The biggest prize in baseball has arrived. It is a showdown between two of the most deserving teams today. The New York Yankees (the best record in baseball) take on the Philadelphia Phillies (the defending World Series Champions). How do these teams match up? Let’s first examine the road taken by both.
The Yankees have a lineup equivalent to an All-Star team. Brand names like Jeter, A-Rod, and Texiera highlight a dream team batting order. Their pitching isn’t too bad either. CC Sabathia is worth every penny, while Mariano Rivera is still the most dominant closer in playoff history. They had a rocky start, losing the “Yankees/Sox” first eight games. That all changed as many problems were solved with A-Rod returning, Phil Hughes as the bridge to Mo, the 2nd half surge. For the Yankees to win, they need to do the same things they did to the Twins and Angels: throw them off their game. Sabathia needs to pitch like in the past three postseason starts. Jeter and A-Rod need to keep the momentum going, and the others need to pick up the slack. If they can’t hit, then pick it up with the glove lie Texiera.
The Phillies have a lineup not of mostly brand names but blue collar players that refuse to quit. All-Stars like Howard, Utley, and Rollins lead the team on and off the field. Outfielders Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth have been great and welcome surprises to their lineup. A huge surprise is their pitching; acquisitions Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez have answered the call to the mound each time they start. They had a slow start with a shaky rotation, and having a bulls-eye on their backs made teams more determined to take them down. Since those acquisitions (mentioned earlier) signed on, they’ve been rolling ever since. For the Phillies to win, they need to win at least one game in Yankee Stadium. The Phillies can match them up in every position for every move. They need to push the buttons in order to become World Series Champions again.
Managers Joe Girardi and Charlie Manuel are going to have their hands full. They will allow their teams to take off the gloves and unleash an all-out war. This is a World Series we will talk about for years to come. The Phillies have more players with experience, but the Yankees are hungrier to win it all.
Prediction: Yankees in 6
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