Baseball fever is here: The Mac Weekly's playoff picks

By Nate Wilson-Traisman

Phillies v. Brewers PICK: PHILLIES IN 4
The Brewers win game two behind ace Sabathia, but they have no one else in terms of pitching and will consequently lose games one, three and four. They had a great run the last week of the regular season, but in reality, they’re only a playoff team because they play in the NL. Clearly the Phillies also lack starting pitching, but they have a true anchor in the bullpen with Brad Lidge, and I like their offense just a bit more than the Brewers’. Ryan Howard is a better Prince Fielder, and Chase Utley is arguably the best all-around infielder in the National League. But, most important in the Brew Crew’s complete lack of a bullpen. They have no pitching and will consequently be trounced by the Phils.

Cubs v. Dodgers

Disclaimer: As a lifelong Cubbies fan, I am clearly biased in this argument.
The Cubs are much, much better in all facets. The only reason I have this game going five is that I have no doubt the Cubs will find a way to lose two games. Still, Dempster, Zambrano and Harden are better than any pitcher on the Dodgers. The Cubs are the best team in the NL and will prove that in this series. The Joe Torre factor will only help the Dodgers, but in the end Cubs pitching prevails.

My main concern with the Cubs is their streaky offense. If they struggle putting runs up in game one, it won’t bode well for the rest of the series-.

Angels v. Red Sox

The Angels are hands down the most complete team in the playoffs. I like the Red Sox experience, but they just don’t look like a championship caliber team right now. People underestimate what the loss of Manny Ramirez has done to their line-up. Sure Jason Bay is a quality player, but he doesn’t impose fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers like Manny does. When it’s all said and done, the Angel’s rotation and bullpen (best in baseball) will prevail. The Red Sox have a potential dominant 1-2 punch in Beckett and Dice-K, but I like Lackey, Ervin Santana, and Joe Saunders more. Let’s not forget that the Angels have the best closer in baseball in Francisco Rodriguez.

Rays v. White Sox

I think people are writing off the Rays’ chances because of their youth. Sure, there’s something to be said for inexperience, but this is a team that won 97 regular season games. They have one of the deepest rotations in all of baseball and I think their youth will actually be beneficial in this series. The White Sox have experience, but they’re ridiculously old. Guys like Jim Thome, Ken Griffey Jr. and Paul Konerko will fade under the wear and tear of such a long season. I think age negates the Sox experience in this case. Whereas the Rays are well-rested, the White Sox will probably be without ace John Danks until game three (Danks threw eight innings of shutout ball in Tuesday’s one game playoff against the Twins).