2009 World Series Showdown
Prediction: Yankees in six games
This year the defending champion, the NL Philadelphia Phillies will take on the AL New York Yankees in a World Series match-up of power. Both teams play classic American League style baseball; both have some speed and pitching, but will ultimately rely on home runs to secure their victory. Each team led their league in home runs, total-bases, and runs scored in the 2009 season. However, compared to the Yankees the Phillies produced 100 RBIs and 100 runs less. The Yankees also have a higher on-base-percentage(.362 to the Phillies, .334).
Regarding pitching, both teams are pretty even; each team gave up about 1.2 home runs per nine innings, each hit about 73 batters, and each posted a team WHIP, walks plus hits over innings pitched, of 1.352. The only differences were the Phillies team ERA, 4.16, was a bit lower than the Yankees, 4.28, and the Yankees struck out 100 more posing batters.
We all know the big names: A-Rod, Jeter, Howard and Utley but there are two other players poised to do great things this series.
The first is Andy Pettitte, starting pitcher for the Yankees. Pettitte has been around the playoffs a lot, posting over 230 innings pitched in the post-season. Over the course of his career he has handled the first four Phillies’ batters, Rollins, Victorino, Utley, and Howard, very well. In 79 at-bats, combined, they have gotten only nine hits, a home run and have only two RBIs against Pettitte. That’s a combined .184 batting average against Pettitte; talk about ownership.
On the Phillies side, keep an eye on Raul Ibanez, the starting leftfielder. Against the three Yankee starters, Sabathia, Burnett and Pettitte, Ibanez has combined in his career to go 21 for 76 (.276 batting average), with three home runs and 15 RBIs. This means Ibanez drives in a run every five at-bats; not bad since those pitchers combined to make over 35 million dollars this season.
In the playoffs, defense and walks always have game-changing effects. In 2009, the Phillies committed ten less errors than the Yankees, but the Yankees walked about 100 less batters.
Ultimately, it should be a good series, with a ton of souvenirs hit over the outfield fences. But I see the Yankees winning it in six games. The power and patience of the Yankees line-up should continue into the World Series and with Mariano Rivera, pitching the ninth inning, the Yankees will secure their 27th franchise championship.