Ah, its the month of October, College Football is in full swing and the baseball playoffs are at the pinnicle of their season. Typically, we should be sitting back watching our beloved Yankees winning another championship. Unfortunately, it is not the case this year and hurts the pre-season prediction of a Yankees vs Cards World Series.
However, the Cards did make it and are facing off against a tough bunch of youngsters from Detroit. In looking round at the "experts" predictions Detroit should simply walk away with the series. Take a look:
WhatIfSports.com St. Louis 4 – 1 (computer simulation)
FOX Ken Rosenthal St. Louis 4 – 3
FOX Dayn Perry Detroit
FOX Kevin Kennedy Detroit 4 – 2
SI.Com John Donovan Detroit 4 – 2
CBS Scott Miller Detroit 4 – 0
CBS Charlie McCarthy Detroit 4 – 1
CBS Adriane Rosen Detroit 4 – 1
CBS Eric Mack Detroit 4 – 2
ESPN Steve Phillips Detroit 4 – 1
ESPN Buster Olney Detroit 4 – 1
ESPN Jim Caple Detroit 4 – 1
ESPN Jerry Crasnick Detroit 4 – 2
ESPN Keith Law Detroit 4 – 1
SPORTING NEWS Stan McNeal St. Louis 4 – 2
SPORTING NEWS Tom Gatto Detroit 4 – 1
SPORTING NEWS Chris Bahr Detroit 4 – 3
SPORTING NEWS Kyle Veltrop Detroit 4 – 2
SPORTING NEWS Ryan Fagan St. Louis 4 – 3
SPORTING NEWS Erin Farrell St. Louis 4 – 2
MLB.COM Mike Bauman Detroit 4 – 2
MSNBC.COM Tony DeMarco Detroit 4 –2
USA TODAY Bob Nightengale Detroit 4 – 0
AP News Detroit 4 -2
Basically it came down to this
Detroit wins in 5 – predicted by 7
Detroit wins in 6 – predicted by 7
St. Louis wins in 6 – predicted by 2
St. Louis wins in 7 – predicted by 2
Detroit wins in 4 – predicted by 2
St. Louis wins in 5 – predicted by 1
Detroit wins in 7 – predicted by 1
St. Louis wins in 4 – predicted by nobody
Essentially, Detroit was predicted to win by 18 "experts" with St. Louis getting the call only five times, one of which was a computer simulation. And its not hard to pick on those "experts" who selected Detroit to win. First, they took out our vaunted offense of our Yankees 3 games to 1. They then mowed down Oakland in four straight games. The Tigers were also one of the hottest teams of the year, minus September.
St. Louis on the other hand did a pretty good job manhandling a tough San Diego group and then took out the NL’s best team in a life or death cage match against the Mets. The Cardinals were lucky to even be in the playoffs let alone the World Series. Lucky for them they play in the worst division in baseball. Their pitching outside of Carpenter was something you’d see out of a Texas Chainsaw movie and yet, they found a way to sneak into the World Series.
So when making my prediction, who do I go with. The majority of the experts or streak along my own path? Before the playoffs I often said the AL wins the series reguardless because the NL just cannot compete. This pretty much stuck in my mind right up until the Cards knocked out the Mets. It was then something happened. I am not sure what it was, but for some reason, it just seemed like the winds shifted. **** might have gotten quite a bit colder and a blue moon must have appeared, because for the first time during this entire season, I have to side with the NL and those pesky "shouldn’t be there" Cards.
I have five good reasons to justify why.
1. The Tigers are coming of a 7-day vacation. I know everybody will say the Tigers will be well rested and their young pitchers would benefit the most from the time off. I say, it ruins a perfectly good momentum swing. Simply, its too much time. Maybe they should have let the A’s win a couple instead of embarrasing them.
2. The Cards have Albert Pujols, a superstar in the middle of his prime and who could very well win his second MVP in a row this year. The Tigers have some good players, but nobody of a Pujols caliber. Players like Pujols shine on the big stage and often times are the key ingredient to winning a championship. Just like Derek Jeter for the Yankees. These players carry a special something.
3. The Cards actually have pitching outside of Carpenter. Who would have thought that trouble make Ponson and former Yankee mud flop Weaver would seem to find their game just at the right time. These two have been actually better than Carpenter who lost both of his games against the Mets. Where was this Weaver back during the Boston series? Then, you’d think the cards would be hurting when their All-Star closer goes down for the season and yet Wainwright seems to be the next big thing. Go figure! The fact is, while the Tigers have that amazing staff, the Cards pitchers seem to be a roll and momentum is a key in October.
4. Tigers offense was not really all that special to begin with. Sure they started out fast, but you know they hit a wall when they decided to trade for Sean Casey and send Chris Shelton down to AAA. Its about this time, the Tigers decided to try and survive on the homerun ball rather than driving up pitch counts and getting players on base. They were lucky the Yankees bats seem to dissappear during the first round, because there was no way the Tiger bats would have been able to keep up. The Tiger bats were quiet against the A’s who we all know have no bats outside of the Big Hurt. The fact is, the Cards offense is better than the Tigers and when Ponson and Weaver decided to become the big time pitchers everybody talked about at the beginning of their careers, the Tigers were finished.
5. Tony LaRussa. Yeah I know the Tigers have that other old guy, but lets face it, LaRussa is still the better Mgr. of the two. The fact he kept the Cards from imploding at about 162 different points during the season is amazing. Sure they won only 83 games and they played in a horrible division, but what counts is in the playoffs and the Cards were ready and that means their fearless Skipper got them ready.
So with my five reasons, I must admit this will be a close series. Then again either team is capable of a sweep. But, I think in the end the Cards have all the planets lined up just right and as a result they will take out the Tigers in a very wild 7-game series.