Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MLB Playoffs 2010: ALDS Preview

Rangers-Rays: Looking strictly at third-order wins, the Tampa Bay Rays have outperformed their talent level by a nose. The Rangers, on the other hand, are right where they should be. Tampa faces two main problems in this series:
  1. Depth vs. top talent. The Rays' success in the regular season is largely built on their tremendous depth, particularly in the starting rotation. The Rangers, on the other hand, spent much of the season with weak starters in the 4th and 5th slots in their rotation. But in the playoffs, there is no 5th starter, and with the proliferation of off days, the 4th starter is becoming rarer and rarer. That's a disadvantage Texas won't face in a short series.
  2. Injuries. Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, and Ian Kinsler missed a combined 142 games during the regular season. If they're firing on all cylinders, I'd expect Texas to have superior run-scoring potential, especially their hitter-friendly park.
 Totally meaningless prediction: Rangers in 4.

Yankee-Twins: On paper the Yankees are the superior team, even if Justin Morneau were to play. That said, Joe Girardi hasn't shown himself to be the greatest of postseason tacticians. So while Minnesota's lineup is an improvement over last years scrub-tastic wonders, I don't think it will be enough to overcome the new-look Bronx Bombers.

Totally meaningless prediction: Yankees in 4.

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