Well the League Divisional Series of the MLB playoffs is officially over and the two teams playing in the American League Championship Series are the Red Sox and Tigers, with the National League Championship Series being played between the St. Louis Cardinals and the LA Dodgers. Here is my preview of these best of 7 series.
Red Sox vs. Tigers:
To start, the Red Sox have home field advantage in the series and they are a dominant team at Fenway Park. This gives them an immediate leg up on Detroit. Most would look at the Detroit starting rotation and say that they have the better pitching than the Red Sox. This simply is not true as the Sox starters can match the Tigers and the Sox bullpen is significantly better than that of Detroit. Look for the Sox starters to hang right with Scherzer and Verlander and be better than Sanchez and Fister. Sure Verlander may go out and dominate the Sox, but the Tigers likely won’t be able to pull away and if a team hangs around in a game late, who knows what will happen. Also, a major factor in this series is that all 4 of Detroit’s starters are righties and the Sox pound righties. Hence, I am really not too worried about Boston being able to score. They won’t be able to go crazy against the Tigers starters, but they will be able to score enough to let their pitchers win them games.
Red Sox win in 6 games
Cardinals vs. Dodgers:
This should be one of those classic series that will be the talk of the playoffs thus far. Both teams are evenly matched offensively with LA having more star-power and St. Louis having more top to bottom depth. For the most part, it is the middle of the LA lineup that can beat a team, whereas you never know where in the Cards lineup the runs will come from. Pitching wise, both teams have 2 studs. LA has Greinke and Kershaw, St. Louis has Wacha and Wainwright. Hence, I could easily see either of these teams winning 4 games (2 for each pitcher). I think the whole series will come down to Game 2 as Wacha faces off with Kershaw head to head. Assuming Greinke wins in Game 1, Game 2 will becomes a huge game and if Wacha can win, I think that the Cards win the series. The bullpen is the most significant advantage for the Cards in the series and I think that the bullpen could win them a game. But for the most part, its going to come down to the starting pitching.
Cardinals win in 7 games…which would set up a 2004 World Series rematch with the Red Sox.
Regardless of who wins, I see this game easily reaching 7 games.