My Phillies went off and got themselves eliminated from the National League Wild Card. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to have fun by playing God here and predicting who will become top dog for the 2003 season.
First, with only a few games in the regular season to go, there is only one playoff spot so far undecided. The NL Central division. Right now the Cubs and Astros are right there and it could go either way. I am going to guess that the Cubs take it. Hell, they deserve it.
So this is how the standings should look at the end of the season.
NL East: Atlanta Braves
NL Central: Chicago Cubs (with the possibility of Houston)
NL West: San Francisco Giants
NL Wild Card: Florida Marlins
AL East: New York Yankees (surprise)
AL Central: Minnesota Twins
AL West: Oakland Atheletics
AL Wild Card: Boston Red Socks
In the five game division series, Atlanta will play either Chicago or Houston. San Fransico will play Florida. New York and Minnesota will face off, as will Oakland and Boston.
Atlanta vs Chicago/Houston: Atlanta will have home field advantage (as if they need it) regardless which team they face. I would personally love to see either team beat Atlanta, however, Atlanta will take it in four games.
San Francisco vs Florida: San Francisco has the home field advantage here. San Francisco has the better team, in my opinion, however Florida has the momentum. They’ve been going back in forth in the wild card for the past two months and just plowed over teams to finally take it from the Phillies. They’re on an adrenaline high and don’t really know what they’re in for, which will probably make it easier. I still have to pick San Francisco, however. It will take all five games to decide.
New York vs Minnesota: New York is admitedly has not dominated this year like past years. But they’re still winners. And it wouldn’t be a post season with out them. And they have home field advantage. Minnesota has steadily grown stronger over the past number of years as Cleveland has loosened their grip on the division, and completely let go two years ago. It will take all five games to decide, and game five will be close. But New York will waltz away with it.
Oakland vs Boston: Boston is a strong team for a wild card pick. However, they also have historically proven to be losers. The Boston fans are just crossing their fingers hoping for the best, yet knowing that their team always chokes. That said, I still think Boston will take it in five games. At the moment, Oakland is in line to have home field advangae, however, that could change as the two teams have similar records.
The league championship series are seven games in length, if needed.
Atlanta vs San Francisco: Again, Atlanta has home field advantage. And they are a team who knows how to win. With how they’ve performed all season, I have to pick them to take San Fransico here. It will take six games to decide.
New York vs Boston: Even with NY having home field advantage, I think Boston will encourage their fans yet another series by keeping it close. And they’ll cheer when Boston pulls it out. Watch the Yankee’s defeat be followed by numberous firings and a rebuild of the team in the off season.
Which brings us down to two teams Boston vs Atlanta. Despite Atlanta having the better record, Boston will have home field advantage thanks to the All Star Game “finally meaning something.” Regardless, Atlanta will come and conquer Boston in five games.
Of course, these predictions mean squat. Things happen. Upsets occur. So don’t take my word for it!