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Tampa Bay Goes All the Way: John Royal’s MLB Postseason Picks

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The baseball postseason starts today. Yes! Enough with watching the Astros play awful baseball. Enough already. Now we get to watch some good teams play baseball.

As such I thought I would give my postseason picks.

THE AMERICAN LEAGUE:

The first series starts today with the wild card Boston Red Sox traveling out to Anaheim to take on the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels finished with the best record in baseball. And they have a team full of good pitching, decent hitting, and decent fielding. The Angels haven’t played meaningful baseball in about a month, so maybe they’ve lost a bit of their edge. But the Red Sox struggled at times this season, and when the time came for them to catch and pass the Rays to grab first place in the AL East, they just couldn’t close the deal.

I’m picking the Angels to win this series in four games.

The second series features the newly-crowned AL Central champ Chicago White Sox traveling to Tampa Bay to take on the Cinderella Tampa Bay Rays. Many thought the Rays would fold at some point, but they held off the Red Sox. I like the Rays. I like their Houston connections in Scott Kazmir, Carl Crawford, Dan Wheeler and Trever Miller. The Rays have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, and they’re an excellent defensive team.

The Rays win this series in four games.

In the American League Championship Series, I think the Rays will shock the world – and cause heart attacks in Fox Sports offices – by winning the thing in six games.

THE NATIONAL LEAGUE:

Are the Chicago Cubs going to the World Series for the first time since 1908? If it’s going to happen, this just might be the season. The starting rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden and Ryan Dempster is one of the best in baseball. Kerry Wood has rejuvenated his career as the team’s closer. Lou Piniella’s one of the best managers in baseball. I think that they’ll easily handle the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs, despite the presence of Manny Ramirez and Joe Torre on the Dodgers.

The Cubs take this series in five games.

The second series has the Philadelphia Phillies against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers can hit the ball with the best of the teams. And the Phillies hit the ball just as well as the Brewers. And the Brewers have CC Sabathia. The Brewers haven’t been to the postseason since 1982, and the Phillies flamed out in the playoffs last season. And while I would like for the Brewers to win this thing – I like the offensive aspects of this team –the pitching just isn’t there. And while I don’t think much of the Phillies rotation, the Phillies’ bullpen is better than the Brewers’ bullpen.

I say the Phillies win this series in five games.

In the National League Championship Series, I say the Cubs take down the Phillies in five games.

THE WORLD SERIES:

I’m pretty sure that most of the known world will be pulling for the Cubs to finally win the thing. But since I don’t want to see the city of Chicago destroyed by drunk, rioting yuppies, and since I like pulling for underdogs, I’m going to pick the Tampa Bay Rays to pull off the upset. – John Royal

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