The Sports Bros.
Why the Phillies are unbeatable: And everything else you need to know about theMLB playoffs
After an incredibly memorable last night of the season, the MLB playoffs are set to begin late Friday afternoon. If the playoffs prove to be anything like the last game of the season, we just might be talking about baseball instead of football.
We're going to look at how we think all the series' are going to shake out, all the way to the World Series. Bet on our winners and you'll win tons of money (in theory).
Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees
Barry: This is all about pitching. The Tigers have it and the Yankees don't. The Yankees have one starting pitcher they can depend on: CC Sabathia. He toes the rubber against potential MVP and almost sure-fire CY Young winner, Justin Verlander Friday night. The Yankees are slight favorites to win the game (-127) at home. If great pitching beats great hitting, the Tigers win.
David: These two teams could be playing for the pennant if they didn't have to face each other in the first round. Look for it to be a dogfight until the end. Tigers squeak by.
Barry: Tigers win 3 games to 2
David: Tigers win 3 games to 2
Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays
Barry: I know baseball loves its stats, but the Rays seem to be a team of destiny right now. Everything is going their way. They get the triple play and then the heroics from Evan Longoria ... The Joe Maddon-led Rays are hot at exactly the right time. The Rays may have the best stable of starting pitchers in David Price, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore.
The Texas Rangers have a potent offense and some good pitching as well, but we're not ready to go against the Rays.
David: As much as I love the Rays, the Rangers are better on paper. With Price not pitching (potentially) until Game 3, I think the Rangers get the first win and quell any Rays' momentum, taking the series in the long run. Downside: The Rangers usually screw these kinds of things up.
Barry: Rays win 3 games to 1
David: Rangers win 3 games to 2
Tampa Bay Rays/Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers
Barry: I'm all in on the arm of Justin Verlander, but he might not be able to go right away for Detroit because he pushed the Yankees to the limit. The Tigers have been playing winning baseball for a long time and hitters like Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez are only heating up. The Rays will start to cool as young players like Desmond Jennings continue to struggle at the plate.
David: Doug Fister and Verlander give the Rangers a tough time, sure. The real question is can Texas pitching keep up? Alexi Ogando is only in his second season, and Matt Harrison is a newcomer to the starting pitching role this year. It may not technically be an upset, but I think the Rangers end up back in the World Series.
Barry: Tigers over Rays 4 games to 2
David: Rangers over Tigers 4 games to 3
Milwaukee Brewers v Arizona Diamondbacks
Barry: The Diamondbacks have really surprised me this year. Ian Kennedy has had a tremendous year on the mound for Arizona, but Milwaukee is just too powerful. Yovani Gallardo is (-128) to win against Kennedy and after that the Brewers get to turn the ball over to Zack Greinke. The Brewers have two MVP candidates in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. I can't see this one being too close.
David: I don't think the Diamondbacks have a shot here. The Brewers have the batting and the Diamondbacks have given up the fifth most homers in the NL. After Ian Kennedy, they have no pitching.
Barry: Brewers over the Diamondbacks 3 games to 1
David: Brewers over the Diamondbacks 3 games to 1
Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals
Barry: It took a miracle run for the Cardinals to even get this far. The Phillies have a stacked rotation in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. Their bullpen is lights out and their lineup can rake. They're baseball's top team for a reason. Congratulations St. Louis on making the playoffs, but I think it ends here ... and quickly.
David: I'm going to give St. Louis a gift by letting them win a game in this series. Maybe Albert Pujols pulls some magic out of his hat. Maybe Kyle Lohse pitches out of his mind.
Barry: Phillies over the Cardinals 3 games to 0
David: Phillies over the Cardinals 3 games to 1
Philadelphia Phillies v Milwaukee Brewers
Barry: This will be a much better series than the previous two, but I still think Philadelphia can handle its business. The Phillies will have their rotation set up just how they want. Milwaukee puts up a fight and will probably get a win or two. But you can pitch around Braun and Fielder if need be. The Phillies go very deep.
David: I don't see the Brewers catching any momentum here. The Phillies will out pitch and out hit Milwaukee too fast to get it going.
Barry: Philles over the Brewers 4 games to 2
David: Philles over the Brewers 4 games to 1
Detroit Tigers/Texas Rangers v Philadelphia Phillies
Barry: Remember that the National League won the all-star game (thanks to Prince Fielder and Hunter Pence) so it has homefield advantage in the World Series. The Phillies, before a playoff pitch is even thrown, are the favorites to win the World Series at +170. The Tigers, on the other hand are (+700). (It should be noted that the Yankees are +350, but I'm predicting the upset in the ALDS.)
I really wanted to pick anybody but the Phillies because I hate picking THE favorite, but I can't really seem to find a way to pick any one other than Philadelphia. In Verlander there is hope, but even if the Tigers win both of his starts, their others pitchers still have Lee and Hamels to face. The Phillies seem poised to take the crown and we couldn't be happier for Pence.
David: If you want to talk about the favorites being the favorites for a reason, the 2011 Phillies have to be it. Their lineup is deep, they're healthy, and they have three of the best pitchers in baseball. Throw in an Oswalt for good luck, and the Phillies get the crown.
I don't care who is representing the American League.
Barry: Phillies over the Tigers 4 games to 2
David: Phillies over the Rangers 4 games to 1