Gamblers take note: a proven, long-run strategy sure to pay off is to find out what I think and bet the other way. With that caveat in mind, here are my predictions for the MLB Playoffs.
NLDS: Phillies over Reds in 5. I don't think the Reds are going to roll over just because they're facing good pitchers, but that staff does give Philadelphia a decisive advantage. Still want to see how Chapman does against the contingent of Philly left-handed batters.
Giants over Braves in 4. If the Giants are up 2-1 heading into Game 4, will Bochy pitch Timmy Lincecum on short rest? I think these are two flawed teams, especially if the Giants go with Guillen and Burrell in the OF, but the Braves are missing too many of their pieces.
ALDS: Rangers over Rays in 4. Which injured star will contribute more to his team, Hamilton or Longoria? Probably more important is whether Cliff Lee or David Price is the more dominant starter. Both have had previous success in October, but Price's was as a reliever.
Yankees over Twins in 5. Really tempted to go with my heart and pick the Twins, especially now that they finally have the home-field advantage. I do think Liriano will out-pitch Sabathia tonight, but I don't think the Twins can batter Pettite and Hughes as badly as the Yankees can batter Pavano and Blackburn.
NLCS: Giants over Phillies in 6. The Giants have the best bullpen ERA of all eight playoff teams, and the Phillies have the worst. I think that makes a huge difference in this series. Also, I hate Philadelphia.
ALCS: Yankees over Rangers in 6. If this matchup comes to fruition I think the Yankees would be smart to start Sabathia in games not started by Cliff Lee. As much as that would rob the fans of a spectacular matchup, I expect Lee to be brilliant in hopes of securing his free-agent deal with the Yankees, and the Bombers can not afford to waste Sabathia starts.
World Series: Giants over Yankees in 5. Starting pitching depth and middle relief strongly favor the Giants. Likely a non-factor, but the NL will have home-field since it finally won an All-Star game.