Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Final Four

The 2nd round is now over, and we're down to 4 teams left.

American League Championship Series

#2 Monterrey Sultans vs. #1 Milwaukee Manic Maulers

Season series: 5-5
All-time series: 11-9 Milwaukee

Preview: The top two teams, certainly in the AL and possibly in all of baseball, square off for the right to go to the World Series. This series has been in the making for a full season, as it looked like this would be the ALCS for season 1 before Nashville bounced the top-seeded Maulers. Both teams have so much talent in all phases of the game. Both lineups are sound, both rotations are good, and both bullpens are solid.

Prediction: I felt the two teams were pretty even, so I was going to use the season series to help me decide. I'll go with the team I picked in the preseason to win it all in what should be an epic series. Monterrey in 7.

National League Championship Series

#6 Chicago Cubs vs. #1 Fargo Dirtbags

Season series: Fargo 7-3
All-time series: Fargo 14-6

Preview: I knew from day 1 of the season that the NL North would be strong. I wouldn't have predicted that two NL North teams would be in the NLCS, but here we are. The Cubs, a bit of an upstart team yet a quality outfit nonetheless against the Dirtbags, the team that established themselves as the best NL team early on in the season. The Cubs are going to have to hope that the old saying "good pitching stops good hitting" doesn't apply in this series, as the key matchup will be Sean Simpson and the rest of the Cub offense against Javier Henriquez, Jim Arnold, Sammy Pierce, and company on the Fargo pitching staff.

Prediction: To paraphrase a saying from a different sport, offense sells tickets but pitching wins championships. Fargo in 5.

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