Saturday, October 4, 2008

The shortest road to the ALCS? Boston and Tampa Bay both up 2-0

Brevity is the soul of... October?

This year's AL and NL division series are poised to become the briefest since the strike of '94 - when the division series became a permanent part of the MLB post-season (division series were played for the first time in 1981, but did not resume until 1995 as part of realignment). Last year, three of the four matchups ended 3-0, with the sole exception being the series between Cleveland and the NY Yankees (3-1, Tribe).

Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Rays came back from a brief deficit against the Chicago White Sox to win 6-2 (read about it here), and the Boston Red Sox once again beat the Los Angeles Angels, by the score of 7-5 (curse J.D. Drew - read about it here). I for one cannot wait for the all-out ugliness that will be a Red Sox / Rays ALCS. Assuming, of course, that Tampa Bay wins.

The two NL division series could (and, I predict, will) wrap up today: the Milwaukee Brewers host the Philadelphia Phillies (2-0), and the Chicago Cubs visit the Los Angeles Dodgers (2-0).

To those that placed bets on a Windy City World Series - sorry, fine citizens of Chicago.

Just to recap, the following scenarios are statistically the most likely:

NLCS = Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies

ALCS = Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Which leads to these potential World Series matchups:

1. LA Dodgers vs. Boston Red Sox (which would make me want to throw up, as both a Giants and Yankees fan... but I'm obligated to root against the defending champion Red Sox at all costs, even if it means temporarily supporting the Dodgers. Joe Torre's presence makes my decision easier. Manny Ramirez and Jeff Kent's do not)

2. LA Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays (division rivals be damned - go Rays. This is also the matchup that I predict will happen - but I've been wrong before)

3. Philadelphia Phillies vs. Boston Red Sox (in which the citizens of New York find themselves divided over which team to root against)

4. Philadelphia Phillies vs. Tampa Bay Rays (2nd title ever for Phillies, or 1st for the upstarts... I haven't made up my mind over which I would prefer)

1 comment:

Allan said...

The Dodgers sweeping the Cubs is the big surprise here. I've always felt the Angels were overrated so I'm not surprised that Boston is up 2-0. The best teams that remain are the Red Sox and Rays. I think whoever wins the ALCS between the Red Sox and Rays will just stampede over the National League champs. I think that'll be the Phillies.