Saturday, October 11, 2008

Championship Series Predictions

This week I will make my championship series predictions. The poll is not working so there will be none for this week.

Phillies vs. Dodgers: Phillies lead 2-0
Game 3: Jamie Moyer (PHI) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (LAD) in LAD
Game 4: Joe Blanton (PHI) vs. TBD (LAD) in LAD
*Game 5: Cole Hamels (PHI) vs. TBD (LAD) in LAD
*Game 6: Brett Myers (PHI) vs. TBD (LAD) in PHI
*Game 7: TBD (PHI) vs. TBD (LAD) in PHI

I think the Phillies will win this series 4-2. If the Phillies can just win one game at Dodger Stadium they should be able to wrap it up at home fairly easily. Game 3 is a must-win game for the Dodgers and Hiroki Kuroda isn’t the guy you’d want in that kind of game as he went 9-10 with a 3.73 ERA in the regular season and is going against Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard (who’s still a threat even though he’s cold), and a very hot Shane Victorino. If the Dodgers lose that game they will almost certainly lose the series, seeing that they will face Cole Hamels, if they get past game 4, and then if they beat Hamels then they will face Brett Myers in Philadelphia. That will be two very tough games for the Dodgers. Although Joe Blanton went 9-12 on the season, he can also throw a gem. The Dodgers really put themselves in a bad position and will really have to step it up to win the series. The Phillies are the overall better team, pitching-wise, because there is only one Dodger pitcher I would trust every time out and that’s Derek Lowe, who probably won’t pitch again until game 5. The only way I see the Phillies losing the series is if the passing of Charlie Manuel’s mother and Shane Victorino’s grandmother impact their focus.

Red Sox vs. Rays: Red Sox lead 1-0
Game 2: Josh Beckett (BOS) vs. Scott Kazmir (TB) in TB
Game 3: Jon Lester (BOS) vs. Matt Garza (TB) in BOS
Game 4: Tim Wakefield (BOS) vs. Andy Sonnanstine (TB) in BOS
*Game 5: Dice-K Matsuzaka (BOS) vs. James Shields (TB) in BOS
*Game 6: TBD (BOS) vs. TBD (TB) in TB
*Game 7: TBD (BOS) vs. TBD (TB) in TB

I think the Red Sox will win this series 4-1. I don’t see Jon Lester losing and I don’t see Andy Sonnanstine winning in BOS, and I think both Game 2 and Game 5 are up for grabs. The Rays really needed to win game one at home when you’ve then got to face Josh Beckett and Jon Lester and go to Fenway for three. Jon Lester will throw a gem again, Josh Beckett could throw a gem or could get destroyed, Tim Wakefield could throw a gem, and Dice-K Matsuzaka will probably throw a gem. The Rays could be shut out every single game with the Red Sox pitching and the Rays offense, even more specifically Evan Longoria, needs to step it up. In Game 1 Akinori Iwamura, BJ Upton, Carl Crawford, and Cliff Floyd were the only ones to get hits and only got one hit each, all singles. Evan Longoria went 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts and grounded into a key double play in a scoring situation. The Red Sox are just too good a team, both pitching wise and hitting wise for the Rays to catch up after losing their first home game. The only way I see the Rays winning is if BJ Upton hits more home runs and Evan Longoria gets more RBI’s and if Carlos Pena gets more hits.

Results of last week’s poll:
Who do you think should be the AL MVP?
Kevin Youkilis – 40%
Justin Morneau – 40%
Other – 20%
Josh Hamilton – 0%

Come back next week for championship series recaps and World Series predictions.

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