Thursday, October 29, 2009


WORLD SERIES: New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies
NYY's ROAD TO THE WORLD SERIES: After a not-so impressive first half to the season, the Yankees caught fire after the All-Star break, winning eight straight games en route to regaining their elusive American League East Division crown, a feat they have not done since 2006. New York did not lose a season series against any American League team. Their new found domination continued into the American League Division Series as they swept the Minnesota Twins in three games, thanks to Alex Rodriguez finally finding his postseason swing. Rodriguez would be even better in the American League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels as the Yankees won in six games.
PHI's ROAD TO THE WORLD SERIES: The Phillies also did decent during the first half of the season, but caught fire later in the second half, largely due to their mid-season acquisitions of Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez. Although Philadelphia was the only winner of their Divisional Series to not sweep their opponent (they beat the Colorado Rockies in five games), the Phillies dispatched the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games.
ANALYSIS: If you love the long ball, then this is your series, as the top two home run hitting teams in a season square off for just the third time in a World Series. Rodriguez and Ryan Howard are two of the more prolific home run hitters in baseball, and will be getting a lot of help from their supporting casts. The 2009 Yankees may not be the "Murderers Row" of the 1927 squad, but with Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Hideki Matsui, this team can mash a bit. The Phillies remain intact with their three MVP candidates of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Howard, but the all-out effort of Shane Victorino, the acquisition of Raul Ibenez, and the emergence of Jayson Werth makes the defending champions that much stronger. Two former Cy Young teammates with the Cleveland Indians, Sabathia and Lee, will be the marquee pitching matchup, with Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Cole Hamels, and Pedro Martinez being the undercards whenever they pitch. Also, two of the more dominating closers in the MLB and in postseason history face off in Mariano Rivera and Brad Lidge.
SEASON SERIES: Phillies won, 2-1
PREDICTION: Yankees in 7
MATCH-UP: Pedro returns to New York (Game 2...sure Yankee and Met fans hate him now)
PIVOTAL GAME: Game 7 (don't be surprised if it comes down to the last at-bat)

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