2009 World Series Game 5 Preview and Pick – New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies

2009 World Series Game Five

New York Yankees lead series 3-1

New York Yankees A.J. Burnett +125, 8.5 O/U vs. Philadelphia
Phillies Cliff Lee -135, 8.5 O/U, Citizens Bank Park,
Philadelphia, Pa., 7:57 PM EST, Monday, November 2nd, TV: Fox

On the brink of elimination the Philadelphia Phillies will put all of
their hopes on ace lefty Cliff Lee to try and keep them alive when
the Phillies and New York Yankees get together for game five Monday
night in Citizens Bank Park.

But it wont be easy as the Yankees will counter with an ace of their
own, sending right-hander A.J. Burnett out to the mound to try and
clinch their 27th World Series title in franchise history.

The Phillies have their backs against the wall because last night
Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada both ripped run-scoring hits off of
Phillies closer Brad Lidge in the top of the ninth inning to earn a
7-4 victory in game four. The Phillies rallied to tie the game in the
bottom of the 8th on a Pedro Feliz solo homerun, but Lidge was unable
to keep it tied making the Phillies rely on Lee to keep them alive

Lee was absolutely sensational in earning the victory in game one of
the series, limiting the powerful Yankees lineup to just six hits and
one unearned run in the complete-game win.

The problem for the Phillies is that Burnett was equally sensational
in earning the victory in game two of the series, allowing just four
hits and a run in his seven innings of work.

The biggest difference between the two pitchers on Monday night is
that Lee will be pitching on his normal five days of rest, while
Burnett will be throwing on a shortened three-day schedule that
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been using the whole postseason.

Oddsmakers opened game five with Lee and the Phillies as -130
favorites on the moneyline, and some quick, early steam at the window
moved the number up to -135 favorites overnight. Thats makes Burnett
and the Yankees a valuable +125 underdog on the dimeline at the
offshore sportsbooks.

The over/under total opened at 8.5 overnight. As of press time the runline odds have yet to be released.

Both pitchers were so successful in their opening outing of the World
Series because they both worked ahead in the count for most of the game.

Lee threw 80 of his 122 pitches last Wednesday for strikes, and with
the Yankee hitters in defensive mode at the plate he was able to keep
his changeup down and outside which helped him notch 10 strikeouts in
game one. He was most effective against the Yankees billion-dollar
3-4 hitting combo of Mark Teixeira and A-Rod, who combined to go 0-
for-8 with five of those 10 strikeouts between them.

Burnett was also pinpoint with his control throwing first-pitch
strikes to 24 of the 26 hitters he faced in his seven innings.
Overall 68 of his 108 pitches were strikes and with him pitching in
pitcher counts all night he notched nine strikeouts, four of which
came against Phillies slugger Ryan Howard who took the golden
sombrero on the night.

If Philadelphia has any hope of staying alive they will need their
big-bopper Howard to get back on track at the plate. The big first
baseman has been held in check by Yankees pitching all series, going
just 3-for-17 (.176) so far with 10 strikeouts.

With the exception of Jason Werth and Chase Utley, the Phillies
lineup has been held down by the Yankees plethora of arms. Werth is
the only Phillies hitter hitting over .300 in the series (.308),
while Utley has killed Sabathia (3 homeruns) in his two starts but is
hitting just .267 overall.

In the other dugout Girardi has do be ecstatic that the Yanks are one
game away from winning the title, since neither A-Rod or Teixeira
have yet to do much damage on offense. A-Rod was just 1-for-13 prior
to his run-scoring double last night, while Teixeira is only 1-for-14
in the World Series thus far.


Unlike the Phillies lineup, the rest of the Yankees order has picked
up the slack for the big two on offense. Derek Jeter (.412) and
Johnny Damon (.294) have set the table at the top, with Posada (.308,
5 RBI) doing most of the cleaning up hitting in the five-slot.

The emotional roller coaster the Phillies went through in game four
could take its toll in tonights game as well. When Feliz tied game
four in the 8th inning with his big fly the Phillies dugout as well
as the house at Citizen Bank Park erupted with life, but that life
was snatched and sucked away only minutes later when the Yankees
showed the killer instinct that has been missing from the pinstripes
in the past few seasons.

Badgers World Series Pick: As much as it pains me to say it, I think the Yankees are destined to win the series now. Last nights 9th-inning comeback
was a kick to the stones for the Phillies and their followers,
something I think they wont recover from in time to stave off
elimination. Take the Yankees as +125 dogs tonight.