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Sarah Braunstein

League Championship Series Previews 77


We’re only two league championship series away from the World Series. Who will wind up in the Fall Classic? Keep reading to find out…

ALCS: New York Yankees at Texas Rangers

Well, I got this one wrong. I really thought the Twins and Rays would small ball their way to the second round. Oh well. The good news is that I think this is the best possible match-up.

The Rangers aren’t afraid to play NL style ball. They bunt, sacrifice and take the extra base. They have one of the better defensive catchers in the league in Bengie Molina, a second baseman, Ian Kinsler, who has already hit three postseason homers, and an outfield brimming with power and rocket arms. They have a top-notch left-handed ace in Cliff Lee whose success has overshadowed two other great pitchers, C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis. They also have a bullpen with the lowest ERA in the AL and a closer, who despite being a rookie, posted 40 saves this season. That this team has come this far is no fluke.

The Yankees don’t control the running game very well, but that’s the only weakness they’ve shown so far this postseason. MVP candidate Robinson Cano plays a superb second base and shortstop Derek Jeter is a terrific playoff hitter. Combine that with the power of A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher and it is no wonder Minnesota didn’t stand a chance. The Yankees are going with a four-man rotation for this series, which means that second half slumper A.J. Burnett will join CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte, who each pitched well in the Division series. Game four could be scary for Yankee Fans. But, as always, with Mariano Rivera closing games, ninth-inning comebacks will be tough for Texas.

The Yankees have the edge in experience, but the Rangers seem to be relishing their underdog status. Some might think that not having Cliff Lee until game three is bad news for the Rangers, but I don’t. Just think of what a safety net it would be if they happen to drop the first two games at home. Or what a boost it will be to steal a game from the Yanks in the Bronx with their best pitcher on the mound.

Prediction: Not that this should surprise anyone, but I’m still picking against the Yankees. Rangers in six.

NLCS: San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies 

This is the match-up I was praying for and the one I predicted. I am totally psyched for this series to get underway.

The defending NL champion Phillies finished the regular season 27-9, swept the Reds outta town in three games, including a no-hitter, and look pretty unstoppable. Their trio of aces, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels is one no team wants to face. Except maybe the Giants that is; the big three posted a 6.12 ERA against San Francisco this season. To make up for that the Phillies will need timely offense and their usual smothering defense. Shane Victorino has been a huge spark and should continue to be. Add in a solid bullpen, a big game closer and of course, some of the most intense fans in the game, and this team has a really good shot at its third World Series in a row.

The Giants didn’t get as much attention as the Phillies, but their pitchers led the NL in ERA this season and went 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA against their NLCS opponent. Tim Lincecum proved his worth against the Reds, registering 14 strikeouts and rookie catcher Buster Posey had no trouble in the spotlight, hitting .444 in the division series. Veterans like Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez and Pat Burrell helped San Fran come from behind twice against Atlanta and hand leads over to their wild and wacky closer Brian Wilson.

The Phillies are the easy pick here, but they also faced a weaker opponent in the first round, got very little from shortstop Jimmy Rollins, and are under more pressure as two-time NL Champions. San Francisco seems to be playing fun and loose and they were really challenged by Atlanta and still came out on top.

Prediction: Expect a bunch of close well-pitched games in this season. And expect the unexpected. San Francisco in 7.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (22 votes)

77 Comments

let go Texasranger

we beat the red sox and new york yank

I LOVE THE YANKEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are so amazing. I love Derek and CC!!!! They rock!!!!

i love them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i second that! the yanks are my favorite team! i am da biggest jeter fan!!!!!!!!!!!! yanks are gonna win da world series this year, i can feel it!

why are you talk about basball

that is just plain wrong unless you are a genius on the yankees dont go be making fun of them

GGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOO METS! M-E-T-S METS METS METS DAVID WRIGHT ALL DA WAY BABY

I hate the Yanks.

Me too! go sox!

I hate them too.

The Yankees need a break from the MLB how about a 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 year break

totaly agree

yankee hater

,ljub9gy

,ljub9gy

TOTALY WRONG!!!!

boo yankees boo rangers boo giants

boo yankees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are soooooooooooooooooooo wrong!

Go RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yankees are the worst baseball team ever.

yankees are the worst baseball team ever.

rangers are way better than the yankees because they are in the world series like automaticly!

You are so right.

saints sainis sai

I DONT know what yankees is so i am saying that they stink and the RANGERS ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

p.s. i do know what yakees and ranger but the RANGERS ROCK!

thats why the yankees have won the most world series!

Why do the Rangers rule. Look at us YANKEES. We have won 27 World Series. Beat that sucker.

The Rangers did it they are going to the world series I was right all along and nowthey will win the world series. Yes, Ron Washington is the best manager ever!!! You are correct!!! That was awesome DO THE CLAW!!!! DO THE ANTLERS!!!!!!! Claw for power antlers for speed!! GO TX

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