Stirring The Pot – 2010 Playoff Predictions

What sort of baseball blog that no one reads would we be if there weren’t any playoff predictions? Neither the Cardinals or the Cubs are in the playoffs this year so these are about as unbiased as they can be. I mean, I didn’t even know there was a rivalry between the Reds and Cardinals until Brandon Phillips brought it to our attention. Read on if you like, though we all know Derek Jeter will intangibly win the 2010 World Series in the end anyways:

Phillies vs. Reds

The Been – Might as well start with what should be the easiest prediction.  It’s been a great season for The Redlegs that has seen them get into the postseason for the first time since 1995, but I’m afraid they are going to end 2010 with as many playoff wins as they’ve had for the last 15 years.   The Phillies are the most complete team in the dance and are on a roll right now.  While their offense has been known to slump time and again, Brad Lidge seems to be back to normal and no one can match their starting pitching.  Phillies 3-0

The Stew – I’m the type of guy that loves an upset and I’ll keep picking them no matter how many times I come up looking stupid. I mean, with the way I normally look what do I have to lose? But anyone that picks the Reds in this one is purely doing so to go against the Phillies. Oswalt isn’t the kind of pitcher that chokes and Halladay will get two starts if this thing even gets past three games. Hamels is tossing like the guy who won WS MVP and if Rollins can start hitting his weight when the playoffs start then this series is going to be done faster than a Philly cheese steak. Phillies 3-1

Giants vs. Braves

The Been – If any team knows about starting pitching, it’s the Giants, who sported a team ERA below 2 for the month of September.  That sounds great, until you look at that offense, which leaves a lot to be desired, unless you desire overweight third basemen named after a cartoon panda.  The Braves have a lot to play for considering it’s Bobby Cox’s last year, but they limped into the postseason and are terrible on the road, where they’d have to win at least one game to take the series.  Unfortunately, Cox’s last season will end like most seasons while he was in Atlanta, without a ring. Giants 3-1

The Stew – Andres Torres spent most of his career playing the role of movie extra. But after blending into the background for 5 seasons he finally put it together for a career year. That was the theme for the entire Giants team. Juan Uribe, Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell all resurrected their careers this year. No matter how solid San Fran’s pitching is, I believe the Braves have more legitimate offensive firepower in this match-up. Braves pitching isn’t that far behind and this might end up being a series predicated on the contributions from the two big rookies; Buster Posey and Jason Heyward. Braves 3-2

Twins vs. Yankees

The Been – These are two teams with good offenses and rotation led by a stud lefty followed by a bunch of question marks.  The Twins made quite a run in the 2nd half, but Francisco Liriano seems to be hitting a wall, Carl Pavano has gone colder than October baseball in Minneapolis (What? No dome?!?!), and Justin Morneau has just been declared out for the postseason.  Despite some uncertainty behind CC, the Yankees offense and Mariano Rivera should be enough to squeak by in the first round.  Even if they lose, Derek Jeter can probably convince the MLB that they actually won.  He’s so intangible, it’s unreal! Yankees 3-2

The Stew – Let’s make this simple. Before the 2010 season started I said to a guy I met in Ecuador who cares nothing about baseball that the Twins would win the World Series. They made me look good by at least making the playoffs. Now begins the hard part. Both teams have suspect starting pitching past their respective aces complimented by solid bullpens. Can the ghost of Steinbrenner scare up a series win (get it)? Not this time, Costanza! Twins 3-1

Rays vs. Rangers

The Been – The Rays ended the year with the AL’s best record, despite having a team batting average south of .250 and only two starting pitchers with an ERA under 4.00 (one of those being Matt Garza at 3.91).  They do have a bona fide ace, a great closer, and two of the game’s best players, assuming Longoria is healthy.  Speaking of health, if the Rangers can keep Josh Hamilton on the field, they have a lineup as dangerous as any in the league and boast an underrated pitching staff headed by ace Cliff Lee and rookie closer Neftali Feliz.  The Been smells an upset brewing.  Rangers 3-2

The Stew – The Been smells an upset? To phrase a man who is apparently a penis; Not so fast my friend! Longoria seems less injured than Hamilton and Texas isn’t quite as seasoned as Tampa Bay. The Rays might not roster more well rounded hitters than the Rangers, but they do have great team power and patience. Pitching is a concern but they don’t call him Big Game James for nothing. Rays 3-1

NLCS

The Been – Phillies vs. Giants

They may not be able to hit, but the Giants had the lowest team ERA in the majors this season.  Unfortunately the one thing going for them can be matched by the Phillies, pitch for pitch.  The Giants probably have a slight advantage on the mound because of their bullpen, but that’s about it.  There will be some good pitching matchups in this series, but the Phillies’ lineup is miles ahead of the Giants and they should be able to score enough for Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels to outduel Lincecum, Cain, and Sanchez. Phillies 4-2

The Stew – Phillies vs. Braves

There’s not too much to talk about here. I’m picking the Braves to get this far but that’s all I can offer the city of Atlanta. I’d love Bobby Cox to go out a winner, I would. It’s just not going to happen against a team that is vastly superior to them in most aspects of the game. Maybe Derrek Lee can pull some magic out of his newly acquired Braves hat although I’m not counting on it. Atlanta just doesn’t have enough stars to make this work. Phillies 4-1

ALCS

The Been – Yankees vs. Rangers

If I’ve learned anything from Chuck Norris, I’ve learned not to underestimate a Texas Ranger.  So while the Yankees have the experience, the mystique, the “Jeter factor,” the undivided attention of ESPN, etc. They also have Andy Pettitte fresh off a minor league rehab, Phil Hughes nearing an innings limit, and AJ Burnett who is, well, plain terrible.  Meanwhile, the Rangers boast a rotation of past playoff hero Cliff Lee followed by breakout pitchers CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis.  That, coupled with a potent lineup featuring five players with 20-30 hr power the Rangers will shock the East Coast, who did not realize that there are baseball teams outside of New York and Boston, and win the AL. Rangers 4-3

The Stew – Twins vs. Rays

As profoundly stated earlier, the Twins are going to win the World Series. There will be much rejoicing in the snow covered streets of St. Paul. So the Rays are merely a speed bump on I-35. The Twins offense is patient and efficient. They have no more Morneau yet that hasn’t seemed to phase them. Perhaps it has made the rest of the Twins more accountable and they’ve become more focused on the task at hand. No one is saying the Twins are better without their star first basement but they have survived pretty well up this point, no? In a bar burner featuring much homerage and many sideburns; Twins 4-3

World Series

The Been – Phillies vs. Rangers

Well, the Phils and Cliff Lee will find themselves in a familiar position again this October, the World Series, albeit not together.  As I’ve said before, the Phillies have the best overall team in the postseason and even though the series could end in November, it will be sunny in Philadelphia.  So without further adieu and bad jokes, your 2010 World Series Champions: Phillies 4-2

The Stew – Twins vs. Phillies

Well this is anticlimactic, isn’t it? The Homer Hankies will be flying high at the end of this October due to the team from Minnesota winning the leadoff battle. Denard Span will outperform his Philadelphia counterpart Jimmy Rollins and will be the difference in a couple close games. Michael Cuddyer provides a few clutch hits and Brian Duensing, along with Liriano, gives the Philly lefties fits. Woody Harrelson is going to be pretty pleased with all the Twinkies he’ll be finding in October. Twins 4-3

And now for the individual awards to undermine the team aspect:

The Been’s Picks:

  • NLCS MVP:  Roy Halladay
  • ALCS MVP:  Vladimir Guerrero
  • WS MVP:  Jayson Werth

The Stew’s Picks:

  • NLCS MVP: Roy Halladay
  • ALCS MVP: Joe Mauer
  • WS MVP: Denard Span
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2 Responses to Stirring The Pot – 2010 Playoff Predictions

  1. Bill Sanders says:

    Very entertaining, gentlemen. As a Rays fan, I believe that DESTINY is leading the Rays and Phillies to a rematch of the 2008 World Series. This time, Tampa Bay prevails in the rain, snow and sleet of Philly. In addition to the AL East pennant, we will hoisting 2 additional flags from the D ring (check out the link above). GO RAYS!

    • beenstew says:

      I’d love to see the Rays win it. I was definitely pulling for them in 2008. They are a fun team to watch and Joe Maddon has to be the coolest guy in baseball. – The Been

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