It’s been a good couple of days of playoff baseball: Yesterday the A’s broke with 6 years of frustration to advance to the American League Championship Series by sweeping the Twins. It was a convincing series, although as Laurel said, the Twins virtually handed the series to the A’s. The two teams were nearly identical in the regular season, being adjact to each other in the AL standings in runs scored, runs allowed, and defensive efficiency, and their raw stats in the three games were not far apart. But the A’s capitalized and the Twins didn’t, so the A’s are going to the ALCS.
Even better, today the Tigers knocked off the Hated Yankees to advance to the ALCS themselves. This was a rather different series, featuring the two best defenses in the AL, and the best offense (the Yankees) and perhaps the best pitching (the Tigers). The Yankees won the first one, narrowly lost the second one, and then got completely crush in the last two. Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman pitched outstanding games and the Yankees just folded.
Any season in which the Yankees lose – especially in humiliating fashion – is a good season for this Red Sox fan.
In the National League, the Mets finished a sweep of the Dodgers today, which should surprise no one, since the Mets were clearly the class of the NL. The Cardinals-Padres series is a little more interesting, though the Cards have the edge at this point. A Mets-Cards NLCS might be pretty exciting, since both teams are based more on hitting than pitching, but with the Cards featuring Chris Carpenter and the Mets missing Pedro Martinez, the Cards might actually have an edge there.
Looking at the numbers, my bet is that we’ll see a Tigers-Mets World Series, and possibly a Tigers championship. Although honestly I think the A’s are almost as likely to win as those other two teams. Right now, the Playoff Odds Report given the Mets a 31% chance of winning it all, Oakland a 28% chance, Detroit a 27% chance, and the other 14% divided between the Cards and Padres.
But with the Yankees out of it, it oughta be fun whichever way it goes.