If you're suffereing from parachat withdrawal, then feel free to pop in if you want to talk about the playoffs. No promises on who will be there, but give it a shot. The link is on the sidebar. Last year I trotted out the World's Most Useless Playoff Predictor. Let's try it again... To review: #1) Find the teams that have been playing well for longer than a weekÖ.a good 2 month stretch or longer is nice. #2) Find teams that have a knack for coming from behind #3) 2 dominant starters on staff equals trouble for other team. #4) Aggressive managing is better than the same old thing works managing. #5) Never go for a team with a bad defense particularly up the middle (CF, 2b, SS & C) #6) And of course there is the ex-Cub factor. A's vs Twins Twins are 35-22 since August, A's are 37-18. If Francisco Liriano stayed healthy my hands down pick would have been the Twins to win it all. Instead, the A's with Zito and Harden and Haren look more promising than Johan and the other guys. I don't have numbers for come from behind wins, but it seemed like the Twins did it a little more often. The managers and defense seem to be a push and the ex-Cubs factor favors the A's, 2-0. Pick: A's in 4 Cardinals vs. Padres Cards are 25-31 since August 1st, Padres are 33-23. Cards have Carpenter and a merry-band of guys masquerading as major league pitchers. Padres have Jake Peavy and Chris Young. Peavy hasn't been right all year, but he has the skills to dominate a team at any given moment. Seems like Cards had more surprise wins than the Padres. I've never liked Larussa in the playoffs, Bochy is one of my favorite managers. Cards do have the defensive advantage but the only distinct advantage is at the catching positon. Well 3b too, especially when Todd Walker plays there, but I dont' find that as crucial in the playoffs. Ex-Cub factor is 3-1 in favor of the Cards which may be the Padres ultimate undoing. Pick: Padres in 5 Tigers vs. Yankees Since August 1st: Tigers 23-31, Yanks 35-27 Dominating Pitchers: Tigers - Bonderman, Verlander; Yanks - Mussina, Big Unit (if healthy) Come From Behind Team: Yanks Manager: Push, maybe Torre Middle Defense: Tigers easily, but big improvement of Damon over Bernie this year and Jeter has been a lot better this year Ex-Cub Factor: 2-1 advantage Tigers, but that one is Neifi! Pick: Yanks in 4 (yeah I decided on a new format mid-way through, live with it) Dodgers vs. Mets Since August 1st: Dodgers 37-19, Mets 32-23 Dominating Pitchers: Dodgers - Lowe arguably and Penny who seems hurt; Mets - Pedro who is hurt Come From Behind Team: Both, although Dodgers really pulled of some miracles Manager: Randolph hasn't been in the playoffs yet, but he's pretty aggressive during the season Middle Defense: Mets Ex-Cub Factor: 4-3 advantage Mets Pick: Mets look in serious trouble with their pitching but the ex-Cub factor is real. Mets in 5 very high scoring games I'll take A's over Yankees and Padres over Mets in the league championship series. I like the A's to win it all over the Padres (The Sandy Alderson invitational). -- UPDATE: How rude of me not to invite you guys to participate? Anyway throw your predictions into the comments and we can have some sort of informal contest. I'll even offer up a template, just cut and paste and put in your own guesses: Division Series A's vs Twins: A's in 4 Cards vs Padres: Padres in 5 Tigers vs Yanks: Yanks in 4 Dodgers vs Mets: Mets in 5 LCS A's vs Yankees: A's in 6 Padres vs Mets: Padres in 7 World Series A's vs. Padres: A's in 7 Scoring system - 1 point for the division series, 3 points for the LCS, 7 points for the World Series winner. A 3 point bonus if you guess the games correctly but you only get those points if you guess the correct team to win that series as well.