St. Louis began the playoffs right where they left off in the regular season; clubbing their opponents. Their combination of offense and defense may be the best in baseball, but their pitching isn’t even the best in their division. The Red Sox are a force to be reckoned with given their powerful offense and excellent starting pitching. The Twins do not impress me though they have enough good starting pitching to get past the Yankees. The Dodgers and Braves do not have the pitching to get by the first round. The Angels are already in an 0 –2 hole and headed back to Fenway. It would take a miracle for them to survive. The Yankees are very thin in starting pitching, too. And then there is Houston. Resurrected from the dead. On a roll. Balanced. Hungry. Led by two aging stars, Biggio and Bagwell, who have never been to the Series. They could be this year’s version of the Diamondbacks, a team made up mostly of veteran players finally earning their reward. Houston is my pick to go all the way. My one concern would be Roger Clemens, of all people. Clemens has never really been the big game pitcher one would expect though last night’s victory was a gutsy performance. If he falters, so do Houston’s prospects. If he continues to defy age and gravity, however, the Astros should make the series against the Red Sox and win it in seven games. Clemens pitching in Fenway in an Astros uniform for all the marbles. The script couldn’t get any better than that.