Friday, September 29, 2006

Playoff preview

What team would I like the Tigers to play in the playoffs? Well the Royals of course (scratch that after tonight's bed soiling) but since they didn't quite make it let's break down the teams that did.

Oakland Athletics

Things to be scared of: Frank Thomas resurgence, Barry Zito's curveball, a healthy Rich Harden, and Huston Street.
Things to be thankful for: The rest of the pitching staff is average at best. Kenny Rogers owns the A's (21 career wins vs. the A's more than any other team). Detroit won the season series (5-4) with 6 of the nine games played in Oakland. If the Tigers play Oakland it means the won the Central and will have home field.
Bottom line: Oakland really doesn't hit all that well. But they can get people on base. That could present problems when getting into the last innings. The key, like it always is in the playoff, will be pitching. With Rogers cancelling out Zito, I see Verlander and Bonderman leading the Tigers for the series victory in 5. I don't see A's beating the Twins, so the only way will see the A's is in the ALDS.

New York Yankees

Things to be scared of: uhh, everything they're the friggin Yankees. They spend the most money, have the best record, and have the best team in the majors on paper.
Things to be thankful for:They should always win, but they haven't since 2000.
Bottom Line: The Yankees have lost to the eventual World Series champion in the playoff 4 out of the last five years. Between the starters and Rivera the pitching staff is vulnerable. Add to that Big Unit has a herniated disk and that weakens the staff further. The teams that have knocked them out in the past have one thing in common, pitching. Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, K-Rod, maybe we can add Verlander to the list. Pitching prevails (and is the reason you will see Barry Zito in pinstripes next year) in 5 in the ALDS, in 6 if they meet in the ALCS.

Minnesota Twins

Things to be scared of: M+M, the "piranhas", Nathan and Santana.
Things to be thankful for: The Tigers did win the season series, and other than Santana and Nathan, none of their other pitchers really strikes fear into your heart.
Bottom Line: Besides the point that these teams can only face in the ALCS, the Tigers or the Twins will be the AL representative for the World Series. The Tigers pitching has just been to good, and the Twins have been too hot not to pick them. So my unabashed homerism gives it to the Tigers in a thrilling seven game series.

I'll be at the game tomorrow. Hopefully, with a little Chicago help, it will be the division clinching game. I was at the game were they won to guarantee that they wouldn't break the all time loss record, seems only fair I'll be there for the Division clinching, right?

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