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2009 World Series Preview: Phillies vs. Yankees

New York (103-59, 7-2) vs. Philadelphia (93-69, 7-2)

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Schedule

TV: Fox

  • Game 1: at New York, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 7:57 p.m.
  • Game 2: at New York, Thursday, Oct. 29, 7:57 p.m.
  • Game 3: at Philadelphia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 7:57 p.m.
  • Game 4: at Philadelphia, Sunday, Nov. 1, 8:20 p.m.
  • Game 5: (if neccesary) at Philadelphia, Monday, Nov. 2, 7:57 p.m.
  • Game 6: (if neccesary) at New York, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 7:57 p.m.
  • Game 7: (if neccesary) at New York, Thursday, Nov. 5, 7:57 p.m.

Yankees projected lineup

  1. SS Derek Jeter (.334, 18 HR, 66 RBI, 30 SB)
  2. LF Johnny Damon (.282, 24, 82 RBI)
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira (.292, 39 HR, 122 RBI)
  4. 3B Alex Rodriguez (.286, 30 HR, 100 RBI)
  5. DH Hideki Matsui (.274, 28 HR, 90 RBI)
  6. C Jorge Posada (.285, 22 HR, 81 RBI)
  7. 2B Robinson Cano (.320, 25 HR, 85 RBI)
  8. RF Nick Swisher (.249, 29 HR, 82 RBI)
  9. CF Melky Cabrera (.274, 13 HR, 68 RBI)

Phillies projected lineup

  1. SS Jimmy Rollins (.250, 21 HR, 77 RBI, 31 SB)
  2. CF Shane Victorino (.292, 10 HR, 62 RBI, 25 SB)
  3. 2B Chase Utley (.282, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 23 SB)
  4. 1B Ryan Howard (.279, 45 HR, 141 RBI)
  5. RF Jayson Werth (.268, 36 HR, 99 RBI)
  6. DH Raul Ibanez (.272, 34 HR, 93 RBI)
  7. 3B Pedro Feliz (.266, 12 HR, 82 RBI)
  8. LF Ben Francisco (.257, 15 HR, 46 RBI, combined Indians and Phillies)
  9. C Carlos Ruiz (.255, 9 HR, 43 RBI)

Yankees projected rotation

  • LHP CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.37 ERA)
  • RHP A.J. Burnett (13-9, 4.04 ERA)
  • LHP Andy Pettitte (14-8, 4.16 ERA)
  • LHP Chad Gaudin (6-10, 4.64 ERA, combined Padres and Yankees)

Phillies projected rotation

  • LHP Cliff Lee (14-13, 3.39 ERA, combined Indians and Phillies)
  • RHP Pedro Martinez (5-1, 3.63 ERA)
  • LHP Cole Hamels (10-11, 4.32 ERA)
  • RHP Joe Blanton (12-8, 4.05 ERA)

Inside the matchups

Hitting: The two best hitting teams in the majors (they were Nos. 1-2 in homers, slugging and runs) made the World Series because neither team had the typical cool-off when the playoffs came around. What makes us think it will happen now? Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon are getting on base, and Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are knocking him in. Just substitute Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and that describes the Phillies. The difference will likely be the team that can generate from the bottom of the order, which means players such as Carlos Ruiz and Melky Cabrera need to continue to hit. Edge: Yankees.

Bench:The Yankees haven't needed a bench so far in the playoffs, and the Phillies haven't had much of a contribution from theirs, either. Ben Francisco will play left field in Yankee Stadium, moving Raul Ibanez to DH. Francisco is no Hideki Matsui at the plate, but he has a good history against the Yankees (.351 in his career). Give the Phillies (Matt Stairs, Francisco, Greg Dobbs) a slight edge in pinch hitting when needed at home over the Yankees' choices (Jerry Hairston Jr., Brett Gardner). Edge: Phillies.

Starting pitching: Both teams are strong, and close. Sabathia or Lee? A push. Burnett and Hamels both struggled a bit in the last round. Pettitte and Martinez are wily veterans with plenty left in the tank. Maybe Blanton is a little better than Chad Gaudin. The key to the whole series could be Hamels, last year's World Series MVP who has a 6.75 ERA these playoffs and has given up the long ball. Edge: Phillies.

Bullpen: All you need to really say is Mariano Rivera and the Yankees have the edge on every team out there. But Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain weren't great in the setup role in the last round, but the Yankees' hitting (and Rivera) masked it. The Phillies have overachieved so far, let by Brad Lidge, who is perfect in the postseason after a terrible regular season. Chan Ho Park and Ryan Madson need to come through in the middle innings. Edge: Yankees.

Why the Yankees will win

It's felt like it's their year since June or so. They have a core of players (Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, Rivera) who have been through the wars, and another talented group (Rodriguez, Teixeira, Sabathia) who are very eager to earn that ring that eluded them elsewhere. And they have home-field advantage, which is a massive advantage in the World Series. And the hammer in the bullpen in Rivera, whose cutter is even more devastating against teams that don't see it that often.

Why the Phillies will win

If Philadelphia is to celebrate a second consecutive title, they need so steal one of the first two games in Yankee Stadium, then sweep at home in Philadelphia. And that's feasible with a team that is actually more playoff seasoned, overall, than this Yankees group, as strange as that sounds. (The Phillies have 18 players with World Series experience; the Yankees have eight. But if this goes back to New York for Game 6, I don't like the Phillies' chances at all. The Yankees are that good at home. In a World Series, that edge is magnified.

Prediction

Yankees in six.

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