American League Championship Series
Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers
Lineup – The overwhelming power from top to bottom throughout the Rangers lineup give them the edge. The Rangers ranked in the top 5 in all of baseball in the four major batting statistics, including 1st overall in batting average (.283), 2nd overall in slugging percentage (.460), 3rd overall in runs scored (855), and 5th overall in on base percentage (.340).
Rotation – I’ll give the Tigers’ Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Doug Fister the slight edge over the Rangers’ C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, and Matt Harrison in this one. Verlander is no doubt the Cy Young winner while Scherzer and Fister both have Cy Young-type stuff when their on. Read more…
The Yankees advanced to the World Series after a win last night in Game 6 of the ALCS. Andy Pettitte got his MLB playoff record 16th win with his solid 6 and 1/3 innings performance, allowing only 1 run on 7 hits. The Angels made 2 critical errors in the eighth which led to two more Yankee runs. That was more than enough for Rivera who recorded his 37th career playoff save. Now the Yankees play the Phillies in the World Series which starts on Wednesday. Game 1 will feature a pair of former Cleveland Indian teammates in C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee. This should be a great World Series as both teams have great lineups and good pitching. Look for my World Series preview, as for now I am excited for what should be a drama filled World Series.
ALCS Game 2 – NYY 2-0
Yankees 4 Angels 3 (13 innings)
The Yankees struck first with a two out rbi triple by Robinson Cano that scored Nick Swisher early on in the game. They tacked on another run in the third inning courtesy of a Derek Jeter home-run. The Angels tied score at 2 in the fifth inning and took the lead in the 11th on a Chone Figgins rbi single down the left field line. The Yankees were now down 3-2 in the bottom of the 11th and A-Rod led off the inning. A-Rod took two fastballs basically right down the middle to get into an 0-2 hole, but on the next pitch Fuentes left a fastball up and out over the plate and A-Rod deposited it into the right field seats to tie the game at 3. It was A-Rod’s third home-run of the playoffs and every one of his homers has either given the Yankees the lead or tied the game. Both the Yanks and the Angels had their chances to take the lead in the 12th but squandered their chances. Pinch hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. led off the bottom of the 13th with a line-drive single to center. Later in the inning with 1 out and Hairston on second and Cano on first, Melky Cabrera grounded into the hole between second and first. Maicer Izturis fielded the ball with his momentum towards first base and decided to throw off balance to second base in order to try to turn the double play. Izturis’ throw to second went into left field and Hairston scored the winning run from second base. The Yankees have taken a commanding 2-0 series lead and Alex Rodriguez has really stepped up so far in this postseason. If A-Rod keeps producing, the Yankees will be awfully hard to beat.
The Angels punched their ticket to the ALCS with a 2 out ninth inning rally against Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. The Sox entered the ninth inning with a two run lead, but the scrappy Angels put up three runs against the Red Sox’s all-star closer, capped off by a two run single by Vlad Guerrero. Brian Fuentes closed out the game and the Angels completed a very impressive sweep of the Red Sox.
The Yankees trailed late in the sixth inning, but A-Rod and Posada went back to back to put the Yankees in the lead for good. The Yanks added two more runs in the ninth inning and swept the Twins behind a solid pitching performance by Andy Pettitte and more base-running blunders by the Twins.
Yankees vs. Angels ALCS Prediction
Starters – Im going to give the slight edge to the Yankees. C.C. and A.J. are two powerful arms at the top of the rotation and Pettitte is an experienced and dependable third starter.
Bullpen – The Yankees definitely have the better bullpen in this series. Their combination of Hughes in the eighth and Mo in the ninth is one of the best in the majors. Plus Joba, Aceves, Coke, and Robertson are solid middle relievers who can come into the game in big situations and get out of jams.
Lineup – Again I have to give the edge to the Yankees. Their batting order is 9 deep. You can’t really pitch around anyone. The Yanks have power in almost every spot in their order, and with the emergence of A-Rod so far this postseason the Yankees look virtually unstoppable.
Manager – Here’s where I give the edge to the Angels. Mike Scocia has much more experience than Joe Girardi, plus Scocia has shown that he knows how to manage against the Yankees in the regular season and especially in the postseason.
Prediction – Despite giving the edge to the Yankees in three of the four categories, I do not think the Yanks will be any means roll over the Angels. This will be a tight, hard fought series, but in the end I think the Yankees will beat the Angels in seven games and advance to the World Series.