2 for the price of 1.
Time now for some National League Divisional Series talk, with play starting tomorrow. The action begins with the Cincinnati Reds taking on the defending NL champ Philadelphia Phillies. Then the spotlight moves out to the west coast, where the Atlanta Braves face the San Francisco Giants.
Let’s start with the Reds and Phillies. After winning the N-L Central, the Reds are back in the playoffs for the first time this decade. They are led by the best hitter you have never heard of, outfielder Joey Votto. Dusty Baker’s crew is well rounded and gritty, but they will have their hands full with the N-L East powerhouse Phillies. I’ll put my money on Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels any day in a short series. And those 3 will get plenty of offensive support from the Phillies lineup.
The real push may be the Braves and Giants series. Atlanta barely held on to win the wild card in manager Bobby Cox’s last year at the helm. They have Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson leading the rotation, and both have playoff experience. Lowe has always been tough in the postseason with his devastating sinker. But their lineup in hurting and lacking offense. The Giants are in a somewhat similar situation, with a lineup that doesn’t really jump out at you either. The N-L West champs are led on the mound by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, two of the best young pitchers in the game. It should be exciting watching young and upcoming superstars Jason Heyward with the Braves and Buster Posey with the Giants on the national stage.
My pick to click: The Phillies and Giants advance to the next round.
Written by C. James