2011 NLDS Predictions
Phillies vs. Cardinals
OCP Prediction: Phillies in 4
Why the Phillies will win:
The Phillies have a rotation built to win. It's hard to imagine any team in the National League beating any two of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels, which is what will have to happen. The scary part is that Roy Oswalt looked really good in his final outing, meaning they could have four of the best starters in the postseason on one staff. Their bullpen has struggled a little bit down the stretch and the offense has been on and off but this team has been here and they know how to win.
Reasons the Cardinals could win:
The Cardinals have the best player on the planet, in Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa has done the best job of his career pulling out the Wild Card despite being down 8.5 games in September. That moral victory gives the Cardinals some momentum. If they can avoid feeling content with getting in, they could hang in there. Plus, they actually beat the Phillies in the season series. Lance Berkman is a player to watch in this series; he will have to give them a spark.
Mc Prediction: Phils in 4
The Bats need to come alive. I don't think anyone is worried about pitching. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins have to show that postseason clutch they've shown in the past. If they can give Roy, Cliff, Cole and Roy (and/or Vance Worley) a lead, the game is probably over. The bullpen has to shake off the rust from September and show why they held so many leads for the four aces throughout this season.
They have to believe that their bats can come alive against the aces. Carpenter is going to go on three days rest, something he's never done before. It's a risky proposition but they don't have much of a choice without Adam Wainwright. If they're going to beat the Phils, it has to be with their bats.
Brewers vs. Diamondbacks
OCP Prediction: Brewers in 5
Why the Brewers will win:
The Brewers have a tremendous lineup and solid depth in their rotation. While their rotation has proven to be a little bit inconsistent, you have to think that they have an advantage with Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke pitching games two and three. The Diamondbacks will throw Ian Kennedy out there twice which means they'll have the best pitcher in the series going twice but Yovani Gallardo is no slouch. In the end, I think that the Brewers have a little extra motivation with Prince Fielder playing for a mega contract and Ryan Braun playing for MVP votes.
Reasons the Diamondbacks could win:
Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson are two electric young pitchers. The Diamondbacks have been sneaky good this year, pulling away from the Giants down the stretch and beating them in a couple of very critical series'. Justin Upton is capable of putting up monster numbers and there is a lot of energy on their side.
Mc Prediction: Brewers in 3
Have to act like they've been there before (looking at you Nyjer Morgan - no antics). Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder will step up, no doubt. Greinke and Gallardo haven't gotten the respect they deserve and Marcum can turn it on at points, too.
Everyone still kind of thinks they're a fluke in my opinion. Last to first and maybe it's dumb luck. Gibby has to rally the troops and remind them how they got here- can't be satisfied with getting there. They're capable of getting timely hits and good pitching. Upton has to come into the limelight here for them to have a chance.
Phils over the Cards
Brewers over the D-backs