Thursday, September 29, 2011
And so it begins...
Last night at 11 PM, The Yankees were winning and the Sox were in position to clinch. Then I went to bed. I woke up 15 minutes ago. Irony set in.
The Rays had clinched the Wild Card, and the Yanks had lost the last game of the season. I was also overjoyed that the Red Sox had lost, because any team that has a big lead during a rainstorm...might wanna kiss it goodbye.
But it was a strange feeling. Tonight, for the first time since July, no games will be played. Sunday, the shenanigans will begin. I'll recall each team still in the running, and their odds to make the World Series.
New York Yankees:
Pros- The team has some of the best hitters in baseball. With Granderson, Teixiera and Cano alone, they would have gotten to this point. Also, the bullpen is a nice solid one, with one surefire Hall of Famer, and two former All Stars. Of course, CC Sabathia is the huge pitcher for other teams to worry about.
Cons- CC's pretty much all they've got in terms of pitching. They have CC, Nova, and that's basically it. Burnett'll stink up the place, Colon and Garcia will be loose cannons, and the Killer B's might not be ready yet.
Odds to make the world series: 1:3.
Pros: Justin. Freaking. Verlander. It always helps to have the best pitcher in baseball on your team, and with 24 wins and an obvious CY Young on the way, the incoming batters best not look afraid of the ace. Aside from that, they have some good hitters in Cabrera, Jackson, Avila and Martinez. And of course, they have Jose "How the hell do I have more saves than Rivera" Valverde to sweep the floors.
Cons: Similar to the Yankees, Verlander is the only real pitcher they have, unless you count Rick Porcello. Other than that, the staff is kinda a mixed bag, with Phil Coke, Brad Penny and Max Scherzer rounding it out. And while the hitters are awesome, most of them tend to strike out a lot. And with people this good at hitting, is defense a liability?
Odds of making it: 1:5.
Pros: Like last year, they have some of the best hitters in the game. Also like last year, they have Hamilton, Kinsler, Young and Andrus. Adrian Beltre has become the team's secret weapon this year, changing his status from "overrated" to simply "rated". CJ Wilson has surprised me a lot, becoming the team's top ace.
Cons: The same thing that killed them last year- not a reliable enough defense. You got big strong guys roaming around, and they may not be speedy. Kinsler and Andrus maybe, but Beltre's probably slow. Also, CJ Wilson may be their only reliable pitcher. Maybe because the guy they signed to be a reliable pitcher (Brandon Webb) is still hurt.
Odds of making it: 1:8
Tampa Bay Rays:
Pros: The hitting. Evan Longoria, Johnny Damon and BJ Upton are all rocking the plate. Upton's been a fixture at center, and David Price is one of the best pitchers in the game. Meanwhile, James Shields, Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson are taking notes.
Cons: Not enough hitting, not enough pitching, unreliable defense, the fact that they only squeezed past the Yanks to get through last night. Also, there's a huge chance that one of the other teams will kick their ass in the ALDS. Just saying. No offense toward anybody.
Odds of making it: 1:15
Pros: Uhhh...well, they have the best pitching staff in baseball. And with the absense of Roy Oswalt, they have somehow maintained the Philly Phour with Vance Worley. Lee, Halladay and Hamels are throwing smoke, and Madson is also throwing fire in the ninth. Also, the offense isn't bad either. Howard, Pence, Mayberry and Ruiz are all hitting well. It's a very solid team overall.
Cons: Defense. A lot of these players are getting old, and don't get joy in running for a ball. Also, this aging factors into offense too. Ibanez and Rollins are indeed getting old, and they're still hitting, but they might not be Phillies by next season.
Odds of making it: 1:2.
Pros: A wild offense. Fielder, Braun, Hart, Weeks and Morgan are all mashing the ball at the plate, and all five of them will do serious damage in the postseason. Pitching is also solid. Zack Greinke may not have had the greatest season, but he still did damage, and he will do damage. He'll be backed up by Marcum, Gallardo and Wolf just in case.
Cons: The fact that despite their dominance, they might not be as good as the Phillies. And their pitching may be depended on at the last minute. Also, the bullpen isn't as strong as the team hopes. Axford and K-Rod can't do everything for you.
Odds of making it: 1:5
St. Louis Cardinals:
Pros: Pujols, Berkman, Holliday. Those three hitters have been providing some major damage at the plate this season. Carpenter, Garcia, Jackson, Westbrook. Those four have been a stellar pitching rotation this season.
Cons: Well, they only got into the playoffs because Atlanta lost. I was heavily expecting the Braves in the playoffs, but we got the Cards. Oh well.
Odds of making it: 1:8.
Pros: If the Dodgers don't sweep the NL MVP and Cy Young awards, then the D-Backs will. Ian Kennedy, who I feel stupid now that the Yanks gave him away, is throwing some great games, and Justin Upton's having a monster season too. Chris Young and Daniel Hudson provide backups.
Cons: Aside from those guys, it's a lackluster team. There aren't too many huge names in the lineup, and in the bullpen. It's hard for this team to succeed with this.
Odds of making it: 1:20