Ah, September. Who cannot love this month? The air is getting crisper, football has begun and the MLB playoff picture is shaping up. If teams do not blow 4-6 games leads with 10 games left, then here is an early look at divisional round match-ups:
Arizona (87-65) @ *Philadelphia (98-52)
^Atlanta (87-65) @ Milwaukee (89-63)
^Atlanta will most likely finish with the same, if not a better record than Arizona, but since Hot Lanta plays in the East, they will have to settle for the Wild Card.
*Clinched NL East
^St. Louis can also creep in if Atlanta collapses….but I do not see this happening. ATL’s pen is too strong.
Arizona (92-70) – By far Arizona has the easiest end of season schedule of any club in the playoff hunt facing Pittsburgh and the Dodgers. However, look for San Fran to throw their big three at them and perhaps make up some ground and possibly win the west. Hopefully ‘Zona does not let this happen and they reveal the Giants for who they really were last year: A fluke, a one-hit wonder and a garbage hitting squad who got hot.
Philadelphia (106-56) – With the most games still to be played, look for the Phils to finish with a franchise record of wins. But sorry Philly, even though I have you winning the last 8 of 12, I think you will fall short of the milestone 108 wins. But who cares, you will rest your guys and come out strong in the playoffs
Milwaukee (96-66) – Look for the Brewers to finish strong with a sweep of Cincy today and finishing their season strong with series wins @ Cubs and vs. Florida and Pittsburgh.
Atlanta (92-70) – Hot Lanta should finish the year with a split in wins. Even though they play the Nats and the Marlins, look for them to loose one of those series. The Philly series is a toss up. I’d love to say Philadelphia will take 2 of 3, but the last series of the season could see players rested. Atlanta will also work hard for that final push to make sure they lock up the Wild Card.
First Round Match-Ups:
Arizona @ Philadelphia
These two teams have split their decisions in the regular season, with strong home performances by Arizona’s Kennedy and Saunders. However, when the the D-Backs came into Philadelphia, they picked up a big win against Roy Toy Halladay, but their big two mentioned previously could not get it done. Look for the fans and the Philly October chill to be a factor in this one.
Kennedy vs Halladay
Saunders vs Lee
Hudson vs Hamels
Atlanta @ Milwaukee
Surprisingly, Atlanta is 5-3 in their meetings with the Brew Crew this year. However, these games were all played before May 6th, where the Brewers went a dismal 16-18. Now they have not only two MVP candidates in Fielder and Braun but Greinke is in the running for the NL Cy Young. If the Brewers can get ahead early and stay away from that Atlanta pen, they should have no problem in a sweep of the Braves.
Brewers win in 3.
Hudson vs Greinke
Lowe vs Gallardo
*Beachy vs Marcum
*Jurrjens will more than likely not return for the end of the season.
Come back soon and check out Mr. K’s entire National League play-off predictions when each team is locked in a spot.