2013 Division Series: Staff Picks

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The Divisional round is like the first round of the NCAA tournament. This year, we have the cinderlellas, Pitsburg and Tampa, the establishments, Red Sox, Dodgers and Cardinals, and the mid-majors, Atlanta, Detroit and Oakland. With so much baseball to come over the next few weeks we just can’t contain ourselves. Without further adieu, here are our picks. Feel free to make yours in the comments section.

National League

Dodgers v. Braves

Ray Kuhn

It is not a surprise that Dan Uggla did not make the postseason roster, but I’m sure the Braves wish they could have excluded B.J. Upton as well. Atlanta’s propensity to strike out and the fact their bullpen is not what it used to be will limit them in this series. The Dodgers should be just fine this series without Matt Kemp as they still have enough depth.

Dodgers in 4.

Andrew Padyk

The Braves lineup will be a big factor for how well they do in this series, especially going up against this Dodgers rotation with a one-two tandem of Kershaw and Greinke. If the Braves offensive doesn’t get started then it is going to be a short series for Atlanta, but I suspect there will some punch in them, but I can’t seeing them winning this series.

Dodgers in 4.

Stephen Forsha

This could be the best series of any of any in the divisional round. But in a five-game series, with the Dodgers possibly getting to use Clayton Kershaw twice if needed, along with Zach Grenkie in the mix, I have to go with the NL West champs.

Dodgers in 5.

Chris Schubert

The Braves will prove to be too much offensively, and with a better bullpen can end the Dodgers magical run before it gets started.

Braves over Dodgers in 3

Chris Lacey

Atlanta has some good young arms in Tehran and Minor that will stifle the offense for Los Angeles. Atlanta also has the better offense.

Braves over Dodgers in 4

Dodgers pitching will out duel the hit or miss offense of the Braves. Braves don’t have enough pitching as well. Dodgers bullpen could give them some trouble late in the game, but still think the Dodgers come out on top in this one.
Dodgers over Braves in 4

Joe Wedra

I think this one has the potential to be the best series of the postseason. I like the match-up in every phase of the game, but in the end I think it’s the Dodgers’ pitching that helps them advance.

Dodgers over Braves in 5

Sam Clancy

A strikeout-happy lineup against a staff full of strikeout pitchers does not bode well for the Braves. Kershaw and Grinke could easily take both road games for the Dodgers which would put this series out of reach.

Dodgers in 4

Pirates v. Cardinals

Ray Kuhn

I may be a little overzealous here with the Pirates, but I think they have what it takes here. Jason Grilli is healthy again, and that will shorten the game for Pittsburgh. I also think that the Cardinals will miss Allen Craig, and Matt Holliday still has not proved himself in the playoffs. This could go either way as the Cardinals clearly have the post season experience, but I’m going with the feel good story here.

Pirates in 5.

Andrew Padyk

It’s hard not to pick the Cardinals, given their postseason success in recent years, but this year could be different, and while the Pirates are a trendy pick, they are a good matchup against this St. Louis team. It is also that they have a boost of momentum coming off the victory from the Wild Card game, but more importantly, Pittsburgh’s bullpen is what will be the key to a Pirates series victory, especially with certain questions in the St. Louis bullpen and also Matt Holliday’s play in the postseason as well. The Pirates are just too trendy to not pick, but are legitimate.

Pirates in 5.

Stephen Forsha

The Pirates are the feel-good story of the MLB season, but I really like what the Cardinals have done so far. They have the experience, they are rested, know the Pirates and in a Best-of-Five series, I’m going with St. Louis.

Cardinals in 4

Chris Schubert

The hardest series to pick here in the divisional round. Two complete teams that have battled it out all year long. They know each other so well. But the Pirates are just the better team, with pitching that will carry themselves into the next round.

Pirates over Cardinals in 5

Chris Lacey

St.Louis looks dynamic on offense and will be tough for the Pirates pitching staff to handle. The Cardinals have the added benefit of Adam Wainwright possibly pitching twice in the series.

Cardinals over Pirates in 5

Ryan Ritchey

This could be the best divisional series of them all. Cardinals have the best all around team in the National League and the Cardinals have the pitching depth to take this series. Pittsburgh will put up a good fight, but will fall just short of forcing a decisive game 5.

Cardinals over Pirates in 4

Joe Wedra

I love the Cardinals and truly believe they are the best team in the NL. However, I’m buying in on this year’s Cinderella Story, Pittsburgh Pirates. The team is ready, the fans are ready, and I’m ready to take the Pirates in the biggest upset of the playoffs.

Pirates over Cardinals in 5

Sam Clancy

This series feels very similar to the NLDS last season. The Pirates are young and inexperienced, the Cardinals are seasoned and offensively potent. The difference this year is the Cardinals have the home-field advantage and Matt Carpenter in a staring role.

Cards in 4

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