MLB championship series breakdown
After an exciting -but at times predictable- first round, the MLB Playoffs are moving onto the Championship Series. Both match ups are sure to be highly entertaining and have the potential to go seven games.
ALCS- New York Yankees Vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels shook up the baseball world by sweeping Boston in the first round and are hoping to become the first team ever to eliminate both the Red Sox and the Yankees in a single post season. The Angels are rolling right now and if the momentum carries over into this series, the Yankees may face their first real test of the post season.
In New York’s first round match up against the Minnesota Twins, Alex Rodriguez shattered previous notions that he was ineffective in the playoffs by belting two home runs that secured victories for the Yankees.
The two teams share a playoff history as they have faced each other twice- in 2002 and 2005. In both series the Angels came out on top, however, this time around the Yankees are the favourite. With dominating offensive prowess, the Yankees will look to continue their style of power baseball. New York led the league in home runs during the regular season with 244 and that has transferred into the postseason as well, as they lead in the playoffs with six dingers.
If the Angels hope to take this series, they will have to play stellar defence and counter the New York’s offensive power with their own style of ‘small ball’, utilizing their younger and faster players.
Prediction: Yankees in 6
NLCS- Philadelphia Phillies Vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
In a rematch of last season’s National League Championship Series, the Dodgers will have home field advantage this time around. During the regular season these teams faced each other seven times, with the Dodgers winning four games.
Philadelphia has one of the best offensive line-ups in the league, packing more power and speed than the Dodgers. The Phillies also have a good balance of lefties and righties and additionally, their first two batters-Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino- are switch hitters.
To counter this, the Dodgers pitching rotation is among the deepest in the League. Their bullpen ranked first in the majors in ERA and were almost unhittable in the division series against St. Louis. Derek Lowe will start Game 1 for the Dodgers and hopes to motivate the rest of the bullpen with his impressive play of late. He will also enter the game with more postseason experience than Philadelphia’s starter, Cole Hamels. If Lowe can put together a solid first game, it could have a tremendous motivating effect on the rest of the Dodgers pitching staff.
This series could very easily last seven games, and come down to game management. In which case, the Dodgers have the clear advantage with Joe Torre’s knowledge and four World Series rings. His counterpart, Charlie Manuel on the other hand, will be managing in his first Championship Series.
Prediction: Dodgers in 7