2011 ALDS/NLDS Preview & Predictions
American League Division Series
I think Verlander will out-duel Sabathia as the Tigers steal game 1. The Yanks will come back with a win in game 2 with Ivan Nova on the mound and eventually take the series in 5 games as this should be a very close and competitive series.
I’ll take the streaking Rays in 5 games in this series. The Rangers definitely have the edge when it comes to the lineups, but I like the Rays’ arms much better than I do the Rangers, even with rookie Matt Moore getting the start in game 1.
National League Division Series
The Cardinals and Phillies have similar lineups, heavy hitters in the middle but not much substance at the tail end. They also share a common flaw, the bullpens. The key difference has to be the starting rotation. The Phillies go five deep as they roll out Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt, and even Worley while the Cardinals don’t really have that ace to rely on. Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia, and Edwin Jackson all have ace caliber stuff but their just too unpredictable. With all that being said, I like the Phillies in 4 games.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
To me, the Crew and D-Backs are the most interesting first round matchup. The Snakes don’t have the stud arms or flashy bats but they have proved they know how to win close games. The Brew Crew have a great lineup and four quality starters, not to mention a lockdown bullpen. In the end, I think the Brewers are just too talented and take the series in 4 games.