NL: Dodgers in 6 games – It hurts me even to type that. However, I think the Dodgers are just running a lot hotter right now in the second half. The pitching 1-2s seem even in the starting rotation (Derek Lowe and Chad Billingsley vs. Cole Hamels and Brett Myers), and they’ve both got grumpy old men in Jamie Moyer and Greg Maddux. Philly’s line-up is a Murderer’s Row if hot, the Dodger offense flows more freely with Manny Ramirez in and Rafael Furcal leading off. Brad Lidge is better as a closer than both Jonathan Broxton or Takashi Saito — but I think the Dodgers are playing with house money right now; not a whole lot of us expected them to even be in the NLCS, and will find a way to get to the World Series.
AL: Red Sox in 6 – Josh Beckett may be the only starting pitching issue for the Red Sox. Having Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jon Lester get possibly two games each of a 7-game series is a good start, and the Red Sox look just as capable of pulling out offense when it needs to. But the Rays have owned the Sox all year; while it’s always different in October, is there enough of a difference? Yes. It probably will come down to the bullpen, when Boston gets to Jonathan Papelbon while the Rays are adjusting and Troy Percival is still hurt. Papelbon is perfectly capable of a two-inning save on a semi-regular basis, or what many recognize as “the Mo Rivera thing” during the playoffs.