MLB Postseason Preview

Now that the "play-in", oh wait, excuse me, Wild Card games are done, with the Orioles continuing their improbable run and beating the defending AL champs, the Texas Rangers, and the St. Louis Cardinals defeating the Atlanta Braves on a controversial call, the real postseason can start. More on that call later on...

First, we will take a look at the American League and see if anyone can stop the Yankees, who won their 12th AL East division crown in the last 15 years. They will travel down to Baltimore to take on the Orioles. That's right you read that correctly, they are on the road for the first two games of their playoff run. MLB geniuses decided to change things up this year and have the lower seeded team get the first two home games. Roughly 20 minutes after making the decision, okay not 20 minutes, maybe a couple of weeks, they changed it back to the series starts at the higher seed's place. Anyway, the other ALDS is another improbable, Cinderella team, the Oakland A's, who won the AL West taking on the Central winner, Detroit Tigers and the Triple Crown winning Miguel Cabrera.

My predictions will be below but first I want to get into the ruling of the infield fly rule in the Braves and Cardinals game from yesterday. At first glance, the common fan will look at it and go "That guy was into the outfield, how could it be an Infield fly rule?" Well, my answer to that is simple, two words, "Ordinary effort."

Here's the rule right from the MLB Rule book: "An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly, if Fair.”

In my educated opinion, I feel that the shortstop was under the ball with ordinary effort and the correct call was made. So, suck it Braves fans. And by the way, stay classy. Nice job by throwing crap all over the field and delaying the game. Also, it's been fun Larry "Chipper" Jones. Congratulations on a fantastic career. You were a class act and were always fun to root against.

Now onto the predictions:

Will this be the case in 2012?
American League

New York Yankees beat Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers beat Oakland A's

New York Yankees beat Detroit Tigers

National League

Cincinnati Reds beat San Francisco
Washington Nationals beat St. Louis Cardinals 

Cincinnati Reds beat Washington Nationals

World Series
New York Yankees beat Cincinnati Reds

Let's see if my predictions come true and make my life miserable. If you remember in my NFL preview I picked another one of my hated teams. I am going for the reverse jinx here, but knowing my luck it will go the other way and my predictions will come true. Either way, here's to another fantastic October and MLB postseason.

As always, you can follow Hops and Homers on Facebook and Twitter. Until next time.