Monday, October 22, 2007

World Series Primer

Since it's the only real reliable way of doing things, we're going to make a prediction for the World Series based on a position by position comparison of the two teams.

C: Jason Varitek vs. Yorvit Torrealba
Young Yorvit has been red hot as of late, while J V-tek's offensive prowess is dwindling. But a good catcher is more than just a good hitter (ask the Indians), he needs to know and love his pitchers, he needs to study the batters. I'm pretty sure every manager in the league, at this point in their respective careers, would take the Captain under the gun.
Advantage: RED SOX(1-0)

1B: Kevin Youkilis vs. Todd Helton
Youuuuk is a fan favorite (especially here at the Deis, for fairly obvious reasons) and scorched through the ALCS, .500 with 9 Runs, 3 HR, and 5 RBIs. Helton, on the other hand, did not have a great NLCS, but otherwise is busy reliving the days when he was a perennial MVP candidate. The stats say I should give this to Youk, while history says I should give it to Helton.
Advantage: PUSH (1-0)

2B: Dustin Pedroia vs. Kaz Matsui
These two players are so similar, it might be my hardest match-up of all. Pedroia is a light-hitting Rookie of the Year front runner who packs a big heart into his tiny 5-9, 180 lb frame. Matsui on the other hand, is a lighter-hitting speedster out of Japan who makes the most out of his 5-10, 185 lbs of pure drive. Both are above average (to say the least) defensively. Looking at playoff stats so far, Pedroia (.286, 10 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI) and Matsui (.310, 4 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI) are basally a wash. Overall, it's too close to call.
Advantage: PUSH (1-0)

SS: Julio Lugo vs. Troy Tulowitzki
I don't think anyone would debate the fact that Julio Lugo has been one of (more on this later) the biggest disappointments for the Red Sox this year. He is a blackhole on offense and is prone to defensive miscues as well. Tulowitzki is the winner of the NL not-Braun Rookie of the Year easily (Hunter Pence?) and a spark of energy for the Rockies. No contest here.
Advantage: ROCKIES (1-1)

3B: Mike Lowell vs. Garrett Atkins
After a slow start, Dr. Atkins pulled together a fine season, hitting .301 with 25 HR and 111 RBI. He has been a non-factor in the playoffs this year, but is a constant threat for an outburst. However, Mike Lowell, not David Ortiz, not Manny Ramirez, was the Red Sox clubhouse leader in RBIs and probably was the best third baseman this side of Alex Rodriguez in the American League, something that can't be said of Atkins (because he plays in the NL, for one).
Advantage: RED SOX (2-1)

LF: Manny Ramirez vs. Matt Holliday
Manny is on the tail-end (maybe not quite yet) of an illustrious career, but overall had a lackluster season this year. Coupled with his propensity for mental errors and also for just not caring, this is a hard match-up for Manny to win. Also, I don't know if I'd take anyone over Matt Holliday right now.
Advantage: ROCKIES (2-2)

CF: Crisp/Ellsbury vs. Willy Taveras
Ellsbury is clearly the center fielder of the future for the Red Sox and will probably will start against the Rockies. These three players combined are probably the fastest trio on the two teams. As much as I love Ellsbury, he is a rookie though, and given a wash in the stats, I'll take the veteran (Taveras is 26, does that count?).
Advantage: ROCKIES (3-2)

RF: JD Drew vs. Brad Hawpe
JD Drew has been on fire since winning back his starting spot, including a grand slam on Saturday. On the other hand, he was hardly worth his massive contract this year, batting .270 with 11 HRs overall. Brad Hawpe had an overall average season for him (which is pretty good for most people) and has had a decent postseason. If JD Drew continues his hot hitting, this might approach push territory, but that is a big if.
BIG Advantage: ROCKIES (4-2)

DH: David Ortiz vs. I don't really know
BIG Advantage: RED SOX (3-4)

Starting Pitchers:
Josh Beckett is a lock for the AL Cy, while Curt Schilling has a great postseason track record. Dice-K has proven to be serviceable if not quite decent. The Rockies throw out a trio of Jeff Francis, Ubaldo Jiminez, and Josh Fogg, eliciting a collective response of "Who?" (alright the three all have at least SOME name recognition, but not as much as the triad from Boston). The Rockies did beat both Beckett and Schilling in Fenway this year, but overall I don't think it's much of a contest.
Advantage: RED SOX (4-4)

Relief Corps:
Going into September, I thought the Red Sox probably had the best group of relievers in the MLB. Papelbon was lights out, Oki was equally so, we had just acquired another shutdown guy in Gagne, and had Timlin, Vasquez, and Delcarmen to shore it up. Add Lester and Tavarez into the mix and you get more go-to guys than you can fit in a bullpen. Now I'm more than not-so sure. Colorado's guys, as usual, are much less flashy, but at least as effective. Brian Fuentes has bounced all the way back from his horrendous week in midseason and Manny Corpas has established himself as something more than "The guy with a funny profile picture on Yahoo!" On the other hand, Colorado's relievers have had a great postseason, but this is still Papelbon and Okajima we are talking about.
Advantage: PUSH (4-4)

At the end of the day, we have a tie. Meaning that, I really don't know who's going to win the World Series. I hope you enjoyed that (I didn't plan it).


Anonymous said...

Your right Todd Helton didn't have a great ALCS...he batted .000 with 0 ABs...

Loren said...

I was really confused by that comment until I realized what you were talking about. Duly noted.

It's nice to see that people read so closely. Some would call it nit-picky though. (Not I)