Jorge Posada vs. Carols Ruiz
Mark Teixiera vs. Ryan Howard
Robinson Cano vs. Chase Utley
Derek Jeter vs. Jimmy Rollins
Alex Rodriguez vs. Pedro Feliz
Johnny Damon vs. Raul Ibanez
Melky Cabrera vs. Shane Victorino
Nick Swisher vs. Jayson Werth
X Factor: Phillies
Posada has a large advantage behind the plate. First Base was a close battle but Teixiera has a slight edge on the numbers and has yet to appear in an annoying Subway commercial. Utley has the edge over Cano......the Yankees left side of the infield is much stronger than the Phillies.
The Phillies have the edge at all 3 outfield positions. Ibanez and Victorino have decent sized advantages. Werth vs. Swisher are about the same production wise but Werth is playing much better than Swisher right now.
The Starting Rotation was a tough call. Both teams have an ace ex-Indians pitcher (Sabathia/Lee) a pitcher who peaked in the 90s but are still viable options (Pettite/Martinez)....The Phils get the edge b/c I think they'll get more out of Blanton/Hamels than the Yankees will get out of Burnett.
The Yankees win the bullpen match-up easily. Mariano Rivera is one of the greatest post-season closers of all time....and Brad Lidge.....well hes Brad Lidge....nuff said.
The X-Factor went to the Phillies for a couple reasons. First, this is pretty much the same team that won it all last year so their confidence in winning is higher. Second, there is more pressure on the Yankees. For them, anything less than a World Series title is a bad season, they haven't won in what they consider forever (2000) and the expectations are so high from both fans and management.......they just have a lot more external pressure and stress than the Phillies do.
Final Tally: Phillies 6 Yankees 5
These teams match-up really well and we could have a classic series in store. For the Yankees its a matter of continue to keep doing all year (win games) plus doing what they've done throughout the off-season (take advantage of other mistakes).
For the Phillies, the major question is can the bullpen not mess things up? So far it hasn't but the bullpen is pretty much a ticking time-bomb. If they survive this series, they repeat...if they don't the Yankees take it. My call: the Phillies do just enough...with the emphasis on just enough to repeat
Prediction: Phillies in 7