First of all, I want to take this opportunity to officially throw the 200 Miles From The Citi endorsement behind the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Not only are they my only hope for a non-wasted baseball year (read: no repeat matchup in the World Series), I really like them. Especially this year - they're my feel-good story. So go Angels!
That said, time for my predictions...it's kind of an L.A. story:
ALCS - Angels vs. Yankees
I don't have much solid evidence to back up my rooting for the Angels here...other than the fact that I'm still not 100% buying the Yankees this year.
If the Minnesota Twins could run the bases without looking like the New York Mets, they could have pushed the Yankees to four games...possibly even a fifth...but they just couldn't figure out New York this whole season.
The Angels, on the other hand, match up well against the Yankees.
What's to stop them from running all over Jorge Posada and taking extra bases? Certainly not Jorge Posada...maybe Jose Molina.
The Angels have the team of destiny thing going right now...and I'm not saying it will be easy....and I don't really love Brian Fuentes closing out games against the Yankees....but I'm going to take a flyer here and say Angels in seven.
NLCS - Phillies vs. Dodgers
Here's what's happening in the National League - things are settling back into a somewhat normal order.
The Dodgers played that first round series against St. Louis like the team they were early in the season - the best team in the National League.
The Phillies started to get the major contributions from the heart of their order that Phillies fans have been waiting for all season.
I think both of those things will continue in the NLCS.
The one thing that was more flukey in the NLDS was the thing that has plagued the Phillies all season long - closing out ballgames. That strength for that four-game series will disappear in this series - and that will be the difference.
It's going to be LA-LA in the World Series - Dodgers in six.