Since I'm so good at making baseball predictions, I figure I have to pick these series. Here's what I think:
Boston Red Sox versus Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
It's very hard to pick against the Red Sox. They continue to win, year after year, and when they get into the playoffs, they go deep into the playoffs. But I feel like this year is going to catch up to them.
The Sox have had all kinds of injuries this year, which they've survived, but things keep cropping up - like this Josh Beckett injury. And I also feel like Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to run out of luck. He's been the worst "good" pitcher this year that I've ever seen. He pitches incredibly with runners on base - but he's allowed way too many baserunners this season. I think that'll catch up with him in the post-season - you just don't get away with that at this point in the year. This isn't here nor there, but I also worry about Jonathan Papelbon. He's had a history of breaking down at the end of seasons - and he didn't really have an extended time off this year, as he's had the past couple of years. He didn't look as effective late in September, and I wonder if he'll be hittable in the post-season.
The Angels have had a very good season, and although I can see them folding, especially against the Red Sox in round one, I'm picking them to advance. Angels in five
Chicago White Sox versus Tampa Bay Rays
The White Sox are going to enter this series tired. They've had a crazy week - losing their lead in the Central by getting swept by the Twins, then rebounding, winning their must-win makeup game Monday, then the one-game playoff Tuesday. But I would have picked the Rays even without all of that going on.
The Rays have something special going on - I wouldn't be surprised if they make it to the World Series. But we'll start small - their starting pitching is better than the White Sox'. That's about all they're going to need to get through this series.
I'm going Rays in four.
Los Angeles Dodgers versus Chicago Cubs
I'm starting to believe the Cubs hype - at least for them to win the National League. They have a good team, they were able to clinch early enough that they could be all lined up and rested for the playoffs, and they drew the Dodgers in round one.
With the Mets not standing in their way, I might as well root for the Cubs to break their 100-year drought. I'm not committed yet - I'll have to see how I feel watching the games - but they're certainly going to start out on the right track.
Manny Ramirez won't be able to do all of this by himself. Cubs in three.
Milwaukee Brewers versus Philadelphia Phillies
CC Sabathia can't pitch every game of this series, and that will cook the Brewers. The Phillies should have been better than they were this season - they were very inconsistent.
I think they're better than the Brewers, but now that the Brewers are in, I wonder if there's some pressure off of them. They might push the Phillies farther than the Phillies would like to be pushed in this round.
I think the Phillies survive, but it's going to be a lot rougher against Milwaukee than they expect. Phillies in a very tough four games, avoiding Sabathia in Game 5