The Yankees will not know who their first-round opponent is until the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers finish their zany Wild Card playoff in Arlington late Friday night. The NL Wild Card playoff will take place a few hours before as the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals match up with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field in what could be the last career game for Chipper Jones. The plot thickens.
So how about some baseless predictions? We can try to analyze these games as much as we want, but it still often comes down to guys like Francisco Cabrera who have all of 11 plate appearances that year to decide do-or-die games.
Wild Card Round
Orioles over Rangers- I just can't see Buck's team going down in one game.
Braves over Cardinals- Kris Medlen. We're done here.
Yankees over Orioles in 4- There is certainly a distinct possibility for an upset here given Bud Selig's messed up Division Series schedule that gives the worse team the first games at home. I have faith in CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Andy Pettitte to get the job done regardless of location though.
Athletics over Tigers in 3- Again, there might be an upset because 88-win Detroit gets two home games before 94-win Oakland gets any (while the 90-win Rays and 89-win Angels sit at home, but that's a story for another day). However, Verlander can be beaten, which his 5.31 ERA last postseason should help indicate, and Oakland is on a 2007 Colorado Rockies-like run that will be difficult to stem. They will exact vengeance for their 2006 ALCS sweep at the hands of the Tigers and Magglio Ordonez.
Braves over Nationals in 5- Maybe if the Nats had Stephen Strasburg, they would be fine! #TrollTrollTroll In all seriousness, the Nats have a stellar rotation even without Stras, but I'm just getting a good feeling about the Braves. The Nats have a better team on paper, and it's not a secret. And yet...
Yankees over Athletics in 6- Here's where the amazing show known as the 2012 Oakland Athletics has its final act. That team could very well sweep the Yankees as they did in July if they stay hot, but again, I just can't dismiss that tough front three of CC, Hirok, and Andy so casually. I envision this being a low-scoring series.
Yankees over Giants in 7- No, I don't actually think the World Series will go seven games again. That kind of stuff only happens only a handful of times per decade and we already had one. Boy, did we have one. Then again... before last year the previous World Series to go seven games was Angels vs. Giants in 2002, which was the second consecutive World Series to go seven games (despite my heart's assurances that the 2001 World Series ended after Game 5). That was 10 years before last year! Yes! There's the baseless correlation!
Whatever. I want a seven-game World Series between the Yankees and Giants. Timmy Lincecum in the Bronx. Bobinson by the Bay. Make it happen, guys. The series will end on a double by Raul Ibanez in the top of the eighth of Game 7 while we're all bemoaning the fact that he's still in the game when he's been slumping most of the playoffs. Book it, and mock me afterward. It's just something about this guy and random clutch hits.
Enough rambling from me. Who do you have? How do you think October (and maybe November 1st) will shape up?