2009 MLB World Series Preview & Prediction

The World Series is finally here. As I predicted on April 7th, the Yankees will play the Phillies in the World Series, which is scheduled to start Wednesday, October 28th.

Before I get to my prediction, let’s have a preview of the series:

The Yankees have made the World Series for the first time in 6 years. This will be the 40th time the Yankees have been in the World Series (they won 26 times) and it is the first time that they have made the World Series since losing to the Marlins in 2003. The last time the Yankees won the World Series was in 2000 against the Mets.

The Phillies have made the World Series for the 2nd time in as many years. This will be the 7th time that the Phillies have been in the World Series (they won twice). The Phillies are the defending World Series Champions.

The Yankees had the best team batting average in the League Championship series (.279 in 6 games), while the Phillies had the worst batting average (.231 in 5 games). The Phillies had the most RBIs (34) and the Yankees had the second most (30). The Phillies hit the most HRs (10) and the Yankees hit the 2nd most (8). The Yankees had the highest On Base Percentage (.389) and the Phillies had the 2nd highest (.348). The Yankees also had the pitching advantage in the LCS, the Yankees team ERA was 2.91 (1st) and the Phillies team ERA was 3.07 (2nd).

The Phillies had a better team ERA in the regular season (4.16) than the Yankees did (4.26). The Yankees struck out more batters (1260) than the Phillies (1153). The Yankees were second in the Majors with a .283 batting average, while the Phillies were 23rd (of 30) with a .258 batting average. The Yankees had the most home-runs in the majors (244) and the Phillies were tied for 2nd (224). The Phillies strikeout more than the Yankees (1155 – 1014), and the Yankees walk more (663 [most in the majors] – 589). The Yankees had the most RBIs in the majors (881) and the Phillies had the 4th most (788).

Now most people going into the World Series would tell you that the Phillies are the better hitting team in the series, but clearly they are not. The Phillies hit the long-ball (but so do the Yankees, so they neutralize each other), but the Yankees hit the ball more often (the regular season and LCS batting averages prove this).

The starting pitching is close to even in the series (maybe the edge goes to the Yankees because of Pettitte’s experience), both teams have former Indians’ CY Young winners as their aces (Sabathia for the Yankees and Lee for the Phillies). The major advantage for the Yankees is the bullpen, the bullpen throughout the season has been much better than the Phillies (although the Phillies bullpen has been very good in the playoffs [so far]).

The Phillies and Yankees played one series during interleague play and the Phillies won the series 2 of 3. During the series, Lidge blew two saves for the Phillies.

I am going to be sticking with my original prediction of the Yankees winning the World Series. I am picking them for a few reasons:

1. Just looking at numbers the Yankees have the better team, but numbers are not the only important thing…
2. The Yankees were the best team at home during the regular season and they have yet to lose at home in the playoffs. The Yankees were 12 games better (57 wins to 45) than the Phillies at home. The Phillies actually played better on the road this season…
3. The Yankees and Phillies are about even on the road. Although the Phillies played better on the road than at home, they were only 2 games better than the Yankees were on the road (48 wins to 46).

With home-field advantage and the statistically better team, added to the fact that the Phillies don’t play particularly well at home, I think the Yankees will win the series in 6 games, with the breakdown the same as the LCS:

Game 1: Yankees win
Game 2: Yankees win
Game 3: Phillies win
Game 4: Yankees win
Game 5: Phillies win
Game 6: Yankees win

Comments? Questions? Feel free to post them below, or send me a tweet @MikesPickz

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