First off, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the family of former Toronto Blue Jays' pitcher, Cory Lidle. Lidle, who was currently with the Yankees, was the pilot of a small aircraft that crashed into a New York condominium this afternoon. My thoughts also go out to the families of the other victims involved in the crash.
Here's a recap of my predictions for the four division series:
New York (AL) vs. Detroit
Hek's Prediction: Yankees win, three games to one.
What really happened: Tigers win, three games to one.
Minnesota vs. Oakland
Hek's Prediction: Twins win, three games to two.
What really happened: Athletics sweep the series.
St. Louis vs. San Diego
Hek's Prediction: Padres win, three games to two.
What really happened: Cardinals win, three games to one.
New York (NL) vs. Los Angeles
Hek's Prediction: Mets win, three games to one.
What really happened: Mets sweep the series.
Okay, not the best of results. But 25% ain't bad, right?
If anything, this year's post-season is a good reminder of how the regular season means nothing. Once the playoffs start, everything that went on during the past six months, goes out the window and everyone, starts with a clean slate. I never expected the Tigers to regroup. Nor did I expect the Athletics to manhandle the Twins. As for Cardinals, it didn't really matter who won because neither them nor the Padres would go past the second round. Having said that, here are my predictions for League Championship Series.
American League Championship Series
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics
The Tigers have already drawn first blood but, don't count out the Athletics. Both teams are equally talented. Having seen them play like they did during most of the regular season, I am fully confident in Detroit's abilities. They have some good hitters in Ivan Rodriguez, Sean Casey (if he stays healthy) and Placido Planco. But their strength is with their pitching. The Tigers are led by veteran Kenny Rogers and two rookies who have put together solid seasons in Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman. Plus, you can't forget Joel Zumaya and his 100 MPH fastball. However, if Detroit is going to win, they need to neutralize Oakland's power hitters. If you get intimidated by Frank Thomas, Milton Bradley or Eric Chavez, then the Athletics are going to walk all over their opponents, just like they did with Minnesota. No doubt, it's going to be a dogfight.
Hek's Prediction: Tigers win, four games to three.
National League Championship Series
New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Dodgers were easy to beat. The Cardinals however, will be a true test for the Mets. If New York wants to win, they need to get lots of runs because their pitching is suspect. With Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez on the disabled list, Tom Glavine is their only star pitcher. Everyone else is sketchy. The Mets have the hitters and as long as they can take advantage of mistakes made by the Cards' picthers, they'll be able to win the series. It won't be a cakewalk but, you can expect New York to control the series.
Hek's Prediction: Mets win, four games to two.
As always, I love to hear your predictions.