Last week, I made my baseball playoffs predictions. I was right about the Twins beating the Tigers, the Dodgers beating the Cardinals, and the Phillies beating the Rockies. I was wrong about the two teams I hate more than any other in baseball: the Angels and the Yankees. That makes me an unhappy 3-2 by my count.
Since I was right about the Dodgers and Phillies, my prediction as to them stands: I still pick the Dodgers.
Between the Yankees and the Angels . . . can I pick them both to lose? I find that I hate both teams too much to want either one to win. I am ashamed that the American League couldn’t come up with any one capable of beating either of those teams. Ugh. Yet choose I must, and I pick the Yankees. Here’s why.
First, I hate the Angels more than I hate the Yankees. I will catch some flak for that, but what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular. I’m taking a stand for individualism right here.
Second, statistically, the Yankees dominated the Twins just a little more than the Angels dominated the Red Sox. The Yankees come into the ALCS with a Pythagorean win-expectation of 5.90 compared to the Angels’ 5.74, based on their respective divisional series.*
Third, the Dodgers and Yankees have a classic rivalry. They haven’t met in the World Series since 1981, but before that, they met twice in the 1970s (1977 and 1978), once in the 1960s (1963), four times in the 1950s (1952, 1953, 1955, and 1956), and three times in the 1940s (1941, 1947, and 1949). That means these guys have played each other for the world championship eleven times. I’d be willing to bet that’s more than any other two teams in baseball. The Dodgers have only won three times (1959, 1963, and 1981), but I think momentum can stretch 28 years.
The Dodgers and Yankees are the Cowboys and Steelers or the Lakers and Celtics of baseball.** Given our options, it’d be nice to see that rivalry renewed.
And fourth, nobody wants a Staples Center Series. That’d be waaaaaaay too lame.
*If you’re interested in where I came up with those numbers, ask me in a comment and I’ll let you know.
**Somehow I doubt Bud Selig is peeing in his pants for a Dodgers-Yankees championship as much as David Stern was for a Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals back in 2008.