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We’ve been busy around the house, getting everything cleaned, sorted, and stored in advance of the arrival of Baby Sister, some house guests, and the inevitable flood of visitors that will want to stare at the baby. In the rush, I forgot to put together my patented, much anticipated baseball playoff previews. As with my football previews, which are already about 75% worthless a month into the season, take these with a generous helping of salt.

American League
I said back in August that the Angels were going to win it all this year. I continued to think that going into the playoffs. Then, I woke up this morning and saw the Red Sox had beaten their ace John Lackey in game one. Maybe the Sox still have the Angels’ number in the playoffs, despite losing eight of nine to the Halos in the regular season. Still, the Sox are fighting a number of injuries. I think the Angels right the ship, even if Vlad never gets a hit (he did go 2-4 last night, so maybe he’s finally ready to perform in October), and win in five.

I keep writing off the Rays as little more than a nice story and they keep winning. I keep looking at the White Sox and seeing an old team missing some important bats. The Rays are the better team, but I’m still not a believer. Sox in five.

ALCS
Why pick against my summer prediction now? The Angels get some (over-hyped) revenge for 2005, winning in five.

National League
I’m not a Cubs fan. Never have been, since as a kid, when it was hard to find baseball on the TV, the only games I could predictably find were the always horrible Cubs and Braves. Moving into Cubs territory has not helped. So I was inclined to pick against the Cubs. All summer I kept saying it wasn’t going to happen, and Cubs fans would again be crushed. Then they kept winning, ran away from everyone in the NL, and I started to get worried. However, getting the Dodgers in the opening round is a bad match-up for them. The Dodgers have Joe Torre and the October Machine Manny Ramirez. Dodgers in four. I made this pick before last night, I promise.

Milwaukee is another great story, making its first post-season since 1982. A team built from within but not afraid to go get some horses to help them get into the playoffs. But they struggled to get this far and are another team facing injury issues. The Phillies are due to do some damage in the playoffs. Philly in four.

NLCS
What is this, 1977-8? Dodgers-Phillies in a throw-back series for all of us who grew up on afternoon baseball on NBC with Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek. I don’t watch much NL baseball, but when I have seen the Dodgers this year, they’ve always looked good, even when fighting injuries early in the season. Since ESPN was always more interested in showing us three Yankees or Red Sox games each week, I don’t know that I saw the Phillies more than once. The Phillies seem deeper and more experienced. The key could be Brad Lidge. He was shaky yesterday. If he reverts to his old October form, Manny Ramirez may go all Albert Pujols on his ass at an inopportune moment. Yet, I’m going with the Phillies in six.

World Series
Fox misses out on the Cubs, Red Sox, White Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees. Instead, they get SoCal’s second favorite team and a team with a rabid home fan base but little beyond that. I bet they’re thrilled. The Angels have been here before (some of them), the Phillies are just glad to have finally advanced beyond the opening round. Angels in five.

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