Saturday, October 16, 2010

Phillies prediction

It's hard to look at things objectively when you expect the Phillies to win.

If one team can equal the Phillies' starting pitching trio of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, it's the San Francisco Giants, the Phils' opponent in the NLCS that begins tonight, who can pitch two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain.

I think the Giants have a better bullpen, the Phils a better offense and defense.

And I think the Phils are a better team.

Despite the Giants' pitching, I expect the Phillies' offense to come to life and hit better than .212 as they did against the Reds in the NLDS.

Look for Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and yes, Jimmy Rollins, to carry the Phillies to their third straight World Series. It's going to be a tough one, but I see the Phillies winning in 6 games.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Phillies prediction

An hour before first pitch, it's time to make my prediction on the National League Division Series between the Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds.

I expect the Phillies to be in the World Series, so why am I so worried about this match up?

The Phillies' three starters of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels are better than who the Reds are pitching. What concerns me is the Phillies' offense, which has had several stretches of ineptitude during the season. Now would not be a good time for another one, and Placido Polanco is out of the lineup for game one because of a sore back.

When the Phils hosted the Reds in a 4-game series in July, the Phils swept the series. But the first three games the Phils won in the final at bat. In fact in the third game, Reds' pitcher Travis Wood had a PERFECT GAME against the Phillies heading into the 9th inning in a game the Phils won, 1-0. The Phils won the final game, also 1-0, with Hamels on the mound.

The Phils need to jump on the Reds started and get a lead. The Reds bullpen is pretty good, and with lefty reliever Aroldis Chapman and his 100-plus mph fastball coming in to face Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the late innings, it would be nice if the Phils were ahead when he came into the game.

But I expect the Phils' starting pitching and post-season experience to come out ahead in this series. Phillies in 4.