Thursday, October 15, 2009


ALCS: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels
ROAD TO THE ALCS: Both teams looked impressive in the Divisional Playoffs, with both teams earning sweeps in order to get to this point. New York beat Minnesota with pitching and timely hitting as, for the meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez seems to have exercised his postseason demons, with his two home runs coming in the seventh inning or later and with the Yankees in a close game to go along with his .455 batting average and 6 RBIs. Los Angeles flipped the script on Boston and swept them, but not before clinching the sweep and the series in a huge comeback in Game 3.
ANALYSIS: If you love offense, this is your series, as both teams ranked in the top two in the American League in runs scored and batting average, but that is where the comparisons stop. The Yankees love to mash the ball with relentless aggression, as evidenced with their 244 home runs in 2009. The Angels love to use small-ball tactics in order to manufacture runs, thus relying on speed and timing. The key in this series is pitching though. The Angels will use four starting pitchers, and the Yankees will use three, but could it help or harm the Yankees by possibly having CC Sabathia pitch Games 1, 4, and 7? Only time will tell...
SEASON SERIES: tied, 5-5
PREDICTION: Yankees in 6
MATCH-UP: Joe Girardi vs. Mike Scioscia (both managers were World Series winning catchers)
PIVOTAL GAME: Game 6 (especially if the Yankees are leading 3-2)

NLCS: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies
ROAD TO THE NLCS: The Los Angeles Dodgers flipped the light switch back to the on position after a commanding sweep over St. Louis. The hitting was good but the pitching was a little bit better, despite that the Dodgers did have trouble early in Games 1 and 2, but rebounded late. The Philadelphia Phillies were the only team to not win their series in a sweep, having to fend off the pesky Colorado Rockies in four games. The last three games of the NLDS were too close for the Phillies' comfort, especially in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 4, when Colorado took the lead, 4-2. However, the Phillies scored three of their own in the ninth, and closed the door on the Rockies.
ANALYSIS: The rematch of the 2008 NLCS is set, but this time it is the Dodgers with home-field advantage. On paper, Philadelphia is tough on offense and Los Angeles has good pitching to get the job done, but the game can ultimately come down between Ryan Howard and Manny Ramirez, two of the more dominating hitters in baseball today. Another incentive is the supporting casts where the Phillies have a more veteran group, and the Dodgers' group are young, but grew up throughout the season.
SEASON SERIES: Dodgers won, 4-3
PREDICTION: Dodgers in 7
MATCH-UP: Pedro Martinez vs. Manny Ramirez (two of the players who won the 2004 World Series)
PIVOTAL GAME: Game 1 (to see if L.A. can shake off what happened against the Phillies last year)

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