Philadelphia Phillies Cliff Lee +150, 8 O/U at New York Yankees CC Sabathia -160, 8 O/U, Yankees Stadium, Bronx, N.Y., 7:57 PM
EST, Wednesday, October 28th, TV: Fox
by Badger of Predictem.com
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After a few months of speculation in February and March, followed by
seven long months of action in between the lines, we finally have the
matchup that many expected all along when the Philadelphia Phillies>
and the New York Yankees meet on Wednesday night in Yankees Stadium for game one of the 2009 World Series.
The Phillies clinched their second straight National League pennant
back on October 21st when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers,
10-4, to win the NLCS four games to one. The best offense in the
National League continued to slug away at the plate, pounding the
Dodgers beleaguered pitching staff for 35 runs and 36 hits in the
series they ended quickly in five games.
The Yankees clinched the American League pennant late Sunday night
with a decisive 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, giving the
Yankees the series four games to two. Left hander Andy Pettitte
continued his magnificent postseason prowess by tossing six-and-a-
third innings of one-run baseball and the Yankees turned it over to
Mariano Rivera for a six-out save to get the Yankees back into the
fall classic for the first time since 2003.
No matter how you look at it both teams needed nine playoff games to
clinch a birth into the World Series, so on paper this matchup looks
like it could be one of the best in recent memory.
Both teams have historic implications on the line as well, as the
Phillies will attempt to become the first National League team to win
back-to-back World Series titles since the Cincinnati Reds did it in
1975 and 1976. The Yankees, the MLB team with the most wins in this
decade, will look to finish the job by notching their 27th World
Series title in team history in their brand new building at Yankees
The starters for game one are set and it looks like a pitchers duel
between hired guns from Cleveland, as the Yankees will put their
prize offseason acquisition CC Sabathia out on the bump against the
Phillies huge midseason acquisition Cliff Lee, both former Indians.
The early odds on the game out of Las Vegas show the Yankees and
Sabathia as rather large -160 favorites on the moneyline, with Lee
and the Phillies listed as +150 underdogs on the dimeline. The over/
under total shows up on a few boards at 8 runs, but for the most part
the total is off the board at most offshore sportsbooks and books in
Vegas as oddsmakers wait to see what kind of weather is around the
Bronx on Wednesday.
So far both pitchers have done exactly what they were brought onto their current teams to do win games in the postseason.
Sabathia was named the ALCS MVP after winning two games and allowing just two runs in 16 innings in the series. Sabathia is 3-0 with a
1.19 ERA in his three postseason starts this year, which is starting
to make people forget that he was 2-3 with a 7.92 ERA in his five
previous playoff starts with Cleveland and Milwaukee.
Lee has actually been more dominant than his former teammate in the
postseason, going more innings (24.1 to 22.2 IP) and giving up less
hits (14 to 17) with a lower ERA (0.74) than Sabathia, but he doesnt
have the bling to show for it.
But as intriguing as the opening pitching matchup is, theres no doubt that everyone will be tuning into the Fox Network on Wednesday
to watch the ball fly out of the yard, as the top two offenses in all
of baseball are set to clash head-on in two of the most homerun-
friendly ballparks in the league.
So far its been the big names in both lineups that have provided the punch.
Phillies slugger Ryan Howard took home the NLCS MVP trophy due in
part to his ridiculous .355 average and 1.203 OPS hes put up so far
in the postseason. Philly has also received its fair share of
contributions from outfielders Jason Werth and Raul Ibanez, and
shortstop Jimmy Rollins whos 4-for-6 in the 9th inning of the
postseason including his killer-clutch walkoff double to beat the
Dodgers in game four and turn the NLCS in the Phillies favor.
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This is also shaping up to be the season that Yankee fans can finally
get off of star Alex Rodriguezs back for his previous postseason
meltdowns. A-Rod has been the backbone of the Yankees postseason
offense, hitting .438 with a 1.516 OPS including several monstrously
clutch homeruns that either tied the game of put the Yankees ahead
Captain Derek Jeter has also chipped in nicely with three playoff homeruns, and Red Sox castoff Johnny Damon finally got into the act
with a clutch two-run single in the Yankees ALCS-deciding game six
victory on Sunday. First baseman Mark Teixeira only hit .222 in the
ALCS, so he has yet to get hot at the plate and lookout if he does
because it could get ugly for the Phillies.
The Phillies-Yankees matchup is actually a rematch of the 1950 World
Series, one the Yanks swept in four games.
But theres a little more recent history between these two teams for bettors to use in determining betting trends and streaks. The Phillies took two of three games from the Yankees in interleague play
this past May at Yankee Stadium, and it should have been a sweep
except that closer Brad Lidge blew a save in the middle game of the
series that allowed the Yankees to steal a 5-4 win in extra innings.
The Phillies two wins in that series came against Sabathia and the
Yankees other prize offseason recruit, A.J. Burnett. They touched
Sabathia for nine hits and three runs in eight innings of a 4-3
victory, up then closed out the series with a 7-3 victory over
Burnett, who gave five runs on eight hits in six innings of work.
Lee has a history against the Yankees as a member of the Indians,
going 4-4 with a 5.02 ERA and a really high 1.538 WHIP in nine career
If the game comes down to bullpens it will help that the Phillies
have all had a full week off and will be able to go with a Johnny-
Wholestaff approach, whereas the Yankees pen will have had just one
day off. As a whole though the bullpen edge goes to the Yankees as
Rivera continues to be lights out as a closer where the Phillies
still have questions about Brad Lidge despite his three saves so far
Badgers Pick: Its playoff baseball, which means its all about the pitching. Even with lineups stacked top-to-bottom with great hitters,
this game will be the pitchers duel everyone is expecting (to the
angst of all Cleveland Indians fans). Take the under of 8.