You may have noticed that the Angels' chances of winning the AL and World Series took a hit today even though they locked up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
How is that possible? Because the Angels looked only at their own pitching rotation when deciding which playoff series to take, ignoring how Weaver-Wakefield is clearly a better pitching matchup for them than Santana-Matsuzaka. (They also picked Joe Saunders for their playoff rotation over Jered Weaver, but that was going to happen all along.)
I hear a lot about how good starting pitching is vital to success in the playoffs. That's true, of course, but it's also an important part of winning in the regular season. The difference is that the playoffs don't involve the back end of your rotation. Thus, if you want to be disproportionately successful in the playoffs, what you really want is a terrible number 5 starter, not a great staff ace.
You might hear someone tell you that the Angels are set up for success in the playoffs with their starting rotation. In fact, the system doesn't favor the Angels at all; Jon Garland isn't great, but he's one of the best number 5s in the league, certainly better than the likes of Paul Byrd and Edwin Jackson. Now Weaver, a very good number 4, was taken out of the equation for the ALDS. It's no wonder the Angels are only the fifth most-likely team to emerge as champs.