Tuesday, October 02, 2007

MLB Roundup and Predictions

Now that Major League Baseball has finished a spectacular regular season, I feel inclined to offer a few thoughts and predictions.

First, there honestly needs to be no further discussion in the matter: Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday was the MVP of the National League this year. Even if we ignore that he drove and scored the tying and winning runs in last night's one game playoff, purely statistically he was the best all-around player in the N.L. If anyone other than Holliday earns MVP honors this year, well, I won't really know what to say. (Begrudgingly, I have to admit that A-Rod is pretty much a slam dunk on the A.L. side.)

Of course, now the Rockies get to go on and lose to the Phillies, largely because they're so damn tired after last night. They'll drop the first two then pick up the first one at home before the Phillies close it out. The Phils will go on to play the Cubs; though the D-Backs will give Jeff an early birthday present by taking one of the first two in Arizona, the Cubs will sweep in Chicago, then go on to beat the Phillies in an NLCS that will likely go down to the wire. Regardless, the Mets aren't going anywhere, and that makes me smile.

On the A.L. side, the more interesting Division Series is the one between the Red Sox and the Angels. I'm predicting the Sox due to the home field advantage, but really this one could go either way. I'd like the Indians to beat the Yankees (indeed, a World Series between the Indians, who haven't been champions since 1954, and the Cubs, whose drought has been worse than anything the Sahara has ever seen, would be fantastic) but it ain't gonna happen. The Yankees will be looking for payback in the ALCS from their 2004 humiliation against the Sox, but I predict the Sox will take this one in six.

The Cubs-Red Sox World Series I predicted in 2003 will finally come to fruition this year, but it won't last long - the Cubs just don't quite have it this year. The Red Sox should take them down in four games, though the Cubs might take the first one in Wrigley. All in all, I expect most of the postseason excitement to come from the League Championship Series. But that will be more than enough, methinks.

And, since I know a fair chunk of my readership could care less about baseball, I here offer them the opportunity to suggest the subject of my next post, though anything they could possibly come up with will be of less import.

Song lyric of the day:
"If man is five, then the devil is six
And if the devil is six, then God is seven"
- Pixies, Monkey Gone to Heaven


Blogger Aaron said...

Never discount a quality start by an ex-Tulsa Driller with a physics degree. The Rockies take game on behind Jeff Francis and will take the series from the Phils in 5.

October 02, 2007 5:15 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

game one rather as I correct typos and oversights.

October 02, 2007 5:16 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Your next blog topic shall be: Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cats.

Hey, man...you gotta respect the classics.

October 02, 2007 8:28 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Just out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on the AL Cy Young race? By my count there are at least five people who could legitimately win the damn thing this year (Carmona, Sabathia, Beckett, Bedard, and Haren).

Honestly, I don't know what to think about this year's playoffs. Nothing could really surprise me, honestly. I just hope the 'Backs win Game 2 since I'm going to it.

October 03, 2007 12:42 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...


October 03, 2007 12:43 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

No respect for John Lackey, Jeff?

With the Cy Young, I gotta default to the 20-game winner (the voters usually will too) so it's Beckett. Haren doesn't have enough wins. Nor does Bedard, but his overall decision total is low as well, probably due to the awfulness of the O's pen (and really, the overall O's awfulness only makes it more amazing he was able to accomplish what he did). Sabathia and Carmona split votes with their team, sorta like when two actors are nominated for the same Oscar in the same movie.

So ultimately, I gotta go with Beckett (as will the voters, likely) but I wasn't kidding about Lackey - he's probably my #2 choice.

And of course, in the National League, Jake Peavy is beyond a slam dunk.

October 03, 2007 9:03 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Here's the thing about Haren - he was 15-9 with 8 tough losses. Which means that he pitched well enough to go 23-1. And his stats are, on the whole, better than those of Beckett and Lackey, who both had significant offensive firepower behind them. I'm not saying the Cy Young voters will consider this - just that they should.

October 03, 2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

The Lackey-having-offensive-firepower argument falls by the wayside when we observe that he still had the lowest ERA of any contender.

You may have a point about Haren - I don't specifically recall the circumstances of his losses. The thing is, the Cy Young award is almost always skewed to pitchers with a better team around them. A pitcher could conceivably give up only 1 run a game for 30 games and lose every one. They would probably call it the Roy Oswalt Effect.

October 03, 2007 2:51 PM  
Blogger Matthew B. Novak said...

Captain Cheeseburger should be the AL Cy Young. Indians are gonna win the series over the Rockies and/or Diamonbacks, who I see as interchangeable in the underdog role.

Also, I support more baseball posts.

October 05, 2007 11:50 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I had originally predicted the Indians beating the Phils, but that looks less likely now... I like your prediction, Matt. But Captain Cheeseburger?

And yeah, about that Cubs-in-the-Series thing?

October 05, 2007 9:35 PM  
Blogger Matthew B. Novak said...

CC = Captain Cheeseburger. I mean, look at him!

It was a nickname bestowed by the greatest baseball blogger of all time: Batgirl. She's retired from blogging unfortunately, but she was brilliant. www.bat-girl.com

October 07, 2007 2:29 PM  

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