In a way, it’s easy to know who to root for this postseason — anyone but the Yankees. But arranging your rooting interests around hating the Yankees isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sure, I know to root for the A’s because they have a much better shot of beating the Yanks in the ALCS, but what about the National League?
I’d like to root for the D-Backs because they proved last year they could crush Yankee dreams, but they are too banged up this year to really make a run at it. Their starting pitching (after Schilling and Johnson) is even weaker than it was last year, and Byung Hyung-Kim shows no signs of being more consistent or reliable than last fall.
So then I should root for the Cardinals against the Diamondbacks, right? Well, no, because the Cardinals are actually good enough to beat the Braves, who with their pitching really should have the best shot at beating the Yankees from the N.L. With starter Woody Williams now out for the first round and potentially for the rest of the postseason and closer Jason Isringhausen fragile, it’s hard to believe that the Cardinals could compete with the Yanks when it comes to pitching.
Hopefully, the Angels will do us all a favor and get rid of the Yanks in the first round. That would be oh, so sweet. Now — who will win? The A’s and Braves have to be seen as the favorites because of their outstanding pitching, the best in their respective leagues. The Yankees find ways to win, though, as they did in the 8th inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Angels.
And the Braves find ways to lose before getting to the Series. I’d love to see the Giants win, and I’d especially love for Barry to have a good playoff run. The Cardinals’ lineup may be formidable enough to carry
them all the way, though their lefty-dominated order would definitely suffer against the A’s Mulder and Zito, not to mention the Yankees’ Pettitte and Wells.
For now, I’m picking the A’s to win the American League and the Cardinals to win the National League. The Braves are already down 1-0 in their series and the Cardinals are oh, so hot. As are the Giants, but Ortiz, Schmidt, et. al. cannot contain the Cardinal bats. But the Cardinals won’t be able to hit against the A’s, who will win it all. (I think. For now. At this moment. We’ll see.) It should be fun!