It is quite possibly the best month out of the year.
The regular season for the NFL is getting into full swing and the baseball magic numbers are out.
Now for those reading this article who don’t know about the magic number, I’ll use the Cardinals as an example.
The magic number is the number of games played in the regular season, 162, subtracted by the number of wins the leading team in the division has (88 for the Cards) subtracted by the number of losses by the closest competitor in the division, in this case the Chicago Cubs have 72 losses. Using this formula you will gather the magic number. Using the NL Central as the example this makes the magic number for the Cardinals two as of Sept. 21.
When the magic number reaches zero the said team will clemch their playoff spot.
This magic number starts to make itself known about the beginning of September, and I love it.
It makes it so much easier to see who is close to in and who still has some work to do to get in to the playoffs.
Knowing all of this information, people, can start making their playoff predictions.
So now I am going to run down the length of the playoffs and let you know, in mid-September, who your World Series champion is going to be.
First we start with the National League. I believe the Philadelphia Phillies (2008 World Series Champions) are going to win the NL East with their magic number being five as of right now.
In the NL Central, the Cardinals basically already have it wrapped up with their magic number only being two as of the time this column was written.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will walk away with the NL West once again with their magic number being eight and no other team has been able to threaten to that title.
Moving on to the American League.
First we will start with the powerhouse AL East, which is going to be the New York Yankees walking away with it in only the style they have. With five more games they will have reached the 100- win mark once again. Their magic number as of right now is eight.
In AL Central, which is the closest margin as of right now, the Detroit Tigers are currently in first, two and a half games ahead of the Minnesota Twins. This will be an interesting race to keep up with. The Twins and the Tigers have a four game series against one another that will decide who gets in and who doesn’t. My bold prediction is that the Twins will overtake the Tigers and get into the playoffs.
Over to the AL West, where the Los Angeles Angels have the division pretty much on lock with a magic number of six with only the Texas Rangers behind them to try to take it. I think it’s an easy win for the Angels.
Now to the wildcard races, where I believe the current leaders will be the teams that get into the playoffs.
In the National League we have the Colorado Rockies who have a magic number of nine over the San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves, second and third place respectively. In the AL I think the Boston Red Sox are just too good to be stopped at with a magic number of seven over the Texas Rangers.
So here are my predictions of the Divisional Series playoff matches.
In the NL, the Cardinals will finish the season over the Dodgers for the best record, meaning they will get the Colorado Rockies in the first round of the playoffs.
This leaves the Phillies and the Dodgers to duke it out in the first round. Out of these matchups I strongly believe the Cardinals will beat the Rockies in four games and the Phillies will beat the Dodgers in five.
This leaves the Cardinals and the Phillies in the National League Championship Series.
In this matchup I am giving the edge to the St. Louis Cardinals, in six games, based solely on their pitching and the fact they have The Machine and everyone’s favorite holiday. For those of you non-Cardinals fans out there, that would be Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, who are quite possibly the most dangerous back-to-back duo of hitters in the National League.
In the AL, we have a first round of the Yankees vs. Twins and the Angels against Boston.
The winner of the AL Central is basically insignificant, because they have to run into the buzz saw that is the Yankees. The Yankees this season were 23-8 against the AL Central so I see this being a cakewalk for the Yankees and a first round sweep of the Twins.
In the next matchup we have the Angels and the Red Sox, which will be the best series of all of the first round games.
The Angels took the regular season matchups, winning five out of the nine games, but I think Boston win will in five games. This leaves the ALCS to be the Yankees vs. the Red Sox once again, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Every time these two teams seem to play each other the drama and passion that ensues is electric.
I don’t see this one being any different, and I see the Yankees going to the World Series after beating the Red Sox in a seven-game series.
So here is your World Series, Bradley – Cardinals vs. Yankees.
It should be a great series to cap off some great playoff matchups.
For my official World Series pick, I am choosing the to beat the Cardinals in a six-game series.
Every single one of these games will be a low scoring contest, given the pitchers that both teams have, but I believe the Yankees have a slight edge with CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Andy Pettitte.
A big sorry out to all of you Cardinals fans out there, but the Yankees are just too good to beat.
Hayden Shaver is a sophomore sports communication major from Washington. He is the Scout sports reporter.
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