2011 MLB Divisional Series Previews

Previewing each of the four Divisional Series matchups.

The baseball postseason is upon us and if the last day of the season is any indication we should be in for quite a treat.  Here are my predictions for each of the Divisional Round playoff series.

New York Yankees vs Detroit Tigers

Yankees

Positives: The Bronx bombers are always a threat in the postseason thanks to Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, etc.  Their roster has so much postseason experience which is never a bad thing. Plus their offense is so explosive with Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson.

Negatives: Other than C.C. Sabathia their is a ton of question marks in the starting rotation. Relying on a youngster like Ivan Nova in game 2 and Freddy Garcia or Bartolo Colon after that. I guess the fact that they were still able to have a great season with this rotation isn't all that bad but the postseason is a different beast.

Tigers

Positives: Justin Verlander as your ace. Enough said. They also have a very underrated lineup, and Valverde has been lights out in the ninth inning.

Negatives: After Verlander, how will the other starters hold up?  Plus not a ton of experience from a pitching standpoint in the postseason.

Prediction: Tigers in 5.

 

Tampa Bay Rays vs Texas Rangers

Rangers

Positives: Lots of playoff experience since they were just in the series last season. Lineup is one of the best in baseball.

Negatives: Cliff Lee was huge in getting them to the series last year. Who will step up in their rotation?

Rays

Positives: Might have the best rotation in the AL. All of September has been like a playoff situation so they are ready.

Negatives: Need someone in the lineup besides Longoria to come through for them.

Prediction: Rays in 5

 

Milwaukee Brewers vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Brewers

Positives: Solid lineup with two MVP candidates in the middle of the order. Deep starting pitching and strong closer.

Negatives: Not much playoff experience. How will Greinke and Marcum do in the playoffs?

Diamondbacks

Positives: Great bullpen and solid pitching all around.

Negatives: Will they have enough offense? How will Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson fare in the playoffs?

Prediction: Brewers in 4

 

Philadelphia Phillies vs St. Louis Cardinals

Phillies

Positives: Best starting rotation, tons of playoff experience.

Negatives: Will bullpen hold up?

Cardinals

Positives: Have been on playoff life support for six weeks. Tony LaRussa is great to have behind the bench.

Negatives: Bullpen is terrible.

Prediction: Phillies in 3.

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