With the Rays, Braves, Reds and Twins gone, that eliminates two teams I wanted to lose almost as bad as the Phillies, my strongest rooting interest and the Braves. The great part about the playoffs is that sometimes a team winning makes for a better series and when it isn't the Dodgers playing, better baseball should win out. The Phillies deserved to win their DS and so did the Giants. The Braves don't have what it takes to beat a team like the Phillies, so the Giants should get a crack at it.
I don't find myself cringing at the prospect of the Giants making the World Series. The Phillies would be worse. I would like for the Phillies' championship window to be closed on their proverbial dick. It will be difficult with the three-headed H20 monster but the Giants can hold their own. I find the Giants to be likable, mainly because a lot of the players they have on the roster have been recently acquired. They aren't the rival Giants but the Team that plays by the Bay that was bolstered to be a winner. I really only feel resentment against Tim Lincecum but I will still root for him over Halladay in Game 1.
On the AL side, I still find it hard to believe that the Rays were taken out and their championship window is certainly closed. The Rays will be alright because of their amazing farm system but alright in the AL East could land a team in 4th place. I think I will be rooting for the Rangers to win it all now. Cliff Lee has dazzled viewers all season and Tuesday night was no different. I regret not seeing one of his starts when he and I were in Seattle.
Rays-Yankees, in retrospect, wasn't a given and that is alright because the Rangers are capable of taking the Yankees on. The Rangers seem to have an affinity for playing on the road, which should come in handy. The Rangers seem capable of out-pitching the Yankees and may literally run away with a win or two like they did against the Rays. The running game is more fun to watch in the playoffs but a team has to be good at it if they are going to partially rely on it to get to the playoffs.
Right now, I would say that the Yankees and Phillies are going to be reunited in the World Series because that is how it works. I wouldn't bet money on it but since I find that series to be the least favorable match-up, then it will probably occur. A Giants-Rangers series would ensure that one team ends a 50+ year drought. It may not do well in the ratings but I will watch it. A Rangers-Phillies series might be regrettable for Ruben Amaro, who was content to let Cliff Lee walk.
Pitching should continue to dominate and that suits all of the remaining teams. As a Dodgers fan, it gives me a glimmer of hope that, even though the team is in dire straits, Kershaw should be a Dodger for a long time and I see him getting some playoff spots later if not sooner. To say one more thing in conjunction regarding the condition of the Dodgers, the most important move the Dodgers can make is to offer Lilly arbitration (Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness is spot on with the rest of his pitching advice but I am in full aggreance on this particular move). He probably won't accept and in the 2011 draft, 2 compensatory picks are going to be worth a lot more than any given draft year.