Jason Friedman's MLB Playoff Predictions: Trust the Sabermetricians, Go with the BoSox
I originally planned on boycotting my postseason baseball picks on account of the MLB turning the sport into one giant snoozefest. Seriously, how else you can describe a game which features broadcasts that are more than four hours, Scooter the talking baseball, Joe Buck, Tim McCarver andthe eradication of the black player
? But if I’m being honest, I am intrigued by this year’s match-ups and nothing gets me more excited than the possibility of another Yankees-Red Sox grudge match. Call me crazy, but I love watching those teams face-off; probably because there’s nothing better than witnessing the losing club’s respective fan base sink into a deep, dark depression after the fact.
One other preface before I begin: While my prognostication powers are usually right on the mark when the subject is the NFL or NBA, I rarely have a clue when it comes to predicting a World Series champion. Ever since the Yankees dynasty came to an end, I’ve swung and missed every single time. But there might be hope for me yet: In my MLB preview column, I actually hit .500 by correctly picking the Red Sox, Indians and Phillies to win their respective divisions, and the Yanks to claim the wild card. Hell, even my World Series match-up (Sox-Phillies) has a shot, however long it may be. So without further adieu, it’s time to put on the blindfold and pick some more winners.
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Red Sox over Angels and Indians over Yankees A.L. Champ: Boston
It pains me to make those picks, since I don’t see how on earth Cleveland can take out New York; especially when the Indians are still pretending that Joe Borowski is a closer. But I picked the Sox and Indians to face off in the ALCS back in April, so I can’t really change now.
Phillies over Rockies and Cubs over Diamondbacks N.L. Champ: Philadelphia
The sabermetricians will tell you that Arizona is one of the worst playoff teams in baseball history, based on their run differential. Those guys are far more intelligent that I am, so I’ll happily side with them. And I’ll take Philly to sneak past the Rockies in a series that figures to produce more than its fair share of football scores.
World Series Champ: Boston
I really, really, really hope this doesn’t happen. I can’t stand Red Sox fans. Truly, they are worse than fans of the Bronx Bombers at this point. But again, I picked ‘em at the beginning of the season, so I can’t back out now; no matter how old and tired they looked during the final month of the season. As for Philly, if they’re pathetic pitching actually takes them this far, they won’t stand a chance no matter whom they play in the Fall Classic. Phillie fans probably deserve better, but there won’t be any sympathy headed their way from Houston. At least they got to watch a real baseball team this year. -- Jason Friedman
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