Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Season Nine Playoff Preview - LCS Round

Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

Lars was seriously wrong in the previous round when he picked Fargo and Anaheim to advance, but he has learned from his mistakes and will never pick the Fug Nuts in the first round again. This round features a two new voices for the American League, one powerhouse from the NL, and a team that is enjoying a massive run in it's first playoffs. It should make for some entertaining baseball to say the least, and Lars has done his level best to make sense of it all.

American League

#2 Pawtucket G-Maniacs (101-61_ vs. #5 Helena Hellraisers (99-63)
Overview: It's a battle of the bridesmaids in the ALCS this season as Anaheim's whipping boys get their chance to make it to the World Series for the first time for one of these two teams, which between them have 8 LCS appearances and no World Series to show for it. Dean Hernandez carried the G-Maniacs past Scranton in the DCS, and Albert Franco continued his history of playoff choke jobs and almost lost it for the G's. Helena finally made it past Anaheim behind some good pitching, timely hitting, and a vacation by the manager. These two teams are pretty evenly matched on paper, but Pawtucket has Hernandez, who can almost win this entire series by himself.
Prediction: Pawtucket in 7 - Lars is playing the odds on this one, as Pawtucket has been to 6 LCS's, and Helena only 2. Lars is pretty sure that the 7th time will be the charm for the G's, especially considering how dominant Hernandez has been in the playoffs thus far.

National League

#1 Omaha Sluggers (112-50) vs. #3 Wichita Wankers (105-57)

Overview: Omaha came back from a 2-0 deficit in the DCS to run off 3 straight wins and stun the St. Louis HoundDogs behind the pitching of Kazuhiro Ong and their powerful bats. It had to have been frustrating for the Dogs, who were eliminated in a game 5 by Ong two years in a row. But Omaha has been there and done that, and they know how to win. The Wankers took advantage of a typical Fargo playoff outing to sweep the more talented (on paper) Fug Nuts and advance to the LCS. Now the real test begins for Wichita, who will have to play a team that is superior in talent and has been to two straight World Series, winning one of them. It should come down to whether or not Wichita's pitching can contain Jose Barrios and the rest of the Sluggers lineup, which can erupt for 7+ runs against nearly any pitcher. Plus, Kaz Ong can pitch up to three games in one series, which is not a good prospect for the opposition.
Prediction: Omaha in 6 - Wichita is young and good, but Omaha has been the class of the NL the past two seasons, and should finally put an end to the upstart Wankers.

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