This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com
What better time to offer up entirely unscientific predictions than on the eve of the 2009 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies?
The 2009 World Series could be one of the greatest postseason series of all time. The teams are stacked quite evenly, with perhaps a slight edge given to the Yankees for their bullpen. However, I believe the World Series will come down to the starting rotation of both teams.
Will a Good Cole Hamels show up? Will Cliff Lee pitch well against the Yankees as he did in the regular season? How will Pedro Martinez shape up against that Yankee lineup in New York?
How will C.C. Sabathia hold up if he’s required to pitch on 3 days rest with over 250 innings on his arm in 2009? Will Girardi really use only 3 starting pitchers in the series? If there’s a 4th starter, how will Gaudin’s extended time off play in a crucial game?
I believe whichever team wins this series will win because of the answers to these questions. With both teams having great lineups, it will come down to manager picking the right matchups and pitchers rising to the occasion. I predict another Phillies World Series title in a 6 game series.
Historical Note: The last time the Yankees were swept in a World Series was also the last time there was a National League team that won consecutive championships, the 1975-1976 Big Red Machine.
Happy Anniversary: Today, 5 years ago, the Boston Red Sox completed one of the greatest comebacks in history when they put the finishing touches on their 4 game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.