At 5 p.m. today, Major League Baseball kicks off its postseason, and it's going to be one long, exhausting string of late-night games and groggy mornings for the next month. October is the best month, but it is, without question, the most draining: We spend most of November catching up on sleep. (Last year's being the most prime example.) This is the best time of year. Yesterday — spent waiting for today to come — was endless.
It makes no sense to predict MLB postseason series anyway because they're so random and such a small sample size, but this year, with the new Wild Card "round," you're actually predicting one game, which is impossible. But we'll do it anyway. Predictions!
WILD CARD ROUND
St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves. Kyle Lohse is a lot better starter than you think he is, but the Braves' Kris Medlen is the hottest pitcher in baseball. The Braves look designed specifically to win a one-game series. Braves.
Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers. There seems something inherently wrong for Orioles fans to wait this long for a postseason appearance ... and it's in a Wild Card game that could be over in three hours. The Rangers have every advantage in this game, not that that's stopped the Orioles at any other point this season. It wouldn't surprise us to see Buck Showalter do some crazy stuff. It won't be enough. Rangers.
Atlanta Braves versus Washington Nationals. The Braves are so dangerous in a short series, and even though neither one of these teams can hit, the Braves bull pen is downright deadly. Chipper Jones is going to get a lot of airtime in the next fortnight. Braves in five.
San Francisco Giants versus Cincinnati Reds. The Giants have always had the pitching, but this year, they can actually hit. The Reds do everything well but have tired as the season came to an end. But hey, it's the Dusty Baker Bowl. Giants in four.
Texas Rangers versus New York Yankees. Because of the rough final week of the season, people seem to have forgotten that the Rangers were the best team in baseball almost all season. We're just not sure the Yankees have the pitching depth necessary. Rangers in five.
Detroit Tigers versus Oakland A's. The Tigers are the worst team in the playoffs, but the playoffs play to all their strengths: solid starting pitching, enough bats to get by. The defense will cost them a game or two, but they should be able to end the lovely A's story. Tigers in five.
LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Atlanta Braves versus San Francisco Giants. This is probably it for Chipper. Allowing the Giants to have a good offense seems unfair in a short series. Giants in six.
Detroit Tigers versus Texas Rangers. This series just looks boring, doesn't it? Maybe it's the color schemes. Anyway, now that the Rangers have faced down death, they'll be relaxed enough to breeze past the Tigers. Rangers in five.
San Francisco Giants versus Texas Rangers. The universe is not so cruel that it would deny the Rangers in three consecutive World Series. Rangers in six.