2010 MLB Playoff Predictions

Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays


To me, this is the most compelling playoff series of the first round. I think the Rangers matchup very well with the Rays, who enjoy the luxury of home-field advantage, kind of. I mean, even if they hand out tickets to boost attendance again, which seems unlikely for a playoff series, the average fan in Tampa is a retiree with nothing better to do. So you'll have to excuse me for not thinking that playing at home will be a huge help to a Tampa Bay team that won only two more games at home than on the road.

The Rangers should enter postseason play expecting to score runs in bunches, especially given the fact that no other MLB team had a higher team batting average this year, and that only four teams scored more runs. There are really no easy outs in this lineup, and with MVP candidate Josh Hamilton anchoring it, teams will never feel like any lead they might have is safe. With Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, the Rangers have an offense to be feared.

What they lack in home-field advantage, the Rays make up for in young talent, particularly their pitchers. A look at their young hurlers will impress anyone, as the Rays finish the season ranked eighth in ERA, and top four in quality starts, WHIP, and BAA. With the time they have to rest between games in a playoff series schedule, the Rays' top three starters are all they will really need. When David Price can pitch twice before a potential Game 5, you're going to have a chance to win the series.


With the Rays' pitching vs. the Rangers' hitting being a deadlock, the difference will be the Rangers' talented top starters against a young Rays offense, with the Rangers winning the series, 3-2.

Rangers win series, 3-2.

New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins


The Yankees are in the playoffs, and nobody is surprised. There is no jubilation from New York, no cries of "this is our year!" It may very well be their year, but when you've been here as much as they have, it's hard to get excited until you've actually won at least a few playoff games. As far as hitting goes, they got exactly what they paid for — a lineup averaging a league-leading 5.3 runs per game and that has compiled a team OBP of .350. That alone will keep them in playoff games. They do have an obvious Achilles heel with their pitching, though, and it will eventually come back to haunt them.

Even though there really is a lot to like about this Twins team, they backed into the playoffs, winning only two of their last 10 games, and losing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in the process. Yet by the twisted rules currently employed by Major League Baseball, they do enjoy an extra home game against the Yankees, despite having a worse record. I love their offense (although they will be without Justin Morneau for the entire postseason), but their only starter with an ERA below 3.62 is converted middle-reliever Brian Duensing, whose ERA ballooned by 0.43 over his last three starts, and who had a 1.78 WHIP over the same period.


The plummeting Twins fall prey to a matchup nightmare. With both teams having an advantage of their lineup against the opposing pitching, the Twins are left trying to outscore the Yankees for three out of five games. Good luck with that. The Yankees win this series, 3-1.

Yankees win series, 3-1.

Cincinnati Reds @ Philadelphia Phillies


The Reds might be in trouble. Not only are they facing the odds-on favorite to win the World Series, but they must do so playing an extra game on the road, where they were only three games over .500 in the regular season, and in a ballpark their opponent went 54-30 in. Their team-leading ERA belongs to Johnny Cueto at 3.64, and the Phillies have a great offense. The Reds can only win if their young and at times childish and immature players like Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto can continue to lead the team to score runs at their league-leading pace, even in the face of pressure they've never experienced before.

The Phillies have been on fire since getting Roy Oswalt, going 42-17. Cole Hamels has the highest ERA of the three starters who will get most of the starts, at 3.06. With Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Roy Oswalt, the Phillies have a group of starters that should give any opposing lineup fits. Add in a proven offense, and you've got a recipe for success.


The Phillies completely overwhelm the young Reds, winning the series, 3-0.

Phillies win series, 3-0.

Atlanta Braves @ San Francisco Giants


The Braves waited until the last day to clinch a playoff berth in Bobby Cox's last year as manager, which only seems fitting. Cox is already a legend, and he deserves one more shot at a World Series ring. Everybody done with the happy thoughts? Good, because they might make a quick exit from the playoffs. Why? To start with, they coughed up a fairly sizeable lead in their division, ending the season six games behind the Phillies. Then, take into consideration that they finished the season 35-46 on the road and are starting the series with two games on the road against a Giants team that was 49-32 at home.

If you're still not convinced, think about their biggest strength, which is their pitching. As good as their pitchers are, they're not as good as the Giants' pitchers, meaning the Braves don't present any matchup problems for the Giants.

The Giants not only have the aforementioned out of this world pitching, but they also have a young lineup that scores enough runs to complement them well. Sure, the Braves' offense is a little better, but I don't see Atlanta scoring many runs off the team 3.36 ERA that the Giants boast. The key for the Giants is stringing hits together to score runs, which they may have some trouble doing.


After four close games, the Giants win a pitching duel in Game 5, taking the series, 3-2.

Giants win series, 3-2.

Comments and Conversation

October 4, 2010


I think you were rude and under-appreicating of the reds abilities. I think calling us immature is a little beyond your ability to judge a team. Yes we are young but for a team that wasnt even expected to go over .500, look at us now. We weren’t expected to win at all in 1990 either.

October 4, 2010


Mike you need to relax - this is a prediction, not a guarantee. When you arent mature or experienced, you are immature. I think Baker is a moron not starting Arroyo game one. He is the only pitcher that could handle the stress of pitching in a playoff atmsphere at Citizens Bank Park. If Arroyo could have stolen a win game one, it might have been enough to give the Reds and Volquez the confidence they desperately need. But we all know Dusty loves screwing up his young pitchers. At least this one wont be physically.

October 5, 2010


Id say Twins can beat the Yankees, as far as I’m concerned they win the pitching matchup. Pettite is a big question mark, Hughes will get blown out of the water, and then of course there is Sabbathia. Liriano can match up against Sabbathia well enough, Pavano can beat Pettite, and then Duensing will most likely do better than Hughes. Twins win the bullpen in every aspect except the closer, and Mo has looked less than untouchable recently (including against the Twins, one of his few blown saves this season came against the Twins in the Bronx), but he’ll probably be turn it on in the postseason. So if we give the Twins the pitching edge, and then factor in the fact that Target Field is absolutely a pitchers park, and that the Twins have home field advantage, it would seem the Twins have an overall edge. I predict Twins in 5, but this should be a good series to watch for all concerned.

October 5, 2010


You say the Twins “backed into the playoffs”. Weren’t they the FIRST team to clinch? I’ll give you that they should have been able to secure home field through the AL playoffs and let it go, but they certainly didn’t back in. Twins in 4.

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