2011 ALCS/NLCS Preview & Predictions
American League Championship Series
Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers
Lineup – The overwhelming power from top to bottom throughout the Rangers lineup give them the edge. The Rangers ranked in the top 5 in all of baseball in the four major batting statistics, including 1st overall in batting average (.283), 2nd overall in slugging percentage (.460), 3rd overall in runs scored (855), and 5th overall in on base percentage (.340).
Rotation – I’ll give the Tigers’ Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Doug Fister the slight edge over the Rangers’ C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, and Matt Harrison in this one. Verlander is no doubt the Cy Young winner while Scherzer and Fister both have Cy Young-type stuff when their on.
Bullpen – Despite the perfect save percentage by Jose Valverde, the Tigers just don’t have any reliable relievers to bridge the gap to the ninth inning. With that in mind, I’m giving the nod to the Rangers in this category as a plethora of quality relievers are capable of dominating at any given time such as Koji Uehara, Neftali Feliz, and Mike Adams.
Prediction: Rangers in 6
National League Championship Series
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Lineup - The Crew get the slight nod as they have a great combination of speed and power. Nyjer Morgan (Tony Plush), Carlos Gomez, and Rickie Weeks can all reek havoc on the bases while Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Corey Hart have the capability to change the game with one swing of the bat.
Rotation – I’ll take the Cardinals in this one. Reliable veteran Chris Carpenter showed he still has ace-like stuff while nasty lefty Jaime Garcia is an extremely consistent and worthy number 2. Rounding out the rotation are two guys with filthy stuff when their on their game in Kyle Lohse and Edwin Jackson.
Bullpen - No question the edge here goes to the Brewers. The combination of Frankie Rodriguez in the 8th and John Axford in the 9th is one of the best in baseball while Takashi Saito is more than capable of bridging the 7th.
Prediction: Brewers in 7