AL Division series
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The matchup should be a good one. You have Cliff Lee against David Price. You have Josh Hamilton against Evan Longoria. You have the underdog against the underdog.
But the truth is that the Rays have been here before, while the Rangers are new to the October experience. Lee can easily drive a team to the World Series, but the Rays have the home-field advantage.
Texas was 0-12 on the road against the three other teams in the postseason, and Lee can only pitch twice. If B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria get hot, the Rangers will need to outslug the Rays. But, the Rays have a 3.78 ERA from the regular season, which is the best among any contender.
Rays in four
New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins
The Yankees are the defending World Series champions. They have one of the best pitchers in the American League with C.C. Sabathia. They have one of the best closers ever in Mariano Rivera. They have a lineup stacked with All-stars and players with postseason and championship experience.
The Twins were one of the hottest teams in September, and they hold home-field advantage. They don’t beat themselves, but the Yankees committed fewer errors. So, how can the Twins pull off the series win?
Minnesota finds ways to win, and they are facing a Yankees team that limped into the playoffs. If you were going to have a chance to dethrone the champs, this is it.
With Jim Thome’s left-handed power and a home crowd behind them, I think the Twins pull off the upset. The Yankees have rotation troubles after Sabathia, and Phil Hughes or Andy Pettite will have to pitch twice with Sabathia.
Twins in five