The regular season is over.  It took the full 162 games to decide the playoff contenders, but now it is time for the playoffs.  I was sorry to see the Red Sox and Braves utterly collapse.

The Red Sox and Braves utterly collapsed. (These photos belong to professional photographers and can be found with a basic google search)The Cubs are my absolute favorite team.  Other than the Cubs, I cheer for the Red Sox and the Braves, and I cheer against the Yankees.  So, this was not a great week for me as a baseball fan.  I am very excited to see what the Cubs will do this offseason.  I think they are going to make some good hires (and some good fires).  I have some suggestions for the Cubs’ success, which I think should be heeded.  But today is not about the Cubs.  Today is about the 8 teams left in the playoffs.  So congratulations to the playoff contenders.  The final standings look like this:

National League Standings 2011

American League Standings 2011

I made my predictions at the beginning of the season, but I only correctly picked the Phillies, Rangers, Yankees, and, if you don’t count my shameless placing of the Cubs, the Brewers to make the playoffs.  Now it is time for the playoffs.  Here are my picks for the MLB 2011 Playoffs:

MLB 2011 Playoff Bracket

Here is my reasoning:

Phillies vs. Cardinals:

Even a team with the likes of Pujols, Holliday, and Berkman will not be able to beat the rotation of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, and Hamels.  Halladay and Lee are almost untouchable in October.  With them on the same team, there is no way they lose any series.

Roy Halladay is a beast

Brewers vs. Diamondbacks

Zach Greinke + Prince Fielder beats this young Diamondbacks team, although it will be close.

National League Championship – Brewers vs. Phillies

The Brewers have decent pitching, but the Phillies have phenomenal pitching.  Brewers might win one…maybe two games.

Cliff Lee Home Run

Yankees vs. Tigers

Yankees pitching is weak.  Justin Verlander is amazing.  I hate the Yankees, so I am cheering for them to fail.  This is the most emotional of my playoff picks

Well-bred Young Men Hate the Yankees

Rangers vs. Rays

The Rays are good, but the Rangers have been consistently good in the playoffs.  I expect the Rangers to win a close series.

Texas Rangers are Winners

American League Championship – Rangers vs. Tigers

The Tigers will be exhausted after facing the Yankees, and the Rangers have Josh Hamilton.

Josh Hamilton at bat

World Series – Phillies vs. Rangers

Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee will dominate the Rangers.  It will be a sight to behold.

Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee Phillies

That’s all my baseball talk for today. Until later friends…