2009 World Series Preview & Predictions
The Yankees and Phillies are set to play game 1 of the 2009 World Series tonight (weather permitting). The Yankees throw out Cy Young Award Candidate C.C. Sabathia while the Phillies counter with an ace of their own in Cliff Lee. Game 1 should be pitchers duel, but you never know. Here are my predictions in terms of who has the edge in starting pitching, bullpen, lineup, and manager, and ultimately who I think will win the World Series.
I’m going to look past the first two starters on both team’s depth chart because I believe that Hamels and Lee are evenly matched against C.C. and A.J. Instead I’m going to look at each team’s third starter. I know Pedro is pitching game 2, but Hamels is #2 in the Phillies rotation not Pedro. So it comes down to familiar names, Andy Pettitte and Pedro Martinez. Both are big game playoff pitchers, but I have to give the edge to the Yankees. Pettitte holds the record for most postseason wins with 16 and he has pitched extremely well, not only in the playoffs thus far, but for the entire season. Pedro’s limited starts looked like they have been beneficial so far, but Pettitte has a more complete body of work this season. Slight edge to the Yankees.
Yankees get the edge in terms of which team has the better bullpen. The combination of Chamberlain, Hughes, and Rivera is one of if not the best in the majors. Sprinkle in Phil Coke and David Robertson and you have a strong, deep, reliable bullpen. This is not to say that the Phillies do not have a good bullpen, but Madson and Lidge are not consistent enough to be relied upon late in games. Plus Brad Lidge did blow two saves against the Yankees already this season.
I’m going to have to give a slight edge to the Yankees when it comes to who has a better lineup. Both teams are equal towards the top of their lineups as Victorino, Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Werth compare equally to Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, A-Rod, and Matsui. The Yankees edge comes with their depth towards the bottom half of their lineup. The combination of Posada, Cano, Swisher, and Cabrera are favorable over the Phillies’ Ibanez, Feliz, Ruiz, and whoever they put at DH, whether it be Stairs or Dobbs or Mayberry or Francisco. The Yankees have the best lineup in baseball, but by no means are the Phillies a distant second.
The edge when it comes to managers is definitely on the side of the Phillies’ Charlie Manuel. Manuel has a 20-11 career record in the postseason, a wealth of experience, and has a World Series ring which came last year. On the other hand Joe Giradi does not have a lot of playoff experience as this is his first postseason. Girardi also has a habit of micromanaging his pitching staff, especially the bullpen.
Yankees in 7.