First, I tweeted the AL picks earlier since I knew I wouldn't get around to this post before the games were played. Just a little elaboration, though:
NY Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers: My thought was that the Yankees' CC Sabathia and the Tigers' Justin Verlander would cancel each other out, and that of the remaining pitching, the Tigers had the edge. So my pick was Tigers in 5. Tonight, though, Game 1 was suspended in the second inning due to rain, and will resume tomorrow. That takes both Game 1 starters, Sabathia and Verlander, out of the picture. With Game 2 now on Sunday and no off day, it appears Verlander will now pitch on Monday in Game 3, which means he couldn't start a possible Game 5. Sabathia, on the other hand, may start Game 2 and be available for a possible Game 5. This series has now taken a turn. I'm sticking with my pick, though.
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays: After the incredible events of Wednesday night put the Rays into the playoffs, I get the feeling they're going to ride the wave. Despite not having home-field advantage, my pick was Rays in 5. And so far, so good: Tampa Bay blasted Texas 9-0 in Game 1. Last year these teams met in the ALDS with the Rays having the extra home game, but the road team won all five games in the series as Texas went on to win the AL title. I'd be surprised if that happened again.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Milwaukee's back after a couple of years without postseason appearances. Arizona's back for the first time since 2007. I think this is the most obvious pick, and I'm going with it. Brewers in 4.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals: Observers think St. Louis is the toughest opponent of all the teams the Phils have faced in the first round since their rise to the top of the NL East. That's probably true, but have you seen the Cardinals' bullpen? It's bad. And the Phils have that starting rotation for the ages. If the Phils don't win this, it'll go down as just as much a flop as the September swoons by the Braves and Red Sox. Phillies in 4.