2010 MLB Playoffs: Predictions and Assessments

October 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Another MLB postseason is here! 

And for the third straight year, I have prepared my assessments and predictions for each and every series. 

Past assessments and predictions on my part have been mixed: In 2008, I successfully predicted the winner of four of the seven possible series; in 2009, I successfully predicted the winner of five of the seven possible series, including the two pennant winners. 

I did project before the start of division play last year that the Philadelphia Phillies would meet the New York Yankees in the World Series; however, as a matter of humility, I also projected that the Phillies would defeat the Yankees. Sadly, I was in error with that prediction. But, overall, not bad! 

So, here we go:


Prediction: Rays will defeat the Rangers three games to zero—this will be a sweep.

Unfortunately for the Texas Rangers, the month of September was rather dull. 

Had it not been for their enormous lead at the top of a very uncompetitive American League West division, they would have been overtaken and denied the first trip to postseason play since 1999. 

The Rangers are outmatched by a far superior Tampa Bay Rays squad. 

The two main weapons which the Rangers possess, Cliff Lee and Josh Hamilton, have a lot of questions hovering over their abilities.

The Rays have faced off against Cliff Lee three times this season and have defeated Lee in all three of his starts; Hamilton just recently came off the Disabled List and thus, his offensive productivity remains quite unknown. 

In a best-of-five division series, teams with experience and a solid pitching rotation can easily dominate.

Tampa Bay is only two years removed from a trip to the World Series. With most of that team still on board, Tampa Bay has the clear advantage on experience.

Tampa Bay has the best team ERA among the four American League playoff teams. With potential AL Cy Young Award winner David Price and a no-hit wonder from this season, Matt Garza, backing him up in the rotation, Tampa Bay has the clear advantage on pitching. 

As mentioned earlier, this will be a sweep.


Prediction: Twins will defeat the Yankees three games to one. 

The New York Yankees are the defending World Series champions. There is an old saying that the champs remain the champs until somebody can muster enough strength to defeat them. 

The Twins clearly are that somebody. 

The key difference between these two teams is pitching. The Yankees have a clumsy pitching staff while the Twins boast of one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. 

Minnesota’s bullpen features three relievers who have closed games this season, whether for the Twins or for another franchise before being traded to the Twins in the middle of the year (Matt Capps, Jon Rauch, and Brian Fuentes). Collectively, these three pitchers saved 87 games this season!

Contrast the stellar bullpen of the Twins to the shaky, uncertain starting rotation for the New York Yankees: Andy Pettitte has had a shaky second-half for the Yankees; Phil Hughes, who had a fabulous first half, was rendered very ineffective in the months of August and September.

As for the potential Game 1 starter for the Bronx Bombers, CC Sabathia arguably is one of the worst postseason pitchers active in the game today. 

Just ask the Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers how Sabathia performed in October.

I trust you that “stellar” would be absent in their diatribes unless it was preceded by a “not.”


Prediction: Rays will defeat the Twins four games to two. 

The key for this matchup is home-field advantage.

The Twins record on the road is 41-40, which is decent but is the weakest of all six division winners, except the Texas Rangers; another key is fundamental baseball. 

Although both teams boast great pitching, with the Rays boasting a stellar starting rotation and the Twins boasting a stellar bullpen, the tiebreaker will be how well these clubs can play “small ball” and manufacture the crucial runs. 

This is a category that benefits the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays led all of MLB in stolen bases with a whopping 171.

The Twins finished in 25th place out of the 30 MLB teams in that category with an abysmal 67! Ouch! That is a colossal gap in a vital category.

Since the Rays have home-field advantage for this matchup, they would host the first two games and grab an early two game lead.

The Twins may manage to take two of three at home but the deciding Game 6 would be back in Tampa Bay with the same result occurring: a Rays victory. 

For the second time in three years, the Tamp Bay Rays will win the American League pennant.

The Tampa Bay Rays will win the AL Pennant!


Prediction: Phillies will defeat the Reds three games to none—this will be a sweep.

Statistically, the Reds do not appear to be poorly matched against the Phillies. After all, the Reds led the entire National League in homeruns. 

However, there is an old adage in baseball: Great Pitching Always Beats Great Hitting! 

The Reds, unfortunately, were leaders among all four National League playoff teams in another category this season: Strikeouts! 

Cincinnati hitters struck out 1,214 times in contrast to the Philadelphia Phillies who whiffed only 1,056 times, good for 14th fewest out of 16 National League teams this season! 

Thus, the discipline of four-time defending National League East division champion Philadelphia hitters remains far superior to the postseason novices in Cincinnati. 

In addition, in a best-of-five series, if a starting rotation for any team features Roy Halladay (2003 Cy Young Award winner with Toronto), Cole Hamels (2008 NLCS MVP with Philadelphia), and Roy Oswalt (2005 NLCS MVP with Houston), that team is well anchored for an easy sweep.


Prediction: Giants will defeat the Braves three games to two.

This series will be a nail-biter between two evenly matched teams.

For goodness sake, they both have the exact same team batting average (.257)! 

As for pitching, both teams boasted tremendous team ERA numbers.

Atlanta posted a 3.56 team ERA, which usually was enough to lead the National League in seasons past; however, San Francisco posted a far better 3.38 team ERA to lead all of Major League Baseball. 

With a pitching rotation that includes Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, and Matt Cain, the Giants possess a slight advantage over the Atlanta Braves, who only seem to have Tim Hudson and possibly Derek Lowe to counter. 

Due to this slight advantage, this series will drag out to five games; however, with San Francisco hosting that deciding Game 5, the Giants will defeat the Braves to secure their spot in the NLCS.


Prediction: Phillies will defeat the Giants four games to one.

This NLCS matchup is a terrible mismatch of epic proportions. 

Offensively, Philadelphia led San Francisco in practically every single hitting category; on pitching, the seasoned rotation that the Phillies possess dwarfs any stellar elements in the San Francisco staff. 

This truly is a League Championship Series where one team is clearly superior and the other team is clearly inferior. For the third consecutive year, the Philadelphia Phillies will win the NLCS and compete in the World Series!!!

The Philadelphia Phillies will win the NL Pennant!


Prediction: Phillies will defeat the Rays four games to two.

This World Series will be a rematch of the 2008 World Series. 

In that series, the Phillies defeated the Rays in five games (four games to one). Both clubs today feature many of the players that competed in that series. 

The result will not be much different this year. 

David Price will be a worthy foe to the spectacular pitching rotation of the Philadelphia Phillies. But beyond Price, Philadelphia seems to have enough offensive weapons to defeat Garza and the rest of the Tampa Bay rotation. 

The player to watch in this series will be Jayson Werth, right-fielder for the Phillies who finished the season with 26 homeruns and a .296 batting average. Werth usually bats behind Ryan Howard in the batting order. An effective postseason for Werth will prohibit any attempt by pitchers to intentionally walk Ryan Howard. 

A Phillies victory in the World Series depends on the offensive production of Werth, who should take home the MVP trophy for the Fall Classic if he succeeds.

One further note, for the first time since “This Time It Counts” began in 2003 for the Midsummer Classic, the National League team will host the World Series. Thus, Philadelphia will open the World Series at home for the first two games and the eventual deciding Game 6. This fact also helps the prediction of a Philadelphia triumph in the World Series.

The Philadelphia Phillies will win the 2010 World Series!

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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