Baseball Examiner 2005 Playoff Predictions

 

National League

San Diego Padres (82-80) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (100-62)

Phil's Take

Based on wins and losses the Cardinals are clearly the better team and should win easily, but this is the playoffs. The Padres have a great mixture of youth and experience and are finally getting healthy. The Cardinals on the other hand are experienced but banged up. Sanders and Edmonds are not 100 percent. Scott Rolen and Al Reyes are gone. The pitching outside of Carpenter was not as good as its ERA would suggest and the offense without Pujols is lost. With veterans Brian Giles and Trevor Hoffman along with young ace Jake Peavy, the Padres have enough to pull out a win in a short series.

Padres in 5

 

 

Chuck's Take

Many think the Padres don't belong and that this series will be a cakewalk for the Cardinals. It will not be as easy for St. Louis as people think. The Padres are not a bad baseball team. The Padres will not get run over and demolished. The Padres will not be an embarrassment to baseball...But the Padres will not win this series. The Padres have a few good bats in the lineup and Jake Peavy is a legitimate #1 starter for a playoff team, but the Cardinals have too much fire power and a deeper rotation.

Cardinals in 4

 

 

Houston Astros (89-73) vs. Atlanta Braves (90-72)

Phil's Take

The Braves are in much the same position as they are in every season. Winning the division with consistent and steady performances everyday, but ill prepared for the playoffs. Pitching is a concern for Atlanta with Smoltz ailing, Hudson struggling a bit, and the closer position unproven. The offense is a concern as well outside of Andrew and Chipper Jones.  Houston on the other hand is built for the post season. With Clemens, Oswalt, and Pettitte, their starters matchup favorably with anyone. Throw in Lidge at the end and there will be enough pitching to overcome their offensive woes against the Braves.

Astros in 5

 

Chuck's Take

The Astros are again a hot team as the playoffs arrive. Will Morgan Ensberg be able to continue as a power threat? He and Berkman will have to keep up with the Jones', Chipper and Andruw. Houston has a better 1-2-3 punch with starting pitching, but will the Astros actually score a run for Roger Clemens' start? By the way, John Smoltz is one of the best clutch playoff pitchers in the history of baseball. Perhaps the most exciting series of the first round, each game could be a close battle.

Astros in 5

 

 

American League

Boston Red Sox (95-67) vs. Chicago White Sox (99-63)

Phil's Take

This series is tough to call. Chicago had the best record in the AL but they have barely been better than a .500 team since getting off to a fast start. Their pitching has not been as dominate as it was early in the year and their offense just wonít be enough, even against a beat up Boston staff. Add to that an inexperienced closer and Chicago is in trouble. With their lineup and with Curt Schilling ready to go Boston will be tough to beat in the postseason.

Red Sox in 5

 

Chuck's Take

These teams have more opposites than simply the color of their stockings. Boston's bats are powerful, questions linger with their pitching. Chicago's pitchers have been remarkable this season, their questions roam with the offense. Chicago's late-season swoon showed some of their vulnerabilities. But they have a breath of fresh air and Boston won't be able to find any good fresh arm to send out on the mound.

White Sox in 5

 

New York Yankees (95-67) vs. Los Angeles Angels (95-67)

Phil's Take

The problems are already beginning to surface in New York. Reports that Yankees are mad that Texas pulled its starters early in the seasonís final game costing them home field are visible cracks. If the Yankees were good enough, they would have beaten Boston on the final day and would not have had to rely on Texas to beat the Angels. The Yankee dynasty comes to an end here.  Their pitching just will not hold up against the Angels and their bats will fall prey LAís power arms. The Angels will avenge last year.

Angels in 4

 

Chuck's Take

The Angels will not be able to shut down the Yankees lineup. And nobody wants to face Randy Johnson who, despite much criticism for not being Randy Johnson-like, has still put together a very strong season. But other than Mussina, no other Yankee threw as many as 120 innings. The Angels lineup will not be able to keep up with the Yankees' bats. But their pitchers will keep them in it for as much as they can handle. The Yankees are playing very well and could be on their way to another World Series despite such a disappointing start to the season. But the magic of Small and Wang runs out here.

Angels in 5

 

 

 

Beyond the First Round

Phil's Take

 

Astros over Padres in 6

Red Sox over Angels in 7

 

 

 

Astros over Red Sox in 6

 

Chuck's Take

 

Cardinals over Astros in 6

Angels over White Sox in 5

 

 

Cardinals over Angels in 5