2006 ALCS & NLCS
Mets in 6
The Mets entered the NLDS with questions surrounding their starting rotation, and with the exception of Tom Glavine those were not answered. Instead what emerged was a strategy of quick hooks from Manager Willie Randolph, and relying on the bullpen. With a 3-game sweep of the Dodgers it worked. However, it was truly the Mets offense that carried the day as they scored 19 runs in three games, but best of all they did it with a balanced line up, and hits with runners on base as they only had two home runs. Meanwhile the Cardinals who came into the NLDS sputtering easily knocked off the Padres in four games as they limited they allowed just 6 runs in 4 games, with Chris Carpenter winning twice. The Cardinals staff won’t be able to do that with the Mets as the Mets line up has been one of the best and deepest in baseball all year. A deepness the Cardinals are also lacking as Scott Rolen struggled in the NLDS while Jim Edmonds is still just getting hack from a concussion leaving just Albert Pujols to truly worry about. Expect a high scoring series but in the end those late innings will make the difference as the Mets pen is better, and in the end they will make the difference as the Mets win the series in 6 games with Carlos Beltran winning NLCS MVP.
Athletics in 7
Neither team was expected to get here the Athletics were not given much of a chance against the surging Twins while the Tigers were thought to be pushover for the Yankees. Both teams have solid starting pitching and a feeling of magic after the ALDS. Look for many close low scoring games as the Tigers young arms and the A’s always solid pitchers look horns. While the Tigers middle relief could give them the edge, Huston Street is more reliable closer then Todd Jones, and in the postseason the closer could make the difference. Look for home field to play a big role in this series as the A’s will have trouble winning in Detroit, while the Tigers struggle by the bay. In the end it will be Barry Zito winning two big games in the series as he captures ALCS MVP honors while the Athletics and money ball head to center stage by bouncing the Tigers in a hard fought 7 game series.