>> Thursday, October 15, 2009

They seem like good series. Let's hope so, as the wild card round had 3 dogs (although the individual games were often good.)

LA v. PHI Very interesting series, with very talented teams with often-mocked (especially by me) managers who turned out to be excellent. My gut, like the Diamond Mind simulation, says that the Dodgers' big edge in bullpen will outweigh the Phillies' (unnecessarily large) edge in the rotation. The key moment in the last series occurred when Howard was idiotically allowed to face a right-handed reliever at a key moment of the game; that's not likely to happen again. One big wild card, though: I could see Pedro pulling a series-changing Howard Ehmke start in Game 2, which could be a huge plus. But I'll stick with DODGERS IN SIX.

NYY v. LA The contours of the series are clear enough: perennial contenders fielding their strongest teams in years, with the Yankees (with a better record in a better division) unmistakably although not massively better. The interesting question is how what looks like awful weather in New York will affect things. I see three it cutting three ways:

  • A rainout, obviously, greatly benefits the Angels. Especially given the Yankee lineup, a Kazmir/Gaudin matchup would give the Angels a huge edge, arguably bigger than Sabathia/Lackey or Saunders/Burnett. If a rainout was guaranteed this series might be close to a push, although I would have to think it's still unlikely on balance.
  • The colder weather could benefit the Angels in two ways: even absent a rainout it will decrease runs, which both helps the weaker offensive team in general by making the games closer and also gives an edge to the team more able to "manufacture" runs, which again would probably be the Angels.
  • On the other hand, closer games give an edge to teams with a better bullpen, and the Yankees have a huge edge here.
If the Angels still had K-Rod, I might be a little more optimistic about their chances. But it's pretty easy to see Fuentes and company getting the crap pounded out of them in close games, and it's hard to see many Angel blowouts. YANKS IN 5.


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