How do you predict the baseball playoffs? There are many theories. I subscribe to all of them, which costs me a fortune, by the way. But that’s OK. Because when the season’s over, you can always say, “I told you so,” at least to somebody.

Here are several of the prevailing theories for this week’s matchups:

St. Louis vs. Los Angeles

The Thinking Man’s Theory: St. Louis has superior speed, but LA has excellent pitching. St. Louis is tops defensively and LA made an awful lot of errors. But much will depend on Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia’s ability to throw out runners such as Vince Coleman and Willie McGee when they try to steal bases. And how well Pedro Guerrero and Steve Sax continue to pound Cardinals pitching, which they’ve done all year. LA is an explosive, emotional team, but St. Louis will win in six, based on superior overall talent.

The Hollywood Theory: Tommy Lasorda knows Frank, he knows Sammy, he knows Dean and Jack and Warren. Who does Whitey Herzog know? I bet he couldn’t even get a seat at Bernard’s. Forget it. LA will win.

The Travel Agent Theory: “Have you ever been to St. Louis? My God. All they have there is an arch that looks like a giant hat pin and a couple of breweries. LA takes it.

My Theory: Let’s see . . . heads. St. Louis wins in five.

Toronto vs. Kansas City

The Thinking Man’s Theory: This is a showdown of young talent versus veterans. Toronto has the better stats, but KC has guys such as Brett and Quisenberry who have been through all this before. Then again, the Blue Jays have surprised people all year long, and they hit better, ran faster and made fewer errors than the Royals this season. Toronto must be favored to win it in six.

The Born In The USA Theory: Do you want to see a Canadian World Series, huh? What’s next? A French version of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”? Why don’t we just sing “Frere Jacques” ? Huh? Why don’t we put those funny little accent marks above the vowels in a box score? Why don’t you just go drink a Molson? Eh? Eh? Kansas City will win.

The I Love Detroit Theory: The only reason the Tigers aren’t back this year is because the AL East is by far the toughest division of all time in the galaxy. Toronto will win four straight, vindicating our boys. A little.

My Theory: OK, now . . . tails. Kansas City in seven.

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