Champions)
The Phillies have helped created an early dynasty with their franchise as they have made back-to-back World Series in the last two seasons, winning one and losing the other. This team wants to make it three straight and to become champions at the end of the season this time around. Roy Halladay is without a doubt the favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award this season and he has the offense to support that bid. This team is the “old guard” of the NL right now and will most likely run away with the NL East by at least six games.
The Colorado Rockies will make another run at “rocktober” this season by capturing the 2010 NL West crown in a division that is not all that deep or strong right now. This team is young and energetic making them a fun team to watch; similar to the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. There starting pitching will improve and their lineup is very dynamic with great hitters from top to bottom. This team will be clear favorite in the NL West.
The Rockies & Phillies I have projected meeting in the postseason for the third time in four year. They both have traded series victories (Rockies in ’07, Phillies in ’09) and they look to end the playoff tie this year. While the Phillies are clearly in many eyes the favorite to win the National League this season I really see the Rockies pulling off the upset and advancing to the NLCS. The Rockies pulled off the upset in 2007 and if they have the momentum going into the postseason in 2010 then they can easily do it again.
Prediction: Rockies win series 3-2
New York Yankees (AL East Champions) vs. Detroit Tigers (AL Central Champions)
The New York Yankees are the defending World Champions and coming off of an offseason where they (for the most part) improved. They have a legitimate fourth starter in Javy Vazquez, a potential sleeper in their fifth starter with Phil Hughes and took a team that was getting older & making them a little bit younger with Curtis Granderson & Nick Johnson. Those moves made this defending World Champion team better. How can you bet against the defending World Champions when they actually improved in the offseason? AL East will be tight but Yanks will capture the crown.
The Detroit Tigers are the surprise pick for me to win any of the Divisions in Baseball. Many people wrote them off when they started making offseason moves that sent away key players over the years. But those moves in-turn made decisions to call up young prospects and make this team a more fundamentally sound team then the all-star lineup they attempted to field the last couple of years. The AL Central is always a crap shoot at the end of the season and I don’t see that changing that much. The Tigers want revenge for losing in the 163rd game of the season and will get it this year as they enter the playoffs.
The Yankees are good and could be a better team then the team to put on the field to help win the 27th World Championship. That is scary for any team in Major League Baseball. The deeper your team is the better you will be suited for the long stretch and they are a deep team right now. The Tigers on the other hand are a team that will be entering the playoffs probably like a prizefighter in the 12th round, running out of steam. I don’t see them putting up much of a fight in the ALDS making it rather easy for the Yanks to advance to the ALCS.
Prediction: Yankees win series 3-0
Texas Rangers (AL West Champions) vs. Boston Red Sox (AL Wild Card Winner)
The AL West division is a division that has three possible teams (Rangers, Mariners & Angels) that can be the Division champion at the end of the season. Of the three teams I like the Texas Rangers this season. They have what I believe to be the best lineup in Baseball this season. They have young dangerous hitters that can hit very well in a hitter friendly ballpark. Of all the things that make this team potentially weak, it will be their pitching. Putting that aside their offense could outshine any of the other teams in the AL West this season helping them reach an AL West crown.
[adinserter block=”2″]Are you shocked that the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will be playing in the postseason in 2010? I won’t be. They are the two best teams in the American League and deserve to be here year after year. The Red Sox can hit, pitch and play defense. Those three things help make you a dangerous ballclub throughout the year. Like I said the AL East will be close and you could essentially flip flop either team (Yanks or Sox) on winning the AL Wild Card, but I think the Red Sox will fall into this spot.
When you look at these two ball clubs one is farther along in the developmental process for being an elite franchise over the other. The Boston Red Sox are a team that has a set a standard in the American League in the last decade while the Rangers have, over time, reached the point they are at right now. Maybe down the road the Texas Rangers will be amongst the elite in the American League, but for the time being you won’t be knocking down the Boston Red Sox. This like many other teams entering the playoffs with a batch of young kids for the first time will be a learning experience. I like the Red Sox in the ALCS this season.
Prediction: Red Sox win series 3-1
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