2010 MLB Playoffs, possible upsets & no Chip Caray

 

The calendar has finally turned to October, which evokes thoughts of cool weather, pumpkins, homecoming and – most importantly – the MLB playoffs.  Say what you will about the seemingly ponderous regular season, but the postseason has featured some riveting games the past few years, and this season should be no exception.  On top of it all, viewers won’t have to be subjected to Chip Caray’s horrible play-by-play on TBS anymore.

With that being said, we would like to point out some things that the mainstream media won’t tell you about the playoffs.  Here are three fearless predictions/ things to watch for:

1. Everyone wants and expects a Phillies-Yankees rematch, but don’t count on it.

Yes, the Northeast-centric media and Fox executives would drool over this potential World Series.  But the fact of the matter is this – before last year, the last time both favorites headed into the playoffs was 1999, when the Yankees faced the Braves.  (2001 does not count, because the 116-win Seattle Mariners were the favorites in the AL).  So the odds are against a 2009 rematch; don’t be shocked if an underdog wins the pennant.

2. Don’t underestimate the Giants and Rays.

Everyone is fawning over the Phillies top three starting pitchers (Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels), but have you forgotten about the trio in San Francisco?  Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez aren’t too shabby, and don’t count out the suddenly resurrected Barry Zito.  As for the Rays, they had the most wins in the AL, and only one less than the Phillies.  They have a solid trio of starting pitchers (David Price, Matt Garza and James Shields), and Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria are dangerous at the plate.

3. A Rays-Giants World Series would cause Fox “suits” to cringe.

While it would likely be a good match-up, would anyone watch outside of the two respective Bay areas?  Thanks to the New York and Philadelphia markets, the 2009 Series was the most-watched in five years, and had a 39% increase in viewership over the 2008 Phillies-Rays Series – the largest year-over-year increase ever.  Bottom line: the most Phillies and Yankees fans outside of their home cities will be in the Fox headquarters in Los Angeles.

While this space is not usually a forum for predictions or “homer-ism,” it would be amusing if the Rays and Giants faced off in the Fall Classic.  Look on the bright side – at least we wouldn’t have to endure Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

But then who would watch November baseball?

More MLB:

National League Playoff Schedule – NLDS

American League Playoff Schedule – ALDS

Braves Clinch on Final Day – Sports Climax

Used with permission of the author.

Chris Lardieri also covers the NFL for Sports Climax and the Los Angeles Dodgers for Examiner.com.  He has written about Major League Baseball for Inside Edge, a scouting company that provides content to ESPN Insider and Yahoo Sports. He previously wrote for 1766, the Rutgers Alumni Magazine, and popular blog, ‘The Outer Loop’.  Be sure to follow Chris on Twitter for more MLB and sports observations

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