I already did Part 1 today(The Angels=2007 WS Champions) so I'm doing Part 2. I was not gonna do a Part 2 but Mac gave me a good idea to go through each playoff series as what I think will happen in each one. In my last blog, I did a long look at the Angels roster and then I skimmed through the playoffs. I'll dive into the playoffs with this blog:
Angels Vs. Yankees-
Pitching- The Angels have the upper hand in this department. Who would you rather have?
Lackey, Escobar, And Weaver
Wang, Pettitte, Clemens
I would rather have the Angels set. Wang is a very good pitcher but when he doesn't get that sinker down, take cover. Clemens is old with not much speed and he would only able to last 5 innings against the Angels. Pettitte is the guy I would take over all these guys in a playoff game. We all know Pettitte ain't perfect, but he wins the games he should. The bullpen is also an advantage towards the Angels. I would still take Mo over K-Rod, but thats because Mo has more experience and I've seen Mo close out the game more. Or maybe thats just me being a homer. Whatever you wanna call it, I would take Mo. But I trust the Angels more when it comes to the set-up men. Yes, Joba has been great. But he has never pitched in the postseason before and Kyle Farnsworth is horrible in the clutch spot.
Hitting- The Yankees have the best hitting in baseball. All there is to it. The line-up is ridiculous. The easiest out in the Yanks line-up is Cano. And he is hitting .300. That tells you how great the line-up is. Posada has been consistent and has not dropped throughout the whole year, A-Rod is the A.L. MVP(I really don't see how you can argue it), Jeter is Jeter, Abreu leads the majors in RBIs since the All-Star Break, Giambi has been tearing the cover off the ball, even Damon is hitting! Not even close.
Pick- Angels in 5. The fact is the Yanks pretty much suck against the Angels. Add the fact that the Angels have home-field advantage and that's game,set,match. I do think the Yankees will put up a fight(as they usually do) but the Angels still own them. The Angels play energetic, fast, textbook baseball. The Yankees dont', at least most of the time.
Red Sox vs. Indians-
Pitching- The Indians have a great 1-2 punch with C.C. and Carmona. But both of those pitchers have little to no experience in the postseason. Then you have Westbrook and Byrd. 2 pitchers that are pretty solid for the regular season but they are not 2 pitchers you trust in a big game. On the other side of the coin, the Red Sox have Josh Beckett and Dice K. Beckett is having an outstanding year. Dice K has struggled lately but he still(usually) goes deep into games. But he has been so far a disappointment. But he'll get better, as this is only his first year. After those 2, there is Curt Schilling. He ain't what he once was, but he has a history of delivering in big games and he is rested for the postseason. Add those 3 with Wakefield and Lester, the Red Sox seem to have more dependable pitching.
Hitting- Both teams have had their ups and downs when it comes to the hitting. Boston still has Manny and Ortiz to carry the load. Mike Lowell continues to provide more pop with excellent defense and the right side of the infield finally has players that have long term plans with the Red Sox. But it does have 2 weaknesses. Julio Lugo and J.D. Drew. 2 players that have been complete and utter disappointments. It just doesn't look like they fit with this team. The Indians have the same deal. Victor Martinez has had a solid year. Grady Sizemore can do anything with a bat in his hand, and Travis Hafner still has his power. BUT Hafner has lost the ability to hit for AVG and Sizemore has been one of the most overrated players in baseball this year. Yes, he's mega talented but he Ks a ton. He has not looked like a big #3 hitter this year.
Pick- The Red Sox in 3. I don't think the Indians have much a chance. They have had a hard team beating good teams(which tells you they just get fat over the bad ones) and they are young with some major flaws. Joe Borowski isn't a closer you trust with your season on the line and the whole bullpen is still not really a strong point(although it is better then last year). The Red Sox have the pitching, the clutch hitting, and that great bullpen to shut the Indians down in 3.
Mets vs. D-Backs
Pitching- The D-Back's pitching has been quite surprising.It looks very so-so before the season but has stepped up in a big way.Brandon Webb has proved he will be a great pitcher for a long time to come. Livan Hernandez has been his usual self: not shut down but he eats innings and he's never injuried. Doug Davis has been very good to great since the All Star Break. Those 3 could be pesky to fae in October. But they don't scare you. They aren't big pitchers. The Mets should have Pedro back to mostly healthy. Tom Glavine is now only a 5-inning pitcher and he has his really bad days, but when he gets on a roll he's tough to get on. That control of his will never go. Oliver Perez is a guy you can't count on. One day, he's lights-out. The next, Peterson is on the bullpen phone in the 2nd inning.
Hitting- This would be a fun series to watch because both of these teams are pretty young(D-Backs are VERY young), both are very energetic, and both teams have alot of speed. The Mets have better hitting because they have power with the speed. The D-Backs have power but the guys who hit for power don't hit for a high AVG(Chris Young comes to mind). The D-Backs are a young team that strikes out ALOT. And that will hurt them big time in the playoffs. The Mets have more power, a higher team AVG, and they don't strikeout as much.
Pick- The Mets in 3 games. The D-Backs have the potential to be a dynasty if they keep all this young talent and just make some smart decisions with the people they get to build around, but not now. They are too young and this team has just overachieved this season. I'm picking the Mets in a total beatdown.
Padres vs. Cardinals
Pitching- The Padres have the lowest ERA in baseball. Pretty much it. The ERA has not been as good as it was in the 1st half but that is because the bullpen has faltered lately. But the starting pitching is still in great shape. No team will be able to get past Peavy and Young with 2 wins. Maybe not even 1 win. The best 1-2 combo in baseball. And it ain't the ballpark. They pitch just as good on the road as they do in Petco. The Cardinals pitching looks liek it's from a garage sale. Looper, Kip Wells, Percival, Ryan Franklin. Percival and Franklin have been very good in the pen. Looper started off horrible but has shaped up. And Kip Wells....ugh. Anyway, The Padres own them here. Actually the one thing the Cardinals can have over the Padres is the bullpen. The Cardnials bullpen has been the most underrated pen in baseball.
Hitting- The Cardinals have the win in this one. While their hitting is not great, you don't need great hitting to overtake the Padres in that part of the game. The Padres hitting is weak and very shallow. The Cardinals have Pujols, Ankiel(insert HGH joke here), Eckstein, Duncan, and Edmonds(who has hit better in the 2nd half). Thats not terrible. The Padres have the Giles brothers(One of them has been a disappointment and the other one is getting old), Milton Bradley(not a guy you ask to carry the line-up) and Adrain Gonzalez. Not terrible, but not that good either.
Pick- The Padres in 4 games. The pitching will be too much to over come for the Cardinals. If the Cardinals had a great line-up they would have a shot. But they don't.
Angels vs. Red Sox-
Pitching- This would be by far the best series of the postseason. Whoever wins this series will win the whole thing. The Red Sox have a more complete rotation but the Angels have better, younger starters at the top. Except for Lackey, who has stuggled very much against Boston(and very, VERY much at Fenway Park). But besides of Beckett, the Red Sox pitching has not been as great as it was earlier. Dice-K has been bad recently and Curt Schilling ain't no spring chicken. The Angels have had some problems with the back of the rotation but the 1-2-3 pounding of Lackey, Escobar, and Weaver wouldn't be pretty to face in a short series.
Hitting- This teams have 2 very different styles of hitting. The Angels are textbook, by the numbers baseball while the Red Sox wait for the 3-run HR more often. The Angels don't really have a weak spot in their line-up. It's very well-balanced. The Red Sox have some weak spots. David Ortiz and Manny have not been has great as they have been in years past. If they have a big series, Boston is winning this series and the World Series.
Pick- The thing this series will come down to will be the bullpens. Both bullpens have been great throughout the whole season. I think that will determine this series. The bullpen will play a huge part. K-Rod has more playoff experience then Papelbon which always helps. I'm picking the Angels in 7 games. I think it'll be a great series.
Padres vs Mets-
Pitching- The Mets don't have much depth with the pitching. So if this series goes deep, they could be in trouble. Pedro might not still be 100%, Glavine needs more rest then he used to, and the bullpen is not that great. Wagner has a history of blowing leads in the playoffs. John Maine and Perez are the only guys you could pitch on short rest. And Maine is alot more dependable then Perez. With Peavy and Young, the Padres also have Greg Maddux and Clay Hensley to shore up the back end in case of emergency.
Hitting- Once again, the Mets have the edge here. What will help the Mets big is the fact they have home-field advantage. The Mets play(and hit) better at home. That would be a big plus.
Pick- The Padres in 7. The Mets will make this series good because of the clutch hitting they always have. The Padres bullpen has cooled down and will continue to cool down. I think the Padres will BARELY squeeze by with the win.
The Angels def. Padres In 6 Games-
The Padres will pitch good. Very good. They will keep the almost dead offense in every game But the Angels are the type of team that can beat great pitching because they don't wait for the long ball. The bunt, they steal, they make runs that other teams would not. The Padres won't be able to do that to the Angels pitching because the Padres don't have the speed. They even have less power then the Angels. And once again, the bullpen issue. The Angels will win it all. I'm done, finally.