Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yankees Announce ALCS Pitching Rotation, Matchups Favor Yankees

Both the Rangers and the Yankees announced their starting rotations for the ALCS today. In my opinion, I think the matchups favor the Yankees in potentially 5, if not 6, of the games. Let's take a look:

Game 1: CC Sabathia vs. C.J. Wilson - A perennial Cy Young Award winner vs a pretty decent 1st year SP. Wilson had a pretty good year but let's face it, he's not CC Sabathia nor is he close to being CC Sabathia. The Yankees faced Wilson 3 times this year and he didn't fare very well. In those 3 starts Wilson 15.1 IP, allowing 11 R (9 ER) on 18 hits and 9 walks. Yeah, that's not spectacular. CC only faced the Rangers once this season and it was his 3rd start of the year. 6 IP, 3 hits, 1 ER, 0 BB and 9 K. Not too shabby. And again, it's CC Sabathia. Advantage = Yankees

Game 2: Phil Hughes vs. Colby Lewis - I think starting Hughes in game 2 is an extremely wise move by the Yankees and it may prove to be why they win the series. Hughes, albeit in a small sample size, pitches lights out in Arlington and he absolutely owns the Rangers. In 3 games against Texas, Hughes is 2-0 with 15.1 IP and get this, he's only allowed 3 hits and 4 walks. That's a WHIP of 0.46! Amazing. But again, small sample size so take it for what it's worth. PH is also better on the road than at home. On the road this year he's 7-4 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He keeps the ball in the park also, having allowed only 5 of his 20 HRs on the road. Colby Lewis, like C.J. Wilson, had a decent year. He didn't match up against the Yanks this year but against them historically, he's been God-awful, allowing 12 ER in 15.2 IP. I'm not putting a lot of stock in that as again, small sample size. It should be a decent match up but again I have to give the advantage to the Yankees.

Game 3: Andy Pettitte vs. Cliff Lee - This is the match up I want to see. The advantage in this game goes to the Rangers but I don't think it's by a really large margin. Despite having only pitched in the postseason, Cliff Lee could already be the best postseason pitcher ever. In 7 starts, he's 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 3 CG. He's been the man. Andy Pettitte though warrants being near the top of that list. Andy holds the record for most postseason wins and he's 7-1 all-time in the ALCS. Both are lefties and both should pitch well in Yankee Stadium. The advantage in this game clearly goes to Lee. But I wouldn't be surprised if Andy figures out a way to make this a close one.

Game 4: A.J. Burnett vs. Tommy Hunter - Yeah, I have no clue in this game. It's a total toss up. It really depends on which A.J. Burnett shows up to pitch. A.J. can be flat out unhittable. He can also be a head case that shouldn't be anywhere near a pitcher's mound. Hunter is a decent pitcher but is also hittable. The Yankees went 6-20 against him back in September and they've hit him well in the past. This one could go either way.

Game 5: Sabathia vs. Wilson - see game 1

Game 6: Hughes vs. Lewis - see game 2

Game 7: Pettitte vs, Lee - see game 4 but for me it's almost a toss-up. Lee doesn't like pitching in Texas. He's pitched decently there this year but his career ERA pitching in Arlington is 5.07. If there is a start he could falter in it could be this one.

I think the only game the Rangers have a clear advantage in is game 4. The Yankees in my opinion have the advantage in 4 of the games, with the other 2 being toss-ups. I think this is going to be a great series but I think when the dust settles the Yankees will be advancing to another World Series. If they do, I've got tickets to game 3. I hope I'm right.

Yankees in 5.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,