MLB General

MLB 2007: Post Season Predictions

Yankees vs. Twins. Angels vs. Red Sox. Mets vs. Cubs. Padres vs. Phillies. The 2007 MLB playoffs look familiar, yet there’s a couple of differences as well.

Author’s Note 1: I originally published this article at last Friday. After having watched it languish there for a general lack of interest in baseball, I decided I’d give it a shot here. I hope everyone’s cool with that.

If you read the 2007 American League Predictions and 2007 National League Predictions articles then you’re already familiar with the matchups outlined above. If not, well, you are now. And if you’re curious, go back to the articles in question to see how we got here.

One quick note: I’ve picked the Phillies to land the NL Wild Card over the Cardinals despite the appearance of a tie between the two teams in the NL Predictions article. Philadelphia had a slight percentage edge in my calculations that, while it rounded to the same record as St. Louis, put them just ahead. Really, though, I had to pick one and for variety’s sake I went with the Phils. For what it’s worth, though, you can consider all references to the Phillies to read as Cardinals if you’d rather see it that way. You’ll see why I say that in a minute.

How I Made My Picks

Ok, we’re in somewhat uncharted – unchartable? – territory here. My AL and NL predictions were derived via the Pythagorean Record based on the PECOTA projections for Runs Scored and Runs Allowed for each of the teams. There are some surprises in there, but overall there’s at least some statistical work behind the predictions. But once we hit the post season, well, all that kind of goes out the window.

Still, if we combine what the numbers told us about the various teams’ relative strengths with some general assumptions about baseball, then we can come up with reasonable, if not entirely scientific, predictions for October. So, with the understanding that anything can happen in a short series, which makes these predictions susceptible to being entirely wrong, here’s how I see things playing out in the MLB 2007 post season.

The American League Division Series

The Yankees (AL East Champs) vs. The Twins (AL Central Champs)

Winner: The Yankees in 4

Without Francisco Liriano around, the Twins have only one dominant starter, and we all know his name. No, not Sidney Ponson. The other guy. The first pitcher that got taken in your fantasy draft – Johan Santana. Sadly, Santana won’t be enough to see the Twins past the Yankee’s lineup.

The Angels (AL West Champs) vs. The Red Sox (AL Wild Card)

Winner: The Angels in 3

The Angels’ pitching staff is probably the most potent in the AL, if not all of the MLB. They’re so potent, in fact, that they’ll be able to keep the Sox down just enough for Vlad and the gang to roll right over them. This will go even more easily for them if the Angels managed to swing a trade for a reliable big bat to back up Guerrero.

The National League Division Series

The Mets (NL East Champs) vs. The Cubs (NL Central Champs)

Winner: The Mets in 3

Sorry Cubs fans, but getting stuck facing the best team in the majors is a case of hard luck. The Mets, despite having a pitching staff that will lean too heavily on Oliver Perez and Chan Ho Park, will make short work of the Cubbies’ own shaky rotation. The law firm of Beltran, Delgado and Wright guarantee that this won’t be the year the last great curse is broken.

The Padres (NL West Champs) vs. The Phillies (NL Wild Card)

Winner: The Padres in 4

Here’s why it doesn’t matter who wins the NL Wild Card: pitching, pitching, pitching. Or, if you want to be specific: Peavy, Maddux, Young and Wells. Add in Meredith, Linebrink and Hoffman in the late innings and it really doesn’t matter if the Friars don’t score much. As long as they score some, they’ll be ahead of whoever their opponents turn out to be.

The American League Championship Series

The Angels vs. The Yankees

Winner: The Angels in 5

Blame it on A-Rod’s lack of clutch. Blame it on an overpaid and fragile pitching staff. Whatever you want to pick, the bottom line is that the Yankees will once again fail to make it to the World Series. The truth of the matter, though, is that they will simply be outplayed by the Angels.

The National League Championship Series

The Padres vs The Mets

Winner: The Mets in 7

The immovable object meets the irresistible force. The best pitching in the NL vs. the best hitting in the big leagues. The Mets’ bats, though, will prove to be just too powerful to be held in check. The Padres’ weaker offense simply won’t be able to make up the difference against the team from New York. Expect an intense series with low-scoring extra-innings affairs that hinge on the Mets breaking out with one or two big innings.

The World Series

The Angels vs. The Mets

Winner: The Angels in 6

The immovable object meets the irresistible force, part 2. Only this time, the immovable object wins. Because now we’ve got the best pitching in the whole of MLB against a tired version of the majors’ best hitting. Having to face the #1 pitching team immediately on the heels of facing the #2 pitching team is an unenviable task for anyone, even the slugging Mets. Combine this with their own pitching issues and the Mets simply don’t have a prayer. They’ll go down swinging, though. Oh, and Mike Scoscia’s damnably clever use of the Suicide Squeeze will determine the outcome of at least one game.


Thus ends my Quixotic attempt at predicting the outcome of the 2007 MLB season well before it has actually begun. It was a fun exercise and I think I learned a few leassons along the way. I’ll be back next week with an article or two on what I personally would like to see happen and some things that I think will go differently than my predictions indicate. Here’s a hint to carry you through, in the form of a Nostradamus quatrain:

The noble ploughman separates the wheat from the chaff

While water drawn from the depths fuels the big smoke.

Still, the armies of heaven prevail, at odds with god’s messengers

And that sonofabitch Bonds breaks Aaron’s record, goddamnnit.

But for now, go nuts in the comments. Baseball’s just no good if it’s not being jawed over by drunkards, lunatics and stat-addled but well-meaning internet goons.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I have every intention of coming back to these predictions when the season is over to see how just how wrong (or right, if I’m being optimistic) I turned out to be.

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