Should we do a real one of these arbitrary exercises this time? What the hell:
Tigers v. The Fucking Yankees: Oddly, of my 2012 predictions the one that produced the most criticism was not one of the many I got wrong but one I got right: namely, that the Tigers, while the best team of a poor division, were being massively overrated. The good news is that the Detroit’s lack of depth is a little less damaging in a short series, and you can argue that the difference between the teams in this context is a little less than the 70 or so runs that separated them in the regular season. I think in the abstract I’d rather have the Tigers starter in every matchup in the series except Sanchez/Kuroda, although whether I’d prefer the Tiger starter when I also have to take the hideous Tiger defense is a more complicated question. So I’m picking the Yankees for two reasons: there offense is better 1-9, and (especially) their bullpen is much better. YANKEES IN SIX.
Giants v. Cardinals Although it was hidden because Reds ran away with the Central, only the Yankees, Rays, and Nats had a better run differential than the Cardinals this year. Carlos Beltran, already cited yesterday, was a classic smart Cardinals move, and I was happy to the the most underrated player of his generation reward them with an excellent year. The Giants are still a pretty good team, better offensively and with worse pitching than their World Championship team. But although I’m not crazy about the St. Louis rotation, I still like the Cards and their much more powerful offense. CARDINALS IN FIVE.