This is the only playoff round in any sport that is still a best of 5. Anything can happen in a 5 game series, especially in baseball where the pitching rotation does not even go two full cycles. I'm not a baseball aficionado so I won't predict the results of the whole tournament, but I will give my picks for the first round.
Indians v. Yankees: New York is the Vegas favorite to win the whole thing despite not having home field advantage. The media also is favoring the Yankees. Cleveland seemed to limp into the playoffs without being tested too hard to win the division, while the Yankees have been fighting doubters all the way to the end. The Yankees have something to prove, and I don't think A-Rod will be a no show this year.
YANKEES IN 4
Red Sox v. Angels: Boston has been the best team in baseball all season long and I don't think they've lost their focus. To me Anaheim looks like a typical first round victim that will just collapse. I think the ALCS will once again be the clash of the titans.
RED SOX IN 3
Diamondbacks v. Cubs: With all due respect to Arizona fans, the nation is watching this series to see if Chicago will move closer to a miracle or choke as per usual. I'm not saying they'll break the curse, but my gut tells me that if and when the Cubs do collapse, it will be in a later round to make the loss even more heartbreaking to Cub fans. Arizona has great pitching, but Chicago has the heart to move on and make a potential defeat even more devestating.
CUBS IN 4
Phillies v. Rockies: In my opinion this will be far and away the best series of the round. The last team you want to play in the playoffs is the one going in red hot who just barely made it in at the very end. That accurately describes both these teams, so this should be a really close one. A lot of the media have already crowned Philadelphia as the NL pennant winner, but this Colorado team is not to be underestimated. The Rockies were not favored in the one game playoff against San Diego, they are not favored now. They have nothing to lose, which makes them so dangerous.
ROCKIES IN 5