While you’re browsing the ESPN Experts & Writers Picks of the 2010 Postseason, you might want to tune in here. We anticipate this to be the best postseason in the past decade due to the young stars involved in each series as well as the evenly matched teams in all four series.
In this round last year, we had some major success. In fact over the course of the last few postseasons, we’ve really had a lot of success in general of picking how it’s going to play out. If you listened to our podcast the last two nights, you know our picks. If you didn’t have the chance to listen in to the LDS Preview Shows, you’ll find out our picks now.
Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants: Giants over Braves in 4 games
Bobby Cox’s last ride into the sunset. The Braves seem like a depleted team to me having to play this series without not only Chipper Jones but also Martin Prado. They expended so much to get to this point. The Giants run out such a scary pitching staff and the Braves enter the playoffs on merely fumes.
It would be a great story for the Braves to knock off the Giants as underdogs and get Bobby Cox and Jason Heyward a shot at the NLCS, but it isn’t in the cards. It was a tremendous feat for the Braves to just be part of this postseason field; outlasting similarly talented teams like the Rockies, Cardinals, and Padres.
In the end the team with the better lineup and better pitching staff (not to mention home-field advantage) moves on. The Giants have nothing but flamethrowers in their ‘bully that you’re about to be introduced to. Keep your eye on Rookie of the Year hopefuls Heyward and Buster Posey in this series.
New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins: Yankees in 5 games
The mighty Yankees enter a series where way too many casual fans are dismissing the Minnesota Twins; owners of the best record in the American League and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Similar to the Philadelphia Phillies (more on this later), these Yankees look unbeatable on the surface but are not the perennial murderer’s row that they’ve been in the past. Many of these Yankees have suffered through struggles this season and the Twins are much better this year in several areas (lineup, bullpen) than they’ve been in the past when they have been a quick first round exit.
Carl Pavano will get the ball in game five and have a chance to exercise his demons against his old team. This is going to be a very tight series but in the end the Yankees hold the Twins off because of experience; even though we hate saying it. This one is going to the brink for both teams though.
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Rays in 4 games
I picked the Tampa Rays to go all the way before the season started. They’re the most talented team in the playoffs although they enter this series as banged up as their opponent, the exciting Texas Rangers.
I like the Rays bullpen just a little bit better as well as their ability to be aggressive and take extra bases on the basepaths.
Josh Hamilton’s questionable health doesn’t help matters for the Rangers as well as Cliff Lee being 0-4 this season against the Rays. This is the last running of the bulls for the Rays and they know that. The window somewhat closes after this season; and the urgency will be visible from the first pitch.
This is a series where you could see 1-0 shutouts to 12-11 slug-fests. It’s a shame that MLB puts this series on as the early game each time these two teams play in the postseason because it’s going to be a tremendous series showcasing so many talents.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Philles: Reds over Phillies in 5 games
Full preview withheld until later today.