It’s MLB Playoff season

It’s that time of year again. We’re well into the NFL season and the temperatures are starting to drop. That defrost setting in your car becomes important again and Tim Hortons has their Pumpkin Spice flavor shot ready to fill you up on holiday spirit. No, it’s not Christmas season (although  there’s a manager in the back room getting the Christmas decorations ready at a JCPenny’s near you). It’s MLB Playoff season.

Not yet, Mariah.

What a season it’s been. Perfect games, milestone homeruns, rookie sensations, and the perfect game that wasn’t. Let’s also not forget some of the greats that the game lost this season. I caught SportsCenter’s baseball season in review video this morning, and it was awesome. Chris Berman did a Top 10 of baseball plays from this season, which was also well-done.

I could watch that every day of the year. While most of the league will be watching from the couch this postseason, eight solid teams qualified for the postseason (sorry, Padres).

I’m a Yankee fan, but if you need a team to root for, I would watch the Cincinnati Reds. They’re a lot like Buffalo over there. They have been pretty bad for quite some time, but this year there were able to put it all together (and keep it together), ending a 15-year playoff drought. That’s slightly longer than the Bills, who last made it in 1999. They have some talented young kids to go along with some seasoned vets. Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman are very young and very good, and Joey Votto and one heck of a year (.324, 37 HRs, 113 RBIs). I don’t know what kind of shot they have against the Phillies, but it’ll be exciting baseball.

Before I get to picks, take a look at each teams’ starting rotation. The first round is best-of-five, so each team may only use the three pitchers listed. Last year the Yankees rode three pitchers all the way to a World Series title.

AMERICAN LEAGUE


—Best AL rotation: On paper it’s the Yankees, but I have to go with Tampa. I’m not afraid of the Twins, and Tampa has owned Cliff Lee this year.

—Best NL rotation: Phillies. Three aces back-to-back-to-back.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Philadelphia looks hard to beat. They were tough last year, and I almost think they got better. Cole Hamels will need to be on his game. For the American League, I can’t see anyone but an AL East team going to the World Series. The Yankees and Rays have struggled a little bit down the stretch, but they’ve been the two best teams in baseball for 90 percent of the year. The Twins will be tough though; they went on a tear after the All-Star Break and haven’t looked back since.

It’s just under two hours until the first pitch will be thrown, so these picks can’t wait any longer. These games don’t have any lines. I’ll do fine.

ALDS- Yankees in 5, Rays in 4
NLDS- Phillies in 4, Giants in 4

ALCS- Yankees in 7
NLCS- Phillies in 5

World Series- Phillies in 6
A rematch of last year. Picking the Yankees over the Rays is more a result of being a fan than anything. Tampa always gives New York trouble. It could be the Rays in the finals against the Phillies, but I don’t see them losing either way.

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