Tuesday, October 03, 2006

BFT's Fearless ALDS and NLDS Picks!

by Alan Eliot et al.

You've made it. Phew. A hearty congratulations to you, rabid baseball fan. Having to wade through a day without a single baseball game to preoccupy your time (the first time that's happened since the all-star break), you were left, perplexed. Now what?

We hope you used the time wisely to remove yourself from your TV/computer, and to get some sun. You look a little pale. We hope you caught up with friends, family. They miss you.

Because today, the official first day of the postseason, you're staying in. Three back-to-back-to-back contests between baseball's best teams. You've been waiting all year for this. And we have too.

So we, the columnists of BFT, got together (read: group email), and through diligent research and thoughtful analysis (read: wild hunches; dice-rolling; rock-paper-scissors), made our picks for the winners of those series starting today. Here they are, in writing. No turning back now.

1. Oakland A's at Minnesota Twins - series start time (estimated) 1:00 PM EST

Douglas Silversten ("The Big Picture", alternate Mondays):
Oakland in 5. "Best overall matchup. Why am I picking the A's? Flipped a coin, came up heads for A's."
Alan Eliot ("The Stories We Tell", alternate Tuesdays):
Minnesota in 5. "While Oakland had a fine year, they will be no match for Minnesota's stellar pitching. Indeed, they have proven allergic to first rounds in the past. Home field advantage plus Santana = ALCS for Twins."
Scott Silversten ("Age of Reason", every Thursday):
Minnesota in 5. "History has shown that the Twins win postseason series in which they hold home-field advantage."
Matt Sandler ("The Critical Fan", alternate Fridays):
"I pick Minnesota, I think Santana will finally be enough to get them through a first round, along with their great young hitters."
Michael Carlucci ("Yankee Diary", alternate Mondays):
Minnesota in 5. "Too much Santana and too much Metrodome."
Jeremy Bird ("Bird's Eye View", alternate Tuesdays):
Minnesota in 4. "Minnesota is the hottest team in baseball with the best pitcher in the
game right now. If they had Liriano healthy, they would win the World
Series for sure."
Sam Sowl ("Sowl's Surmisings", alternate Wednesdays):
Minnesota in 5. "If Santana pitches twice, this series is over. The only hope for Oakland is if Frank Thomas explodes, making up for lost time in last year's playoffs."
Rob Hyman ("The Weekend Warrior", alternate Fridays):
Minnesota in 4.

2. St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres - series start time (estimated) 4:00 PM EST

Doug: Cardinals in 4. "Should be a good series."
Alan: Padres in 3. "Neither of these teams is impressive. Can you imagine how the playoff picture would look had the Astros (and their starting staff) made it instead of the Cards? People's picks would be very, very different."
Scott: Cardinals in 4. "The fact that the Cardinals struggled through the last two weeks of the season will have no bearing on this series. Why? That's baseball."
Matt: "I pick San Diego. St. Louis is a very flawed team. I pick SD for their better overall pitching, especially in the bullpen."
Michael: Padres in 4. "I'll just say that basically the only playoff team less impressive than the Tigers is the Cardinals."
Jeremy: Cardinals in 5. "The Cardinals are lucky. They should not even be playing in October
(four teams in the AL who did NOT make the playoffs had better records). They have the worst record of any playoff team, and yet somehow they will beat the Padres. Carpenter can win two games and Pujols will win the third."
Sam: Cardinals in 4. "Pujols has the ability to win games on his own, as we saw last year. The Padres have no business in the NLCS, and Tony LaRussa will make sure of that."
Rob: Cardinals in 5.

3. Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees - series start time (estimated) 8:00 PM EST

Doug: Yankees in 3. "Opposite of A's/Twins...biggest mismatch on paper. Anything can happen in a short series, but an upset here would for me be the biggest surprise in the first round. Yankee lineup is incredible. Tiger's pitching is not."
Alan: Yankees in 3. "Playoff experience and a lineup that can put up double-digit runs every game (which they made need). Yankee-haters, pray for a miracle."
Scott: Tigers in 4. "They won't be the walk-over most suspect. if the Tigers can steal game one with their no. 4 starter on the mound, the Yankees could be in serious trouble."
Matt: "I pick the Yankees. this historic lineup is just too talented to contain."
Michael: Yankees in 4. "The Yankees' overwhelming offense will prove too much for the free-falling Tigers."
Jeremy: Yankees in 4. "The Yankees' pitching is suspect at best but the Tigers have lost
their gas. Detroit will put up a fight but the Yanks just have too much bought talent and the bloated payroll will overwhlem Detroit."
Sam: Yankees in 3. "Why is Detroit even in the playoffs? Only Chicago's offense could have attempted to match the Yankees' unstoppable lineup."
Rob: Yankees in 3.

Come back Wednesday before the games to check our Mets/Dodgers fearless predictions, along with World Series picks, and more!

Alan Eliot's column, "The Stories We Tell", appears alternate Tuesdays

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