MLB League Championship Series: Anthony’s Picks

So this is it baseball fans: We’re down to the “final four” of the MLB League Championship round. Three sweeps and a frigid four-game series in Colorado later, and after going 2-2 in my previously blogged Division Series picks, I’m ready to try again for this round. Just no more sweeps, okay guys?

http://citycynic.com/2009/10/07/mlb-division-series-anthonys-picks/

NATIONAL LEAGUE

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Phillies vs. Dodgers – Dodgers in 6.

 

The Phillies showed their ability to take advantage of the Rockies’ mistakes and terrible management decisions in the NLDS and their bats came alive at just the right time to power through the cold.

 

The Dodgers made quick work of the powerful Cardinals’ bats and Cy Young-candidate pitchers to fly through to the next round. Their starting rotation proved it had consistency and mettle in taking on the big bats of the opposing team.

 

This series is sure to come down to which team makes the least mistakes, as both teams have proved they have what it takes to overcome obstacles in their way. Look for this to be a hard-fought series with the Dodgers putting down last year’s World Champs under the skilled management decisions of Joe Torre, just as long as LA’s bullpen can manage to stay intact.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

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Angels vs. Yankees – Yankees in 7.

 

The Angels made quick work of the offensive-allergic Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. This is probably the best Angels team to make it to the playoffs in the club’s history and Yankees fans have a reason to be worried. Imagine how many wins Los Angeles would have ended up with in the regular season had they not had injury problems

 

The Yankees are a well-rounded and well-funded ballclub and with Alex Rodriguez’s bat finally coming alive in the postseason for the Bombers, New York has both the offensive and defensive pieces to make it to the World Series. And wouldn’t that be an interesting matchup if both they and the Dodgers make it to the Fall Classic — something I like to call “The Battle of Joe’s Revenge.”

 

This will be a bruising series for sure. Look for it to go all the way to a decisive game 7. If Yankees pitching doesn’t implode like we’ve seen in the earliest part of the season and A-Rod and Hideki Matsui and Derek Jeter can keep hitting those homeruns into the Yankee Stadium jetstream like they have repeatedly all season, then New York will come out on top of this East Coast – West Coast showdown.

 

WHO I’M ROOTING FOR

As a New Yorker, you might be inclined to think I would stick with the Yankees at this point in the game. But that’s just not how this Mets fan operates. I think the Yankees had the last century to dominate and their time has passed. Although, I’d like to see a matchup of “Joe Torre’s Revenge,” if they were to meet the Dodgers in the World Series, the baseball fan in me would much rather take in the first-ever Freeway World Series. (Even if its on the left coast.)

So in that sense, rooting for the Yankees to fall, even though I don’t think they will, is essentially rooting for the Angels, a team I admit I know and care little about except for their absurdly long name.

On the other hand, I am definitely standing behind the Dodgers to win it all. They’ve shown a special resilience this season that is hard to be matched in many playoff teams of the past decade and as long as they play smart baseball, they have a great chance to take it all this year. Joe Torre definitely deserves it and the players that stepped up to form a strong team in Los Angeles (like Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier) also deserve to win it all.

And while maybe all those trips through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field on my way to watch the Mets, including one with my favorite Dodgers fan in the world, have colored my baseball vision slightly more blue this year than ever before, I think this is the Dodgers year. They have something to prove and this is their chance.

Oh, and phuck the Phillies! :)

ALSO INTERESTING

–Although baseball fans will have to suffer through the awful coverage of the ALCS and World Series by FOX Sports and their flawed leader Joe Buck, at least we can take some refuge in the slightly better TBS coverage. (Hey, at least its not ESPN, right?) I know that I’ve mentioned previously just how much Ron Darling brings to the game coverage and I’d just like to give props to TBS for hiring him as a color commentator.

–The NLCS and ALCS feature all four teams with $100 million+ payrolls this year. It will be interesting to see which teams get the greatest return on their outlandish investments.

–Let’s hope that the umpiring crews in this round of the playoffs are better than in the last. All four Division Series featured at least one blown call at first base, with some featuring multiple blown calls (as shown by instant replay) throughout the games. The playoffs are supposed to be decided by the heroics and pratfalls of the players on the teams, and not by the oft apparently narrowsighted men in blue. Here’s to 2 series without blown calls…

RELATED: What Torre Vs. Yankees Could Do For Baseball (Bleacher Report)

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