|2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round||NBA First Round Predictions||Datsyuk’s Late Heroics Topple Bruins in Game 1||Celtics Go 1-1 in Draft Order Tiebreakers|
Playoff time is here, and to help understand where the teams stack up against each other, we would like to present you with the final MLB Power Rankings of the year, featuring only the eight playoff teams, along with our thoughts for the World Series.
It’s been a good last week or two for the East, except for the Wildcards, who are both in the lower half of the rankings, including the mighty Yankees.
Since all playoff teams are ranked, a first place votes gets seven points, then six for a second place vote, down to zero for last. So be sure to check below to see where the elite eight stand up:
|John||KC||SoB Composite||Last Time||Comments|
|#1||Philadelphia Phillies||Philadelphia Phillies||(2) Philadelphia Phillies (14)||#4, up 3||John – With Halladay and Oswalt pitching the majority of games, it’ll be nearly impossible to down the (soon-to-be) three-peat NL Champs.|
|#2||Tampa Bay Rays||Tampa Bay Rays||Tampa Bay Rays (12)||#2, even||KC – The Rays have their arms ready for a deep run in October.|
|#3||Texas Rangers||Minnesota Twins||Minnesota Twins (7)||#3, even||John – Here we are again, with the Twins and Yankees. But this time, the Twins have the edge. Unless the Yankees pitching can get back on track.|
|#4||Atlanta Braves||New York Yankees||Texas Rangers (7)||#7, up 3||KC – It seems that Texas peaked a bit early and had no competition all season, but we’ll see if they can win their first playoff series ever.|
|#5||Cincinnati Reds||San Francisco Giants||New York Yankees (5)||#1, down 4||KC – They sputtered down the stretch, and their pitching is suspect, but they’re still the Yankees.|
|#6||Minnesota Twins||Texas Rangers||Atlanta Braves (5)||#6, even||KC – Bobby Cox might have one more run to the NLCS in him. But, if you know the Braves, that’s usually as far as they get.|
|#7||New York Yankees||Atlanta Braves||Cincinnati Reds (3)||#8, up 1||John – They may have Joey Votto, but Philly still has the pitching.|
|#8||San Francisco Giants||Cincinnati Reds||San Francisco Giants (3)||#9, up 1||John – They’ll need Tim Lincecum and home-field advantage to have a chance against Atlanta. Their less certain key to victory is figuring out how to win Game 2.|
Halladay and Oswalt at home will be too much for anyone to overcome. The Rays have the edge over their American League rivals, especially with New York’s pitching issues, but Philly has no such issues, and plenty of bats at that.
We will see the Phillies and Rays in the World Series (though the Twins could surprise), and the Phillies should win their second crown in three years. With Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay, and Cole Hamels, they have the chance to win out all the way through the playoffs. Seriously.