Predictions for all the division series

So far of the 3 predictions I've made this October that have been tested, 2 ended up being correct:

Rays beat Rangers on the strength of David Price's performance: correct.

Pirates beat Reds because it's just the right ending: correct (the Pirates fans pretty much willed them to win).

Indians defeat Rays: incorrect.

So, not bad so far. I am emboldened to make some division series predictions now!

I've already called the Red Sox and A's as winners. Let's add the Pirates and the Dodgers to the mix. But let's also get a little more specific.

Red Sox's "rust" from not having played live baseball since Sunday could cost them game 1 against the Rays, despite their efforts to create some game-like intensity for Wednesday's scrimmage, including letting fans come watch, a move I have publicly encouraged. We've seen the effects of this many times before; perhaps none so clear as in the 2004 ALCS (also notable in my memory is the 2007 World Series). So I won't call game 1 either way, despite the Red Sox having home field and having their pitching lined up the way they like. I'll just say that neither team scores more than 5 runs in the first 9. I will predict that the Red Sox will take every game starting with Game 2.

Rust won't be a factor for A's and Tigers who've had equal amounts of rest. It'll be a good matchup, so A's in 5 games. I won't call specific games except as implied by the series going 5 games ... so basically games 1-3 will be split, game 4 will be taken by whoever trails in the series, and game 5 will be taken by the A's.

The Pirates will have a better chance against St. Louis than some may think, and I don't think they can lose at home in this series with the best "10th Man" going in their very enthusiastic fans. I think they can take 1 of 3 in St. Louis, so it's just a question of which one. I'll play the rust card here again (hmm, but "rust" and "cardinal" are shades of red ... interesting) and say Cardinals take game 2, and Pirates take games 1, 3, and 4.

The Dodgers and Braves: the Dodgers' injuries make them vulnerable, but their 1-2 punch of Kershaw and Greinke makes them favorites. Starting pitching is huge in the playoffs, and these two ought to be able to handle the Braves' lineup. In this series, the road team may be the victor each time. I'll go with that bold prediction: the road team wins each game. Dodgers in 5.

So, if I count correctly, that's 14 or 15 distinct predictions, depending on whether the Rays win game 1 against the Red Sox (15) or the Red Sox win (14). We shall see how it goes!

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